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There were 12 passers who threw for 4,000 yards in 2020 and the Bears have never had one quarterback in 101 years of history throw for 4,000 yards.
It’s about time they find an answer to their problems at the position.
When asked at last week’s postseason press conference about starter Mitchell Trubisky’s future in Chicago, Pace said everything was “on the table.”
Here’s the full QB table:
Free Agent Starters
Mitchell Trubisky , Dak Prescott , Philip Rivers , Jameis Winston , Cheap Ryan Fitzpatrick Jersey , Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissette , Tyrod Taylor , Cam Newton , Cheap Joe Flacco Jersey
Analysis: Pro Football Focus ranks Trubisky as the eighth-best available free-agent quarterback. PFF’s dislike of Trubisky has to be taken into account. They’ve never liked him. Several other analysts put him between third and fifth best.
If Matt Nagy intends to go forward with the bootleg style offense used in the final six regular-season games rather than the shotgun emphasis Nick Foles used, there couldn’t be a better option than Prescott. However, Dallas is unlikely to let Prescott leave and can tag him again.
Next best for this style of offense would be either Trubisky, Newton or Taylor. Taylor really hasn’t been a starter since 2017. He actually had respectable numbers with some bad Buffalo teams, posting a 92.5 passer rating, 7.2 yards per attempt, 51 touchdowns to 16 interceptions and three seasons of rushing totals ranging between 427 and 580. Injuries and failures after being benched caused him to become a backup. Whether he could find that starting level from Buffalo again at age 32 is uncertain.
Rivers would cost too much for one season because of the Cap situation. Fitzpatrick is actually tight with Bears receiver coach Mike Furrey, but would never fit the style of offense used by the Bears at season’s end and might want more than their cap space dictates. Winston is high risk and high reward and not someone a coach and GM would want if they’re under a win-or-else mandate.
Likely Scenario: With no chance at Prescott, it comes down to Trubisky, Taylor and Newton. Trubisky could win out based on system knowledge. PFF projects Trubisky would sign for two years and $15 million while Spotrac.com assigns him a market value of $8.3 million a year. Both Taylor and are projected as being available for less. They could have had Newton this year and decided against it, so apparently they don’t like him even if his style of play would fit into their bootleg offense.
Free Agent Backups
Jacoby Brissette , Dwayne Haskins , Nick Mullens , C.J. Beathard , Cheap A.J. McCarron Jersey , Cheap Colt McCoy Jersey , RG III , Sean Mannion , Tim Boyle* , Cheap Brian Hoyer Jersey , Brett Hundley , Geno Smith, Blaine Gabbert . *Restricted free agent
Analysis: Haskins’ in-season availability had plenty of Bears backers urging them to sign him. He shouldn’t even be in the NFL. Any analyst who does an honest appraisal of what Haskins has done will arrive at this conclusion. Both 49ers backups would be fine as backup types. Both have been acceptable in spot duty under pressure. The Bears should put out an offer sheet for Boyle simply to infuriate the Packers.
Likely Scenario: The Bears already have a backup who knows the offense and has been in Chicago one year. Extra time within the system and an offseason of work might even make Foles play the way he did in beating Tampa Bay. If they could figure out how to block for the run out of the shotgun formation, Foles might even be their best option for starter in 2021.
Matt Ryan , Deshaun Watson , Matthew Stafford , Carson Wentz, Jimmy Garoppolo , Sam Darnold, Derek Carr , Gardner Minshew , Tua Tagovailoa , Daniel Jones , Teddy Bridgewater .
Analysis: John McClain has covered the NFL for 45 years for the Houston Chronicle and reports from his sources that there is no way the Texans ownership is willing to part with Watson. Adam Schefter reported the Texans have had internal conversations about possible trade partners for Watson and what their future would look like without him. Those are the type of what-if conversations all teams have. The McClain statement carries far more weight. So Bears fans still tossing around the idea of getting Watson are simply wasting their time. Stafford and Ryan would come in far too expensive for the cash-strapped Bears. Wentz would be an ideal fit because the Bears have his former quarterbacks coach from the Super Bowl season, John DeFilippo, as well as Foles. But they also don’t have the kind of money available Wentz received on his contract. Garoppolo would be an interesting situation if available for a deal. He’s from Chicago and his contract terms are not so ridiculously high as to chase away teams interested. It would be silly for both the Giants to trade Jones and Dolphins to deal Tagovailoa after having them for only a short time on their rookie deals.
Likely Scenario: Without Watson available, the only way the Bears would trade for any quarterback would be as a reclamation project with a young passer. Darnold would fit this scenario. The asking price for Darnold would need to be very low.
Potential Cap Cut Victims
Alex Smith , Marcus Mariota
Analysis: The deal Mariota signed allowed for him to be easily cut this year to save cap space, but is he really any type of answer for the Bears at the position? Washington could save about $3 million total by cutting Smith—eat $10.5 million and save about $13.5 million in salary. Smith might not even want to play again, or could restructure his deal to stay in Washington.
Likely Scenario: Mariota should be of no interest but Smith would because of his past ties to Nagy and this style offense. If the Redskins did simply cut Smith to save cap space, anticipate the Bears would make some type of play for him, then put him into the mix with Foles and a rookie. Both Smith and Foles would be ideal for helping to train a rookie.