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QB Window Shopping: A WCG Round Table (Part 1)

The Chicago Bears need a quarterback. Unlike most years, there is a plethora of options potentially available, so we’re going to have a look.

Tell me 4 doesn’t look good in Navy and Orange?

Look. We started this round table a few days ago. Obviously, since then a lot has happened. Well, ok. Nothing has actually happened. But things are reported to be happening. I think. It’s hard to say for sure. But honestly, I spent a lot of time photoshopping these damn QBs into Bears jerseys, so come hell or high water, they’re getting some use! We can think of this as a “what could have been” or as “if the Wentz trade doesn’t happen”, or whatever works for you. I’m going with “It’s just rumors until I see an official announcement!” You may call it denial, but I call it... ok, fine. Denial. Sue me.

We’re going to go through some of the QBs who are available (or potentially available) for the Bears, complete with a snazzy illustration, and the WCG staff will share their thoughts on each name. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, tell that to my capel tunnel. This was originally meant to be a multi-part series, but since it looks like a trade may be imminent, I’m gonna roll this thing out in two fairly long articles. Get your potty breaks in now everyone, you have been warned.

Here we go!

Deshaun Watson

Jack Salo

General thoughts: There’s a reason Deshaun Watson has the 2nd best quarterback rating of all-time. He’s an elite player who can make every throw, extend plays in and out of the pocket, and limit his mistakes while playing aggressive. I remember watching college highlights of Watson, Mahomes, and Trubisky and then I remember cheering very loudly in a very quiet bar when the Bears drafted Trubisky. I’m dumb, and so is Ryan Pace.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes, but the Texans shouldn’t. They will get a deal better than the Bears’ offer.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I think it’s pretty obvious that it starts with three 1st round picks to get Houston to the table. The Texans are probably going to want a young cheap quarterback packaged with, and the Bears don’t have one of those. I think Miami has the trade package it would take to get Houston to pull the trigger. 2021 1st round pick(HOU), 2021 1st round pick(MIA), 2022 1st round pick (MIA), Tua Tagovailoa. Either that, or keep their 2022 1st and send Xavien Howard, but I don’t think they’ll do that. To those putting trade ideas out there, show me a Bears offer better than that. I’ll wait.

Robert Zeglinski

General thoughts: A superstar only definitively topped by Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers at this present. At his pace, Watson’s a future Hall of Famer and an MVP-level quarterback already.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes. Sell everything. No one is untouchable. Watson makes you a high roller in a weak conference. Without, you’re playing the same waiting game that you have been for the last seven decades.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Oh my goodness, who the hell cares about the value of an inside linebacker in the NFL anymore? A superstar quarterback! Make it work!

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

General thoughts: The Texans were such a train wreck in 2020 that Watson’s outstanding season was overlooked by many. He’s a legit franchise QB and those guys are few and far between. Passer rating is far from a be-all-end-all stat, and it needs to be adjusted for era, but now that Watson has enough attempts to qualify he’s second all-time between Patrick Mahomes and in front of Aaron Rodgers.

Should the Bears pursue him: Hell to the yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: No matter how badly Watson wants out of Houston, and he really wants out of Houston, I really don’t see any way the Bears can offer enough to make a trade work. He does have a no trade clause, but the Texans are going to want a way to get a QB back in return and the Bears don’t have that, nor do they have a first round pick high enough to get that.

Bill Zimmerman

General thoughts: Deshaun Watson is special. He’s not Patrick Mahomes, but he’s in the top tier of NFL quarterbacks. Watson is the type of QB that can elevate an average team to a good team and a good team to a great team. He had the best season of his career with an XFL roster. If the Texans had the Bears QB room, they probably go 0-16.

Should the Bears pursue him: Of course they should.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I detailed this on my Twitter feed what the Bears need to do. They need to sell Watson on the Bears because they can’t beat offers from teams like Miami or Carolina. They need Watson’s camp to tell Houston they want Chicago and only Chicago. The offer probably has to be 3 firsts, 2 seconds, Jaylon Johson and Roquan Smith. A lot of Bears fans on Twitter say Roquan is untouchable, but the fact is, he’s very touchable. He’s a great inside linebacker, but in the modern game, that’s the most replaceable position on the field. I realize that’s an unpopular thing to say, but that’s the truth. Watson is pretty much a pipedream because as I mentioned before, unless Watson forces his way to Chicago, there are too many teams with better assets that can make this deal happen.

