Josh McCown doesn't plan to retire

Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown, who will be a free agent this offseason, has no intention to retire, a source close to the 34-year-old veteran told ESPN.

In what promises to be a thin crop of free-agent quarterbacks, NFL executives believe McCown and Michael Vick will be the top two options for teams searching for someone to compete for a starting job or back up an established starter.

Due to a surprising number of underclassman quarterbacks returning to school, this year's draft also is thinner at the position than some expected it to be.

Chicago wants McCown back, and quarterback-needy teams such as the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans also could be interested.

It leaves McCown, who some thought could retire, in an enviable position in which he will have a chance to play, if not start -- something he intends to pursue this offseason.

McCown filled in admirably for Chicago this season while Jay Cutler was injured, leading the Bears to a 3-2 record in the five games he started. McCown appeared in eight games overall this season, passing for 1,829 yards and 13 touchdowns with only one interception.