We’ve had plenty of discussion about the next quarterback of the Chicago Bears of late, with the reason being, nothing else really matters until they get that position figured out.
There’s only one quarterback signed for the 2022 season, Nick Foles, but he can’t be the sole plan moving forward. There has to be a splash of some sort on the horizon, but how big a splash is yet to be determined.
It’s assumed the Bears’ “board of directors” either gave Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy a mandate to fix the quarterback position this offseason, or Pace and Nagy promised to upgrade the position themselves as away to save their jobs.
The Bears will certainly be talking with every team that has a veteran quarterback that could be available, but if all their trade options fail to pan out they may be forced to look to free agency.
But I can’t see the Bears spending in free agency unless they somehow move Foles. With Indy now in the Wentz business that removes them from grabbing Foles as their QB2, which leaves only two places that could potentially want Foles. The Broncos have been mentioned as a team that could have interest in Chicago’s veteran backup, and a return to Philadelphia to backup Jalen Hurts could be mutually beneficial.
If the Bears can flip Foles for a day three pick, then free agency makes some sense.
The Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield recently gave their top 101 free agents in the NFL and seven quarterbacks made their list.
1. QB Dak Prescott
18. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
42. QB Cam Newton
45. QB Andy Dalton
49. QB Jameis Winston
96. QB Tyrod Taylor
101. QB Joe Flacco
Here are my thoughts on their seven.
I believe Prescott will be staying in Dallas, so he’s not a viable option for the Bears.
Fitzpatrick would be a lot of fun, and of all the free agent QBs on this list he seems like the best bet to pair with a rookie. He’s still able to start and provide an occasional spark, but he also has no problem mentoring a youngster.
Newton is better than what he showed in New England last year, but I think Newton will be looking for some familiarity this offseason by sticking with the Patriots or heading to Washington to reunite with his former coach with the Panthers, Ron Rivera.
Dalton proved to be capable last year in Dallas, and his experience with Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor could give him an in.
I’m intrigued to see if Winston’s Lasik surgery cured his interception problem, but I can’t see him leaving the Saints unless someone gives him legit QB1 money, and that won’t be the Bears.
Taylor has always seemed like a bridge QB the Bears would be interested in, mostly because I expect them to swing and miss on other, better options, but I do think Taylor has been underrated during his career.
Flacco is a hard pass in my opinion.
Some other quarterbacks with starting experience that are free agents are Jacoby Brissett, Robert Griffen III, Mike Glennon, Geno Smith, Blaine Gabbert, and of course Mitchell Trubisky.
While I do think Mitch is better than some of the QBs previously mentioned, I don’t see him as an option in 2022. The Bears made their feelings about him clear when they declined his 5h-year option and then benched him a year ago, and from his perspective, I would assume he’s looking for a fresh start.