Sam Householder

General thoughts: He’s so, so good that it still makes less sense TODAY that the Bears passed on him in 2017 than Patrick Mahomes. He would be the best Bears quarterback in history the day he stepped inside Halas Hall without ever having played a down for them.

Should the Bears pursue him: Right the wrong from four years ago.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Lots of draft capital plus some proven players, that’s what would be needed. Watson has proved he can succeed with little to nothing around him (2020 season) so playing for a Bears team bereft of talent wouldn’t be that big of a drop off if need be. The only way it wouldn’t work is if the Bears, well, Bears it up. Whiff on all their other picks, neglect the offensive line, etc., etc. Or, in the most Bears thing possible, something horrible would happen to Watson and he’d never play for them.

Ken Mitchell

General thoughts: The best quarterback that might possibly be available in the next 5 years.

Should the Bears pursue him: They should trade the kitchen sink for him. Literally, they should trade whatever it takes for a 25-year-old guy who would be your franchise QB for the next decade.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Get him in the front door of Halas Hall. That’s also the reason it wouldn’t work, the inability to get him in the front door.

Erik Duerrwaechter

General thoughts: Deshaun is the top QB available in this year’s market. He’s, also, likely to be the best QB available for the next decade. He’s a QB who’s proven capable of producing elite numbers despite poor coaching or gameplans. If Matt Nagy is as incapable of teaching his offense as I fear he is, he’ll need a QB who’s good enough to overcome his own shortcomings. Deshaun Watson is that good of a player.

Should the Bears pursue him: Does a Bear s--- in the woods?

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The last time a young QB entering their prime was traded, to my memory at least, was in 2009. Denver sent Jay Cutler and a 6th to the Chicago Bears for two firsts, a third, and Kyle Orton. I think Deshaun Watson will cost significantly more. Still, if Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are dead serious about their commitment to fixing the QB position, they need to do whatever is realistically possible to land him. Ultimately, as epic as it would be to land Watson, I do not think the Bears have enough ammo to compete with either the New York Jets — my current front runner for his services — or the Miami Dolphins. Especially if either of those teams get serious with their offers in the coming weeks.

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Watson is an unbelievable player and I don’t think anyone is arguing that anymore. Once Brady, Brees, and Rodgers eventually retire he’ll be a clear top 5 QB for as long as he plays the game, likely a HOFer. His only real “downside” is that his mobility occasionally means he creates problems for himself in the pocket (AKA “holds the ball too long”), but Russell Wilson struggles with the same issue and I’d say he’s doing pretty well for himself. Of all the offseason QBs to bet on, he’s assuredly the best of the bunch.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Let’s not shy away from it — trading for Watson will involve a monumental trade package, likely 3 firsts and 2 seconds as a starting point. Could also involve Roquan or Jaylon Johnson, maybe Mack packaged in with our 2020 3rd to clear cap space (I don’t think Mack has positive trade value). Trading for Watson will hurt in the moment, but the value he’d bring as a stabilizing long-term force is hard to quantify — for that reason, I think he’s absolutely worth his price (whatever it is).

Carson Wentz

(Wentz wasn’t originally on this list. Robert, ever the procrastinator, was the only staff member to comment after all this trade news broke. So here he is.)

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Without a doubt Carson Wentz is the biggest “boom or bust” player available for trade this year, but saying that alone undersells just how big a “boom” he could be AND how big a “bust” he may be as well. On one hand, Carson Wentz is a 28 year old West Coast QB with a strong arm, incredible pocket sense, and is 2 years removed from an MVP level season after a horrible rift in Philly saw his play devolve out of nowhere. On the other hand, he’s an injury-prone QB that was benched for a rookie after putting up the worst tracked ANY/A in football last year (3.98). That’s worse than Dwayne Haskins, for reference. I can’t say I know who Wentz is anymore because I haven’t watched his recent film, but he’s a complicated case to be sure and will likely enrage fans wherever he goes.

