The Bears have declined quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s fifth-year option, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Saturday. Barring an unforeseen franchise tag next offseason, Trubisky will now be a free agent after the 2020 season.
The move comes as no surprise, as Trubisky’s stint with the Bears never quite lived up to expectations. The No. 2 overall pick after Chicago traded up one spot in the 2017 NFL draft, Trubisky has started in 41 games for the team over the past three seasons and has struggled with building much in the way of development during that time.
Despite carrying a 23-18 record as the Bears’ starting quarterback, Trubisky has made some of the same mistakes he made in his rookie season, including staring down his first read, forcing throws and having his footwork and mechanics break down in a collapsing pocket. He made it to the Pro Bowl after the Bears went 12-4 with him at quarterback in 2018, but their regression to 8-8 the following season showed that level of play was unsustainable without better play at the quarterback position.
While a physically talented player, Trubisky has had issues putting it all together from a mental standpoint, resulting in him falling far short of the bar that Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson—the two quarterbacks selected after him in the first round of the 2017 draft—have set. With Nick Foles now on the Bears’ roster, the writing could be on the wall for Trubisky to play elsewhere for the 2021 season and beyond.