He wasn't immediately signed to a contract, though, as the Bengals added former Fresno State linebacker Ben Jacobs to their practice squad after working out Burgess and former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders linebacker Quinton Spears.
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The Patriots were granted a roster exemption through next Monday for cornerback Aqib Talib as he comes off suspension, but he's expected to be active this week. The Patriots cut linebacker Jeff Tarpinian to create a spot for Talib, the troubled former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter.
McCown started twice in three games last season for the Bears, albeit with mixed results.
He completed 35 of 55 passes for 414 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.