Should the Bears pursue him: If Watson, Dak, and Carr are off the table... maybe. Depends on the price.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I don’t think the Bears should pay more than their 2020 2nd round pick (ideally their 2020 3rd pick) for Wentz given the risk his contract carries (no real out until 2024), but we’re talking about Ryan Pace so who knows what cost he’s willing to pay. John DeFillipo loves Wentz by all accounts so it’s always possible the Bears go for him, but reports sending him to Indy seem awfully hot so Frank Reich may save the Bears the trouble when the dust eventually settles. This move simultaneously has such high potential AND such low potential I almost don’t have an opinion on it, but I personally don’t think I’d make the move for risk-related reasons alone.

EDITOR: Here’s all our recent stuff on the Wentz trade rumors.

Jimmy Garoppolo

I know I forgot an “O”. I’m not fixing it. I’m spent. So just pretend it’s there.

(I’ll be honest, I forgot about Jimmy G until Bill Zimmerman brought him up. So basically only the folks that commented after Bill shared a take on Garoppolo)

Bill Zimmerman

General thoughts: Jimmy Garoppolo can make a spectacular throw from time to time but he has proven that he is a below average NFL starter and he also struggles to stay healthy. If Jimmy G ends up in a Bears uniform, there’s no reason for Bears fans to be overly excited.

Should the Bears pursue him: Only if the quality options are gone or unavailable.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I think Garoppolo is an upgrade compared to the Bears’ 2020 QB room but I certainly don’t think there is any reason to think this acquisition would improve the Bears much, if at all. He’s not Watson, he’s not Prescott, he’s not Carr, and he’s not Ryan. Is he better than Darnold? Sure. Wentz? Who knows. But if the Bears end up acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo and taking a rookie QB in the mid rounds, that seems like a recipe to have George and Ted looking for a new GM and head coach in 2022.

Ken Mitchell

General thoughts: Jimmy G is like a less-healthy version of Mitchell Trubisky

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Jimmy can make some great throws, but in reality he’s had one great six-game stretch in his entire career, and a lot of bad games to balance it out. The Bears would be treading waster with Jimmy G.

Erik Duerrwaechter

General thoughts: In Jimmy’s best year, he is a slight upgrade over Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles. That’s about it.

Should the Bears pursue him: Not really. But is it a possibility? I wouldn’t doubt it.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I really hope Ryan Pace doesn’t send a draft pick for Jimmy G...the 49ers will eventually cut him. And save a ton of cap space in the process. He can be had for a small-ish deal.

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Easily the scariest option in this year’s QB market, I’m not sure Garoppolo has ever been any better than the systems around him. Referencing both New England and San Fancisco here, Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shannahan have created extremely QB-friendly systems that (when stocked with adequate WR and OL talent) help hide their QB’s deficiencies and mask areas where they may be weaker. To Garroppolo’s credit, he’s shown throughout his career that he can make the throws asked of him most of the time, but I don’t think he does much to “go beyond his station” and would tell you with a serious face that I think he’s a younger, slightly more mobile Foles. Just because he got to the Super Bowl doesn’t make him “Super Bowl good”.

Should the Bears pursue him: Please don’t.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The biggest nightmare about this move is that in theory it’s a high-floor low-ceiling move but I’m not sure Garroppolo’s floor is even all that high — take a look at Jared Goff’s rookie year and you’ll see a great example of the difference between a limited QB’s stats in a friendly offensive system (McVay 2018, 7.72 ANY/A ) and an... “uninspiring” offensive system (Fisher 2017, 2.72 ANY/A). I’m worried Garroppolo could suffer the same fate here in Chicago, a team that hasn’t yet figured out how to run the ball passably and may lose it’s #1 WR soon. There’s also the issue of pricing, and that’s hard to comment on because it’s hard to tell what San Francisco wants to do. Do they want to trade Garroppolo? Then chances are they’ll look for a 3rd-4th round pick. Are they cutting him? Then he probably wants $20-25M/Y in a new contract as a guaranteed starter. Either way, I don’t think JG does enough to justify his price tag and would prefer the Bears stay away, regardless of how handsome he is.

Matt Ryan

Jack Salo

General thoughts: I would take 2016 Matt Ryan over most NFL quarterbacks’ best seasons. Super Bowl meltdown aside (not that he was the reason his team lost, per se) Ryan and Julio Jones were on another level that year. I wish it was possible to get Ryan earlier in his career. He’ll be 36 at the start of next season, has seen a decline in production lately, and he’s going to be overpaid by somebody.

