LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jeff George signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears on Monday, returning to the NFL after a three-year absence.
George will be the backup to Chad Hutchinson, who will make his first start in two years against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
"I'm just excited to be back in it. It's a great opportunity for me and I'm very thankful for them bringing me in," George said after his first practice with his new team. "Whatever role the Bears want me to do, I'm willing to do that. I can't say enough how happy I am and how thankful I am to be out here."
George was the No. 1 pick in the 1990 NFL draft, and has one of the strongest arms in the game. But he's 46-78 as a starter, and has played for six teams, not lasting longer than four years with any one of them.
He developed a reputation as spoiled and petulant, and his problems with coaches have overshadowed his considerable talent. He had a sideline argument with coach June Jones when he was with the Atlanta Falcons in 1996, and the team suspended him and then cut him.
In his next-to-last game with Washington, he and coach Marty Schottenheimer had an animated sideline discussion after George committed four turnovers and was removed from the game.
George hasn't played since 2001, when he was cut after two games with the Redskins. In his last two games with Washington, George had a quarterback rating of 34.6, completing 23 of 42 passes with three interceptions.
George was drafted by Indianapolis and played with the Colts from 1990-93. He was in Atlanta from 1994-96, then spent two seasons with Oakland and one with Minnesota before joining the Redskins in 2000, first as a backup. He was signed by Seattle as insurance midway through the 2002 season, but didn't play.