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QB Window Shopping: A WCG Round Table (Part 2)

The second part of our look at the 2021 NFL QB market, with an eye toward the Chicago Bears.

Having a good QB would be a true Bears throwback.

If you haven’t seen Part 1 of our QB Window Shopping Round Table, you can check it out HERE. Long story short, we planned this round table out before the Carson Wentz trade reports broke, as a way to look at the available QB options for the Bears. Since so much time had been put into it between everyone sharing their thoughts, and me slaving over a graphics tablet for 3 days, we decided to run with it anyway. It was meant to be a multi-part series, but since a trade may be imminent, it’s being run as 2 LONG parts. Enjoy!

Dak Prescott

Jack Salo

General thoughts: Dak has outplayed his draft position (4th round) by far, and it really says something about his play that he made the Pro Bowl the year after Dez Bryant was released. Prescott is smart with the football, and where his abilities fall short his game management skills consistently make up for it. I’m very curious to see how Dak fares without Zeke lined up behind him. They work well in tandem, that’s for sure.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes, but only if they can unload Khalil Mack’s contract.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If the Cowboys can’t reach a long-term deal this offseason, and I don’t think they will, then they will probably tag Prescott and trade him to the highest bidder. With Dak likely to reel in a contract after the trade in the ballpark of $40 per year, the only way the Bears can pay both him and Khalil Mack is by sucking at a lot of other positions. I don’t know that I trust Prescott as much as, say, Watson to play well without talent around him. I would probably pull a Jon Gruden and cry if the Bears traded Mack, but if it means they sign a franchise quarterback for the first time in my lifetime then I suppose I’ll live.

Robert Zeglinski

General thoughts: In that tier right below the superstars and stars, Prescott should be far more revered and respected than his record suggests. It’s genuinely mind-blowing the Cowboys don’t want to pay him what he’s worth. He’s a diamond.

Should the Bears pursue him: If Ryan Pace hasn’t been phone-bombing Jerry Jones and tampering directly with Prescott’s agent in potential free agency every day already, he’s beyond saving.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: A checkbook and a willingness to leave an individual check blank.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

General thoughts: I’ve referenced it before, but Dak was on pace for the most passing yards in a single season in the history of the NFL before getting injured. The former 4th-round pick is going to cash in somewhere.

Should the Bears pursue him: He’s a legit franchise QB, so yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Money, and lot’s of it, but with the cap set to go down a bit, and with his price tag likely to be north of $35 million per year, there’s no way the Bears could make it work. Plus I can’t see him leaving Dallas.

Bill Zimmerman

General thoughts: Dak is a borderline top ten quarterback. Many people will say he’s excelled behind a great offensive line, plenty of weapons at wide receiver and a great running back behind him. That’s all true, and maybe that means he wouldn’t throw for 5,000 yards in Chicago, but he’d throw for 4,000 with 25 touchdowns. If you watch Dak, he can play the position.

Should the Bears pursue him: Of course.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If the Cowboys ended up with a top 5 pick, I think there was a good chance they’d look at a new quarterback rather than pay Dak the contract he’s going to receive, but the fact is they didn’t. They aren’t in a position to get a young quarterback and they certainly aren’t going to upgrade their quarterback position in free agency. There’s just no reason to think Dallas is going to move him. If they did, I think at a minimum, they’ll use the non-exclusive franchise tag which will force any team to sign him to give up 2 first round picks. If Dallas somehow went that route, the Bears need to break the bank and push a bunch of money into the future and lock Dak down long term.

Sam Householder

General thoughts: I think there’s some that are not as high on him or don’t think he can lift players around him, but to that I say look at Cowboys with him and without him last year. Their offense was never the same after he got hurt. I think he can be at least a Very Good quarterback.

Should the Bears pursue him: I definitely think so.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Cap space. He’s going to get paid and handsomely. It’s going to take a lot. The Bears are going to have to say good bye to some beloved players. It might not work because he might not be the perfect QB for Nagy’s system. I am not sure he’d thrive throwing 30-35 times a game.

Ken Mitchell

General thoughts: Dak will be a Cowboy next year.

Should the Bears pursue him: Sure, but it’s a waste of time.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Jerry is not letting Dak out of town. Not happening.

Erik Duerrwaechter

General thoughts: People want to compare his availability and situation to Drew Brees back in 2006. The two could not be any further apart; Brees started and produced big numbers in all 16 games played in 2005, and he was fully healthy prior to signing his deal with the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, Dak Prescott is coming off from one of the most gruesome injuries I have seen in quite a while. Drew Brees “only” tore his ACL in his stay with the (then) San Diego Chargers. Dak, on the other hand, suffered a compound fracture and “dislocation” in his left ankle. That’s when the bone is sticking through the skin. I am not 100% convinced that 1) he’ll be medically cleared before the beginning of the 2021 regular season and 2) that the Dallas Cowboys will even let him leave without the exclusive franchise tag being applied. If, and I mean the biggest “IF” he is deemed medically fit for full duty, then the Bears should pursue this borderline-elite player. But he’s also by far the riskiest option.