Should the Bears pursue him? No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work? Draft a quarterback.

Robert Zeglinski

General thoughts: Top-10 quarterback in his prime and comfortably the best the Falcons have ever had. He could probably still take a team to the Super Bowl under ideal circumstances if there’s any gas left in the tank.

Should the Bears pursue him? Maybe, depends on the price.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work? Ryan isn’t the most mobile quarterback and definitely needs a wall of an offensive line more than most to be productive. In the event of any trade, there better be at least two new starters up front protecting him.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

General thoughts: He’s still able to sling it, but he’ll be 36-years old this year.

Should the Bears pursue him: Nah.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I can’t see the Falcons looking to move him, but if they were to entertain offers for him, that $40M cap hits each of the next two years would make it a hard contract to move.

Bill Zimmerman

General thoughts: Matt Ryan can still play. He’d be a significant upgrade for the Bears at quarterback. Ryan doesn’t have much in the mobility department which will give Bears fans Nick Foles nightmares but he knows how to get the ball out and avoid pressure.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The Falcons have been pretty darn adamant that Matt Ryan isn’t going anywhere. They have a ton of dead cap if they move Ryan and it just doesn’t make a lot of sense for Atlanta to move him. Even if they draft a QB with the 4th pick, they should let Ryan stick around one more year and work to move him in 2022.

Sam Householder

General thoughts: He’s old, he’s not really a big game QB and only has one season of being truly elite.

Should the Bears pursue him: Again, we’re trying to improve over Nick Foles, so almost any warm body is an upgrade.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I don’t know what it would take. A mid-round pick? Maybe a couple picks? He’d definitely need weapons around him. He’s good but this one has potential to turn into Nick Foles 2.0 with his lack of mobility, but Ryan can still play fast at a decent level compared to Foles.

Ken Mitchell

General thoughts: He would be a good bridge, as long as you have a plan for when he retires in a year or two.

Should the Bears pursue him: Probably not.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The limiting factor here is that Ryan is old, and he’s coming off a bad year... he’s short-term only and if you have to give up real trade ammunition for him, I don’t see how that works.

Erik Duerrwaechter

General thoughts: His best years are well behind him. Everything around Matt Ryan, from the players around him on offense to the coaching itself, would need to be perfect. His contract is an albatross, too. It’s likely Atlanta holds onto him for a couple more seasons as they begin yet another rebuild around their one-time MVP.

Should the Bears pursue him: No. There are too many superior options to focus on. As I will explain a little later, you don’t need a veteran QB to win right away.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s not only old. His arm is fading away, fast. Plus, his personality won’t mesh with Matt Nagy’s. If Matt Nagy thought Nick Foles could be hard to handle — he’s not — then just wait until Matt Ryan gets mad. Fireworks.

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Matt’s a good QB that’s getting old in a hurry. Likely has 2-3 quality years in him left (folks forget about his 2 MVP-level years) but his inevitable decline will come swiftly. Classic pocket QB in a mobile age.

Should the Bears pursue him: Ehh.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I can’t figure out Ryan’s price because I can’t figure out why the Falcons would want to move him. In theory the Bears could likely throw 2 first round picks at the Falcons to “make Ryan move”, but at #4 overall I think the Falcons are more likely to let Ryan buy time for Zach Wilson to grow on the bench. The Bears shouldn’t be interested in any QB they have to “make” move other than Watson, so with Ryan’s monstrous dead cap I think he stays.

Tyrod Taylor

Jack Salo

General thoughts: I swear all of his highlights are scrambles and QB draws. He might be the line between “below average” and “above average” in quarterback tiers. Some of the quarterbacks he’s beaten out for starting roles: EJ Manuel, Matt Cassell, Baker Mayfield. Some of the quarterbacks who have beaten him out for starting roles: Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers, Justin Herbert.

Should the Bears pursue him? If the Bears could find an idiot to take Nick Foles off their hands, then yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work? I think Taylor would be a cheaper option than Nick Foles to be the scapegoat if the Bears drafted a quarterback. See: Mike Glennon. I think he’ll go to the open market looking for one more 2-year deal.

