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Friends Palmer, Edwards compete for Bears’ 3rd-string QB spot

Chicago Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer (2) against OaklRaiders during second half an NFL preseasfootball game OaklCalif. Friday Aug. 23 2013.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer (2) against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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Updated: September 30, 2013 2:05PM



After what might have been their last-ever Bears practice Wednesday, quarterbacks Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards drove to the airport together to pick up their biggest fans.

Palmer’s wife, Dottie, and Edwards’ fiancée, Jenna, planned on staying together on the eve of Thursday’s preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field.

They’ve become close since Palmer and Edwards, acquaintances since high school, reconnected after a Bears tryout in June.

The 29-year-olds threw with each other this summer in Huntington Beach, Calif., waiting for the NFL to call. The girls did pilates together.

Tonight, Palmer and Edwards — both added a week-and-a-half ago after Matt Blanchard broke a knuckle — will compete for the third-string job, with Palmer starting.

One — or, if the team decides to keep only two signal-callers, both — of the friends will be cut by the weekend.

“It’s a unique position we’re in,” Palmer, who completed his only preseason attempt at Oakland, said with a smile.

Edwards, who didn’t play against the Raiders, said he and Palmer are “both old enough, and know this profession well enough, to know it is what it is.”

The tryout could be as much for the 31 other NFL teams, many whose quarterback situations are more volatile than the one at Halas Hall (Matt Leinart, with whom Palmer discussed being out of football three weeks ago over a beach volleyball game, signed with the Bills this week).

Bears coach Marc Trestman called them “both really smart guys” who have “practiced well.”

Edwards has started 33 games, all but one with Buffalo from 2007-10, and spent last season as an Eagles backup.

“I’m not gonna know every play that’s going to be called; I’m not going to know every player on the field,” Edwards said. “Just gotta go out and make plays and find the open guy and throw it to him.”

Palmer, who played four games with the Bengals and spent last year with the Jaguars, hasn’t thrown a regular-season pass since 2010.

“I feel prepared,” he said. “The more I think about the reps I didn’t get, the more I’m not focused on going out there and kicking [butt].”

The co-managing partner of a marketing company, Palmer has been interested in business since he realized, as a kid, a difference “talent-wise” between him and his Heisman Trophy-winning brother, Carson.

But he’s not ready to return to the boardroom yet.

“You don’t know how many opportunities you’re going to get and when you’re going to get your last one,” Palmer said. “So you have to take advantage of the ones that you get.”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



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