I thought the quarterback plan for the Chicago Bears was sound the last few years. They identified their guy and brought in a veteran backup that wouldn’t require much coaching, which meant the majority of coaching would go to the young starter (who needed it after limited college experience). Their third stringer was a younger, yet experienced in the scheme, we-know-exactly-what-he-is type of player, that also wouldn’t pull from the attention the starter needed. He was basically a guy the Bears could let hang out on the practice squad in case of emergency.
The plan was sound, it just didn’t work out.
The new plan must include better QB play in 2020 or this team will underachieve again.
Mitchell Trubisky - Signed through 2020 - I still think there’s a chance the Bears pick up his fifth year option, but I don’t think they believe he’s the man moving forward. And I don’t give a damn what was spewed at the end of the season press conference. Both head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace know that they need better production from the quarterback in 2020. Mitch will still be in Chicago, but someone with starting experience will be along side him either pushing him for reps or pushing him to the bench.
Chase Daniel - Free agent - Daniel served his purpose, but there’s no way he returns to the Bears unless he retires and takes up coaching. He’s a capable back up quarterback, but he needs a situation with a young and established starter on the team for his next gig. I think the Eagles to back up Carson Wentz, or the Chiefs to back up Patrick Mahomes both make a lot of sense for him.
Tyler Bray - Free agent - With his practice squad eligibility finally exhausted, Bray will likely find himself in another line of work in 2020. He’ll probably get a camp invite somewhere, but I can’t see a team holding on to a 28-year old developmental project. If he keeps himself in shape he could serve as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency QB, but his odds of landing a full time spot on a 53-man roster are slim.
2020 OUTLOOK - With such a large free agent class of QBs looking for new teams, it’s very possible this could be the biggest signal caller shake up in NFL history. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, Ryan Tannehill, and Case Keenum will all be looking for new contracts, but veterans like Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Derek Carr, Jacoby Brissett, and Alex Smith could be had with the right trade offer as well, so Bears general manager Ryan Pace will have several options to add to the QB room.
The Bears will add a veteran in some capacity, but I’d also expect them to go after a rookie at some point as well. Whether that’s in the draft or as an undrafted free agent, the Bears need a young player to throw in the pipeline just in case.
I caught up with our resident draft guru, Jacob Infante, to get his thoughts on a possible quarterback draft pick for the Bears, and he’d be good if Pace pulled the trigger on Washington State’s Anthony Gordon. Jacob tells me that he’s “an accurate passer who throws with a good sense of anticipation and has solid athleticism for the quarterback position.” He checked in at 6’2”, 199 pounds at the Senior Bowl, where he had a nice week of practice capped off by three TDs in the third quarter of the game. Jacob continued to say that Gordon “doesn’t have a sky-high ceiling, but he would be an intriguing backup prospect for Chicago to watch early in the fourth round.” Air Raid quarterbacks have had a nice recent bit of success of late, so he’d bring a little excitement to a fanbase looking for some.
Who do you think will make up the Bears QB room in 2020?