Robert Zeglinski

General thoughts: He would have been better with the current Bills regime, and knows it.

Should the Bears pursue him? Yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work? Again, I want a journeyman, and I don’t want a quarterback this year barring the addition of a true difference maker.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

General thoughts: I think he’s an underrated player, but I wouldn’t want him as my team’s number one option. I think his best fit is with a team that has a young established starter like the situation he just had with the Chargers.

Should the Bears pursue him: I suppose... because he may be the best the Bears could get.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Taylor had three solid years in Buffalo, and he’s an athletic game manager type that would be a bridge to the next guy. I predicted a Bears 2021 QB room of Taylor, Foles and a rookie in the first part of my Roster Turnover series, not because that’s what I want to see, but because I think their options aren’t going to work out.

Bill Zimmerman

General thoughts: Taylor is a quarterback who’s a high-quality backup or a bottom 10 starter. He’s had some success previously in his career, but there’s no reason to think that Tyrod Taylor is the answer to anything.

Should the Bears pursue him: Only if they’re desperate.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s better than Foles, he’s probably better than Trubisky, but I can’t see a reason why the Bears should sign Tyrod Taylor.

Sam Householder

General thoughts: I think he’s gotten a bum wrap and had a couple tough breaks.

Should the Bears pursue him: Nah

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: It hasn’t worked out anywhere else, why would this situation be different?

Ken Mitchell

General thoughts: I like Taylor, a lot, but as a “super backup”, a guy who can step in and take over a team and keep them afloat while the starter recovers.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: We already have a high-priced backup.

Erik Duerrwaechter

General thoughts: He’s been screwed over quite often in his career. The whole saga with the Los Angeles Chargers was just strange. He’s not a guy who you can build around, but he’s good enough not to be the problem, if that makes sense?

Should the Bears pursue him: Maybe, just like Ryan Fitzpatrick above.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Again, just a little money. A solid backup you can trust, he is.

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Tyrod Taylor is another QB who’s seen success in limited bursts (BUF) while also enduring failure at other stops (CLE, LAC). I think he’s got limitations (namely tight-window throwing and throw accuracy on lower-trajectory throws) but that shouldn’t be shocking, he’s certainly a QB that can win games with both his legs and his arm.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Like Fitzpatrick, I think Taylor (a verifiable NFL system QB, AKA “journeyman”) is a sidegrade over Nick Foles more than he is a verifiable upgrade. Unlike Fitzpatrick, Taylor isn’t coming off a career year and should be much cheaper to acquire than the 38 year old former Dolphin. I think $6M gets a deal done, but I wouldn’t make it — instead, I’d roll with Foles and draft a 4th round QB to learn and play BUQB in a pinch.

Sam Darnold/Jacoby Brissett

Jack Salo (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: He can make some stellar throws, but as we’ve seen with Trubisky, that’s never going to be enough. I think Darnold had a very long leash because he was on the Jets. They’ve had no reason to pursue other quarterbacks when he struggled (TD-INT ratio, mostly) because they were building from the ground up and perfectly content with picking in the top-5 every year. Now that the devil named Brady is out of the division, and the main competition is the (admittedly very talented) Buffalo Bills, the Jets see an opening and aren’t OK with below-average quarterback play anymore. He’ll be a cheap pickup for a team that already has a quarterback.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s a fringe-starter at quarterback and the Bears already have Nick Foles for that role. Either get a real starting quarterback or draft the best quarterback available.

Jack Salo (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: Just like former Belichick assistants in head coaching roles, don’t trust former Brady backups in starting quarterback roles.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Draft a quarterback.

Robert Zeglinski (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: Wasted talent (mostly by Adam Gase) and the curse of the USC quarterback strikes again.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s too much of a pet project at this point. Someone will give him a chance, regardless. I’m not in the mood to take on other teams’ damaged goods and unrealized potential and try to repurpose it as my own. Pass.

Robert Zeglinski (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: Jacoby “We couldn’t wait to sign nearly 40-year-old Phillip Rivers to replace him” Brissett

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s a bad player who lifts the ceiling of the Bears just enough into mediocrity.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: The third overall pick in 2018 regressed last year after showing some promise his second season. Was that a product of the offense surrounding him or is that who is his?

