It’s no secret that the Bears are a quarterback-starved franchise and have been for most of the last 70 years.
There are ways that teams acquire elite quarterbacks, but there are only ever so many of those QBs to go around.
In any given decade there are somewhere between two and four QBs that can really be considered elite, top players that have a chance to lead their team to a championship every single year.
For the majority of the 21st century that list has been Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. In the ‘90s it was Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly and Steve Young.
The Bears have been searching for their Mr. Elite for a long time.
They’ve tried the draft (unsuccessfully), they’ve tried free agency (unsuccessfully) and they’ve tried trades (also unsuccessful).
The debate rages on and naturally, in true Luck of the Bears fashion, the one year they get a top five draft pick, there are no fantastic sure-fire franchise QBs to be had.
So with a weak draft class to be had and no long-term answers on the roster, some are saying that the Bears should explore a trade.
This is, in my opinion, a terrible idea.
The Bears have been down this road before, quite recently in fact and there is ample evidence that trading for a QB doesn’t work.
-The past is an indicator
The Bears traded two first-round picks and a third-round pick to acquire Jay Cutler from the Broncos in 2009. The Bears went 7-9 in that first season, then jumped to 11-5 but then had just one winning season over the next six seasons with no more playoff appearances. The loss of those first round picks, coupled with huge misses on the remaining picks left the franchise without great talent surrounding their QB savior. There is little argument that the Bears missed those picks after they gave them away.
Going into the way-back machine, the Bears attempted to trade for a franchise QB in 1997 by giving up a first round selection for Rick Mirer of the Seattle Seahawks. Mirer started three games, threw no touchdowns and was gone after one year. The Seahawks used the Bears’ pick to trade up and take Shawn Springs, who played until 2009.
-The Patriots are willing to give up a 25-year-old affordable QB?
Brady is the best of all time, or among the best, but he is 39 year old. When the body starts breaking down, it happens fast. Look no further than the final seasons of Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. The thing is, if the Patriots have a signal caller who is under 30 that they feel like could take over for Brady, even if it’s in three years, they could keep him on a modest bridge deal, why would they look to offload him?
Further, coach Bill Belichick said that the offense is “seamless” when Garoppolo steps in. It’s a good thing Belichick has always been known with straightforward honesty with the media, so it must be true! (I really don’t have to explain that that’s sarcasm, do I?)
Recent history says there’s only one way to find a QB
-Since 2004 only two QBs have won the Super Bowl on a team that didn’t draft them: Manning with the Broncos in 2015 and Drew Brees with the Saints in 2009. Those were two extremely rare cases of elite-level QBs reaching the open market.
The Bears could potentially give up multiple picks for a player that’s attempted a total of 94 NFL regular season passes in just 17 games and two starts. On a Super Bowl caliber team no less.
The Bears took a risk when they traded for Cutler, who was an unpolished but seemingly on the rise QB.
Sound familiar? The Bears need to look elsewhere for their QB, not the New England roster.