Even if I didn’t ruin the suspense yesterday by saying the quarterbacks would be number one on this year’s 10 Most Important Chicago Bears list, anyone that has been following along these last twelve years would know that it’s almost always the case, regardless of the QB, because the quarterback is the most important position in all of team sports.
Only twice since I’ve started making this list have I went away from the quarterback.
It was Jay Cutler every year until the Bears had to bring in John Fox to clean up the Marc Trestman mess, which made Fox the top dog in 2015, and then Jordan Howard took the top spot when the Bears had Mike Glennon starting the year out as their number one QB.
This year however, I’m not able to name a specific quarterback as my number one because the Bears have uncertainty atop the depth chart. While they may open up with Mitchell Trubisky as QB1, Nick Foles will have every opportunity to win the job.
This QB battle will go one of three ways.
If Trubisky rises to the challenge and take the job, then he will have proven his grasp of the offense and shown an ability to quickly process what defenses are trying to do.
If Foles wrestles the job away, then he will have shown his four years in in a similar scheme and eight total years as a pro gave him the unquestionable knowledge and savvy to earn the job.
If the Bears get good quarterback play they’ll be back in the playoffs.
If the Bears are forced to turn to Trubisky that would mean that the oft-injured Foles is back in the training room, or even worse, he just doesn’t have the consistency to keep the job.
If the Bears are forced to turn to Foles, that would mean that Trubisky thrived in practice and fooled the entire coaching staff into thinking he had it figured out.
What if they both suck?
The Bears don’t need an All-Pro performance from the QB spot to get back to the playoffs in 2020, but they do need an intelligent game manager that can keep the chains moving.
Both Foles and Trubisky are playing for their NFL futures this season. Even through he’s under contract through 2022, Foles has incentives that he can meet that would raise his salary in 2020 and the next two years as well, plus if he does really good, he could opt out of his contract and negotiate a much larger deal as a free agent.
Trubisky will want to show enough to earn a starting gig in 2021, or at the very least prove worthy of a big QB2 contract somewhere else. Even though the Bears declined his 5th-year option, the Bears could always franchise tag him if he seriously balls out in 2020.
At some point Matt Nagy will name his number one and that player will become the most important Bear for the 2020 season.