Should the Bears pursue him: That depends on the price and what other options the Bears have, but I wouldn’t be excited by this acquisition.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If the Bears could get him for a mid-round pick, then sure, but there’s no way in Hell I’d trade the 20th overall selection.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: He’s never really shown enough to be a clear cut QB1, and I can’t imagine anyone pays him to be that in 2021. His best bet would be to find a team with questions at quarterback or find a team that will have him be the placeholder until their rookie is ready to go. I could see him heading to the Jets, if they trade Darnold, to keep things warm for the rookie they pick in the draft.

Should the Bears pursue him: Why not... if plan A, B, C, D, E, and F all fall though, he could be an option.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I suppose a QB room with Brissett, Foles and a rookie wouldn’t be the worst thing we’ve seen in Chicago.

Bill Zimmerman (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: There’s no doubt that Darnold has been in a really crappy situation and still shows flashes from time to time. Watson was in a crappy situation and still put out great numbers. There’s no reason to think that Sam Darnold is anything more than a below average quarterback at best.

Should the Bears pursue him: No. This guy is headed to a bottom 10 starter in the league that bounces around from team to team every few years.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Adam Schefter did an interview and said if Darnold is available, his price is probably a late first round pick. That’s just gross. Just the thought of trading 20 for Darnold is giving me Rick Mirer flashbacks.

Bill Zimmerman (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: Brissett was a backup last year and that’s exactly what he should be.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If the Bears are looking for a new QB2, they could poke around and see if Brissett wants to backup in Chicago but beyond that, there’s no reason to think this will work.

Sam Householder (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: Now we’re moving into the lesser QBs. This is a reclamation project, which i’m not against but I’m not excited about it.

Should the Bears pursue him: Sure, but only if the price is right.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s had pretty much had a terrible situation from coaches, to scheme to surrounding talent, so a slight improvement in those categories could salvage Darnold’s career. I just don’t know the Bears are the place for “slight improvement” in those areas.

Sam Householder (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: OK back up, not much more.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: His numbers suggest he’s about the equivalent of Mitch Trubisky.

Ken Mitchell (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: Sam Darnold is a problem. We don’t need to add more problems.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I like Darnold, and I think he could possibly turn it around with a better team. We don’t need “I think he could possibly turn it around” we need “This player immediately elevates our team.”

Ken Mitchell (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: Brissett is a backup.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The Bears don’t need a backup.

Erik Duerrwaechter (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: Oh, great, another QB picked early who didn’t pan out with their respective franchise. Spunky, and has a great arm. But, just like Mitchell Trubisky, he’s not picking up the more technical aspects of the game.

Should the Bears pursue him: No. We don’t need any more “reverse the clock” projects.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s a bust. He might be had for cheap, yet why waste the time? If you’re going to fix the QB problem in Chicago, you have to be “all in.” No more assumptions.

Erik Duerrwaechter (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: He’s a guy you can gamble with a little. Understands the terminology for Matt Nagy’s offense thanks to his experience under Frank Reich with the Indianapolis Colts. At the same time, he’s not a QB you can fully trust with big games.

Should the Bears pursue him: Only as an “emergency” option. Meaning hardly anything else is working out.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He would be an underwhelming addition on paper. But is he the worst option? Not really. There are worse ideas on this list.

Robert Schmitz (Sam Darnold)

General thoughts: Ever since the 7-6 2017 Texas Longhorns took Sam Darnold’s USC team to a 17-17 overtime I’ve never personally liked Darnold, so I’m a terrible person to ask this question. I don’t think Darnold is an above-average processor, he’s obviously not extraordinarily mobile, and I don’t think his arm talent makes him “special” amongst a crowded NFL that features talents like Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson. Yes, the Jets are awful, but I don’t think that should wholly excuse Darnold either.

Should the Bears pursue him: No thanks.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I don’t think it’d take much more than a 2021 3rd round pick to get Darnold but it’s hard to tell with the current QB market where it is — in an unusual turn of events, there’s a LOT of QB talent available for trades, so I don’t know if that’ll drive Darnold’s price down until the moment they draft QB2 (likely Justin Fields). As far as his future in the league goes I think Darnold is a project for any team looking to acquire him and will likely need to do a lot of “unlearning” from the coaches he’s been with. Given Nagy and Pace’s situation, I don’t think the Bears have the time it’ll take to fix Darnold properly.

