Last week, after they signed veteran Matt Gutierrez, I wrote that his days already might be numbered, because the Bears were hardly done looking to address the position. (http://www.suntimes.com/sports/jensen/2615082,CST-SPT-sean19.article)
The magic number might be five days.
The Bears haven't announced a corresponding move, so Gutierrez may get some more time to make an impression. But the fact that he didn't get into Saturday's game could be telling.
If Gutierrez suffered an injury against the Oakland Raiders -- a distinct possibility since the Raiders had six sacks -- the Bears would have been on the hook for money they never intended to spend.
What is certain, though, is that Dan LeFevour, a sixth-round pick, once again struggled in a preseason game. He got the bulk of the snaps last week, with backup Caleb Hanie out. But, LeFevour completed just three of 10 passes for 39 yards, with one interception. His passer rating was 3.8.
Collins, 38, was resistant to signing a deal with the Bears initially, because he wanted guaranteed money. It's not clear if he got what he wanted. But, it's probably safe to assume that the Bears at least gave him some sort of assurance of job security, so he wasn't going to be a "camp arm."
Besides, there's not many options out there at quarterback. The Bears did explore trading for a player, but they obviously weren't willing to part with any meaningful draft picks.
Collins won't be angling for the starting job, and he's proven to be a valuable backup. Remarkably, Collins started 13 games for the Buffalo Bills in 1997... then didn't start another game until 2007 with the Washington Redskins.
And he was gainfully employed by the Kansas City Chiefs between those starts! (Yes, that deserves an exclamation point.)
In 2007, in three starts, Collins was 3-0. He was just eight of 25 in his first game, but he was 44 for 60 for 498 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the final two games, victories over the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys.
But his time in Kansas City helped him learn -- probably master given the amount of time -- an offense similar to the one new offensive coordinator Mike Martz runs.
This adds the distinct possibility, then, that the Bears will carry three quarterbacks this season: Cutler, Hanie and, it now, appears Collins.