Now What for Bears at QB?

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The Minnesota Vikings secondary foe – the Chicago Bears – forewent implementation of the Carson Wentz trade. About two weeks ago, Chicago was the epicenter for Wentz trade rumors, and wacky theories loomed. Matthew Stafford recently commanded a king’s ransom via trade, and “so too will Wentz” was the unfounded theory that followed. The rational disconnect, though, was that Stafford performed pretty well in 2020 while Wentz was atrocious. Nevertheless, some football heads ran with the hypothesis that the new asking price for any starting quarterback was multiple 1st-Round draft picks. 

If Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for more than one 1st-Round pick, well, the ground floor would shake and subsequently reset the trade market. Instead, the Colts sent one 3rd-Round pick and a conditional 2nd Rounder to Philadelphia for the embattled Wentz. Order restored. 

The Colts have “their man” for 2020 and beyond, clinging to the hope that former Eagles offensive coordinator [turned Colts skipper] Frank Reich can revitalize Wentz. We shall see.  

But what about the Bears? What’s next for Chicago at quarterback? Like the Vikings, Chicago habitually fails to nail down the quarterback position. And, we’re talking like decades on this one. As of late, the Vikings are content with Kirk Cousins’ output – for the most part – but the Bears have played quarterback musical chairs seemingly forever. Jay Cutler secured the position for several seasons, but he – like Cousins – was not universally embraced.

In ascending order of likelihood, these are the Bears quarterback options. 

Trubisky-Foles Redux

For starters, a run-it-back gig of Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles is wildly unlikely. Why? The combo didn’t work in 2020. Why would it be different in 2021? The Bears finished 23rd in the NFL via points scored. A sequel of Trubisky-Foles is not titillating. 

But one of these middling quarterbacks might return. Hell, Folesis under contract through next season at a reasonable price tag — $8 million. That cap number is extremely beneficial to team-friendliness. The problem, however, is that Foles isn’t very good. And when he is – it doesn’t last long. 

Foles won a Super Bowl in 2017 and then turned back into a pumpkin immediately thereafter. He is a massively capable backup quarterback, and that is probably how his career will trend from now on. 

On Trubisky, the only reason that Chicago would entertain re-upping his services is if the organization is absolutely convincedhe is on the cusp of a fifth-year breakout session. Those are generally nonexistent, so the chances of Trubisky back-to-Chicago as a starter are slim. 

The Journeyman Method

Consider this the normative Bears and Vikings modus operandi. Can’t find a gem in the draft, so let’s re-hash the tire treads on a guy that might work in our system. – is the mentality. Notable players in this vein for the Bears include: Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer, Mike Glennon, Chris Chandler, Kyle Orton, and Shane Matthews, to name a few. For the Vikings, the list is equally as robust: Brad Johnson, Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Donovan McNabb, Matt Cassel, and Gus Frerotte.

If the Bears partake in this longstanding fetish once again, here are the quarterbacks that could sign on with Chicago as a journeyman free agent: Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, TyrodTaylor, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, and Nick Mullens. 

All of those names – should the Bears ink one – would hold a Bears-ian vibe. Scrape the bottom of the journeyman barrel and hope for the best. 

Additionally, the team could trade for a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater. But the Staffords and Wentz-es of the world are already off the market. 

Most Likely – The Draft

Now, what will happen? The Bears will draft a quarterback and pray to a deity that he is a better football player than Mitchell Trubisky. 

The 2021 NFL Draft marks the first time since EDGE rusher Khalil Mack was acquired that Chicago will make a 1st Round pick. Currently, the Bears will choose their man at the 20th spot. That is not a quarterback hotspot – at least not in 2021. 

Yet, the Bears will probably walk away from the draft with a quarterback. They can “reach” for a player like Mac Jones or Kyle Trask at the No. 20 hole. Another Trubisky-like trade-up maneuver is possible. Or the team can go the organic route and find a signal-caller later in the draft a la Russell Wilson or Kirk Cousins from the 2012 draft.

Realistically, the Bears will utilize Foles because he’s under contract. In some round [high or low], they will draft a quarterback. And then the team will patch over that youngster once Foles falls flat again – which he will do.

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