Robert Schmitz (Jacoby Brissett)

General thoughts: Brissett is a solid player, certainly a good NFL spot-starter, but I don’t think he’s anyone’s answer at QB either now or in the future. As a short-throwing QB who uses his legs to make plays his arm can’t, he’s limited in his ceiling and that’s often enough to ward teams off of committing to him long-term. Could he find a home in a West Coast offense? I’d say yes, but with Reich and the Colts moving on from him I feel like we’re getting a clear “no” from people paid to make these decisions. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t find a home in free agency, but I doubt it’s with the Bears.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I think Brissett fits right in with the other journeymen we’ve mentioned in this series (joining Fitzpatrick, Foles, Dalton, Taylor, and potentially Newton) from a talent perspective but may not be ready to take a BUQB deal just yet. I also don’t think he’s quite good enough to be the Bears’ starter only a year after getting his own starting job taken away from him, so I don’t think he’ll be a Bear in 2021.

Draft a Rookie QB

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Salo

Should the Bears draft a QB: Yes yes yes! There’s a ton of quarterback talent in this draft and the Bears would be foolish to not draft a quarterback. Two, maybe.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: I’m enamored with Zach Wilson. What can I say, I like BYU quarterbacks who write things on headbands. Wilson is elite talent, elevated the play of others around him in college, and makes good decisions with the football. He’s exactly what we’ve never seen from a Bears quarterback in the Super Bowl era.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Wilson will likely go in the top-10, so the Bears will have to give up a lot to move up and get him. I could see a team like the Panthers (draft pick #8) swapping picks with the Bears in exchange for a couple 2nd round picks and some late round sugar. I could see a scenario where the Texans trade Watson to the Dolphins for their own pick (among other things) at #3 overall and the top 3 picks in the draft go Lawrence, Fields, Wilson. If Wilson is gone long before the Bears are in position to trade up to select him, then work some magic to get tight end Kyle Pitts or a tackle outside the top-10 like Christian Darrisaw. Then take a quarterback like Mac Jones or Kyle Trask in the 2nd round.

Robert Zeglinski

Should the Bears draft a QB: It depends.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: If it somehow means Lawrence, Fields, or Wilson, sure.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If it means Lance, Jones, or Trask, no thanks. I’m a Bears fan. I know what an uninspiring quarterback looks like. I’m not interested in arguing about the merits of another one who isn’t good enough to even win a sole playoff game for five years. Don’t throw me into that loop again barring the addition of a guy who can really be a franchise player.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

Should the Bears draft a QB: Yes or at the very least get a UDFA or two in camp.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: I would love one of the top guys like Fields, Wilson, or Lance to slip, but I don’t see it happening. And while I’m higher on Mac Jones than some, I’m not sure I want to see the Bears take him at 20. If they don’t get a first round talent this year, then this is the year to grab a mid round guy and see what happens. Sure the odds don’t favor finding the next Russel Wilson in the third-round, or the next Kirk Cousins in the fourth-round, but the Bears haven’t even given themselves that chance because of their refusal to try.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Stick to their board, don’t reach for a guy just to get a QB in camp, and if nothing is a fit then sign a rookie UDFA. They probably won’t find a diamond in the rough, next franchise stud on day three or in the UDFA market, but if they can find and develop their own QB2 for a change that would be a win, plus it could lead to a future comp pick.

Bill Zimmerman

Should the Bears draft a QB: Of course they should. The question is, will they draft a quarterback when clearly George McCaskey has given them a win-now ultimatum.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: Obviously they can’t get Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson appears to be creeping into unattainable ground. And while I like Fields, I’m not sure I would give up the farm to move up to get him. I would for Wilson. Trey Lance and Mac Jones seem far more attainable. The issue is that Lance is raw and that doesn’t help Pace or Nagy in 2021. Jones might be more ready to play, but if somehow 5 QBs go in the top 10 or 12, I’m not sure I’d want the Bears to trade a future 1 or anything to move up to draft Jones. If they get a decent starter and use a midround pick on a quarterback, the guy I like is Jamie Newman. Has some issues and needs to be coached up, but he has a lot of talent for someone that could go in rounds 3-5.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Fans need to understand what type of trade the Bears would have to make to go get a quarterback. If they targeted a trade with Cincinnati at 5 to try and get a Wilson or Fields, they would probably have to trade a first, second, and third round pick this year and potentially a first round pick in 2022 as well. It’s a massive haul. To move up to 10 to get someone like Lance, they’d have to trade their second and third round pick this year and probably a third round pick in 2022. Committing to a rookie quarterback this year means emptying the tank for draft capital this year. Again, Pace and Nagy are on a win-now ultimatum, while drafting a QB is the best move for the franchise, is it one that these two will do knowing they probably need to win 10 games? I find it hard to believe.

