At least Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears tried.
Pace had conviction in his guy back in 2017 and he swung the deal to get Mitchell Trubisky — who was the top QB prospect available that draft according to many — but it just didn’t work out.
There were some bright spots during Mitch’s first few years, but just not enough to warrant them picking up his fifth year option after the 2019 season. He had 2020 to prove he could be The Man moving forward, but after some inconsistent play early he was benched. He got his job back thanks to a Nick Foles injury, and then played well enough to keep Foles on clipboard duty, but just not well enough once the competition picked up.
Here’s what Chicago’s quarterback situation looks like right now.
Nick Foles - Signed through 2022 - Considering he’s the only quarterback signed, Bears’ fans should get used to him being here at least one more season. He has a $6,666,666 cap hit in 2021, and cutting him would result in $10,333,334 in dead money, so he’s not going anywhere. And that’s okay. He’s making low end starter/high end back up money, and his deal won’t stop the Bears from upgrading the position. He has a fairly easy out after the 2021 season, but depending on how much money the position group has allocated to it, they might just keep him until his deal expires after the 2022 season.
Mitchell Trubisky - Free agent - My guess is Trubisky ends up signing as a QB2 for someone, maybe Atlanta, on a 2 year deal for about $10-$15 million with some playing time incentives.
Tyler Bray - Free agent - I understood why the Bears wanted Bray around as the QB3 for so long, but they still should have taken a few fliers on other quarterbacks the last couple of years. I can’t see any way he’s back again in 2021 unless the Bears suffer some injuries at the position.
2021 OUTLOOK - You have to assume that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy sold George McCaskey on their plan to find a QB this offseason. The Bears aren’t simply a quarterback away from being a perennial playoff contender, but until they get that spot right nothing else matters.
Reports had them with an offer to Detroit for Matthew Stafford before he ended up in L.A., and while I don’t think the Bears will be able to pull off a Deshaun Watson trade or have the money to throw at Dak Prescott, they will be in on every available quarterback this offseason.
When it comes to a trade there are a few quarterbacks that have buzz around them being available. Sam Darnold from the Jets, Derek Carr from the Raiders, Jimmy Garoppolo from the 49ers, and Teddy Bridgewater from the Panthers just to name a few.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably the best free agent option out there right now with Tyrod Taylor and Andy Dalton a couple other (not very exciting) possibilities.
This has to be the year they draft a quarterback, but what they do pre-draft will determine the direction they go.
If they end up trading for a clear cut starter, then they’ll likely grab a day three rookie, but if they simply sign a free agent, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see them to try to move up from the 20th overall pick if a top prospect starts slipping.
There are no guarantees in the draft, but if a guy they like is still there in the teens I would expect Pace to try to pounce.
Here’s my prediction for how the Bears quarterback room will look this summer, and understand I expect them to strike out on all their big quests to upgrade... A fringe starter like Gardner Minshew (via trade) or Tyrod Taylor (in free agency) to pair with Foles, and a rookie like Kellen Mond or Jamie Newman.
Who do you think will make up the Bears QB room in 2021?