Sam Householder

Should the Bears draft a QB: Yes.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: Zach Wilson isn’t a realistic option, even Trey Lance might be a pipe dream, so how about Mac Jones. Alabama QBs haven’t made much of an impression at the NFL level but at least Jones has accuracy and managed to facilitate to a lot of great weapons.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I mean it won’t work because the Bears can’t draft a QB to save their jobs and they’ve needed to do that for the better part of 75 years.

Ken Mitchell

Should the Bears draft a QB: Depends on who it is, and how much draft capital is used to get him.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: Absolutely (go for someone).

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The Bears should draft one quarterback every year until they have three strong players at the position. Every. Single. Year.

Erik Duerrwaechter

Should the Bears draft a QB: Absolutely, yes. If anything, trading up and drafting a QB early is my “Plan B” behind trading for Deshaun Watson. The idea to trade up for the sole right to draft Mitchell Trubisky in 2017 was never the wrong idea. Ryan Pace just picked the wrong player. If the Bears truly want to solve their problem long-term, they’ll find their guy in the draft.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: Zach Wilson and Trey Lance are the two players I’m targeting. They both are athletic phenoms who can maneuver and manipulate the pocket, make quick reads and decisions, and fire the ball with strong arms.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: They will need to prepare their roster for a young QB beforehand. Ensure Allen Robinson is back on a multi-year deal, get a few more weapons, and beef up that O-line. Then, go get a dependable veteran QB who’ll be a good mentor, preferably Alex Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick. Make sure you put the young QB in a position where they can actually succeed.

Robert Schmitz

Should the Bears draft a QB: Depends on who it is. I’m a big fan this year of Lawrence, Fields, Wilson, and Lance (in that order), but then think there’s a gap between Lance and Jones that feels pretty wide. I also think there’s a fairly high chance even Trey Lance is gone by #11, so I’m not sure if trading up to ~15 for Jones is worth it and definitely don’t see any value in drafting Trask (too immobile, arm too weak for my taste). With that in mind, I don’t think the Bears are in position to take a premium QB this year, and with that in mind I’d love to see them draft a project like Desmond Ridder if no other QB option materializes while taking an Offensive Tackle in the first round.

If yes, player name and general thoughts: Desmond Ridder, and I’m going entirely off of the opinion of other “draft guys” when I say that. I personally know nothing about the guy other than that he’s projected to go in the 3rd-4th round.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: This section is all about cost-benefit analysis, so while I love the idea of bringing in “a new 1st round QB”, I also know the pick has to be a good one for it to hold any weight. I worry about Jones’ ability to perform behind an OL in need of repair (like ours) and I have so little faith in Trask’s ability to translate (seems like Nick Foles with a weaker arm) that I’m left wondering if there will be a legitimate QB option available for the Bears at #20. The NFL is hungry for QBs right now. Starving. So I don’t see how Lance/Wilson make it past Jacksonville AND the Jets AND Miami AND Philly AND Detroit AND Carolina AND Denver AND San Francisco AND New England AND Washington. I just left out ~10 teams, some who may take a QB anyways, but was still able to name 10 potential QB-selecting teams that draft before ours — with that in mind, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Wilson or Lance to be available to us without a Carr-sized trade package to get the pick. Maybe Ryan Pace really would bide his time for a “big move” until then, but I don’t see it this year.


And finally, mercifully, we’re done (with part 1). I’m going to bed. See you tomorrow Bears fans, for what I’m sure will be another exciting day of trade rumors followed by some football game, the name of which currently escapes me. Good night all.

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