Should the Bears pursue him: Only if they can get confirmation on his recovery status, and if they also acquire a solid “Plan B” to back up Dak. No, I don’t trust Nick Foles sitting on the bench behind Dak Prescott.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Money. Lots, and lots, of money. Potentially draft picks, if they become desperate enough to pursue him after getting franchise tagged by the Cowboys. They also need to make sure their O-Line is beefed up, as they do not need to risk Dak’s health. The O-line needs an upgrade or two regardless who’s signed, but especially Dak Prescott.

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Honestly I’ve never known what to think of Dak Prescott — analytics say he’s an elite QB, but in his last ~2 seasons his offense has seemed to come up short against teams that aren’t verifiably bad (2020 Browns pre-4th quarter, 2019 Bears, 2019 NE, 2019 NO). Even so, I think his gaudy yardage totals and ability to make plays off-script have shown he’s a very good QB. Sure, he’s had quality players around him, but that shouldn’t diminish the skill he’s displayed throughout his career. He’s young, he’s hitting his prime, and he’s a great option at QB for the Bears if he’s available.

Should the Bears pursue him: If he’s available, absolutely.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The best part about acquiring Dak is that it theoretically only takes money to do so. You don’t need to trade first or second rounders for him, you just need to pay a hefty contract... likely in the range of 45-50M per year. Thankfully I think Dak would be willing to trade long-term guaranteed money for a smaller 2021 cap hit if it came to that (because the cap spikes ~40M in 2022), so in theory the Bears could lock Prescott in for ~22M this year and ~48M per year over the next 5 years with likely 4 of those years guaranteed. But while this is great in theory, in practice this is only possible if the Cowboys let Prescott hit free agency. Given the Cowboys fell from Top 5 in the draft to #10 in a late season rally, I doubt they’ll let him go.

Derek Carr

Jack Salo

General thoughts: Fearless. Carr generally plays above average football regardless of the defense he’s facing, and that’s something I really like about him. He’s accurate and usually isn’t the reason the Raiders lose. An intangible I don’t always see out of him is elevating the play of others around him. He does his job well though.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Carr is due for a new contract, and the Bears need to be sure they pay the right guy. I can’t hammer this enough, draft a quarterback. Even if it’s a reach. Draft a damn quarterback. If he stinks, draft a quarterback again the next year.

Robert Zeglinski

General thoughts: Needs a star-studded team to succeed. Brett Favre arm with an Alex Smith mentality.

Should the Bears pursue him: No, an unworthy stopgap that will only lead to familiar disappointment.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Carr will probably garner two top-40 picks in any trade. I don’t know about you, but for a team that needs at least three starters on the offensive line, another pass-catching safety valve, a linebacker who can run, and still, a pass rusher, among other things, I hate surrendering top-40 picks for non-stars and non field-tilters.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

General thoughts: He’s a borderline top 10 guy, and while you can certainly win games with a guy like that, he’s not a guy that you never look to upgrade from. At 30-years old you can ride him out for a few years, then have him be the bridge QB to get you to the next guy. Kind of like the Chiefs did with Alex Smith.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yep.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: This would be the most likely scenario for the Bears if they’re looking to upgrade. The Bears should not overpay for him, but if they flip this year’s 1st round pick and they get at least 5 above average years of QB play from Carr, then that’s not a bad trade.

Bill Zimmerman

General thoughts: Carr is a top 15 quarterback in the league. He’s good, he isn’t great. But you can win with Derek Carr. Carr has his flaws, he’s not a guy that’s going to stand in the pocket and take the big hit, he gets rid of the ball too quickly if the pressure is there, but he has a great arm talent, knows where to put the football and would be the best quarterback Chicago has seen since Sid Luckman.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Carr has a bad reputation around the league because the Raiders don’t win a lot of football games, but that’s because the Raiders have been a horrendous football team. Even with Gruden there the last few years, he hasn’t made much of an impact in terms of improving the roster.

Sam Householder

General thoughts: He’s not perfect, but he’s good enough. Always remember that the bar is so long that almost anyone is an upgrade. Carr might not get you all hot and bothered like the guys above, but his career numbers would own the Bears’ franchise record book.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yeah, he’d be a good 1C option after Watson and Dak or a great Plan B.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: It will probably take a couple picks, but maybe not a first, but then again the Stafford trade has shown that almost every QB is worth a premium. It might not work out because the Bears could easily end up overpaying for what Carr is, which is probably Cutler-level; good enough to win some with but not good enough to win you it all on his own.

Ken Mitchell

General thoughts: Would be a huge upgrade over any Bears quarterback since Sid Luckman.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The Bears would simply need to find a way to get him here without breaking the trade bank. Carr can play.

Erik Duerrwaechter

General thoughts: The Bears have, allegedly, been sniffing around Derek Carr since 2019. Las Vegas Raiders head coach and De-Facto Grand Puba Jon Gruden, also, isn’t the best decision-maker with roster-related decisions or trades. Carr is a guy you can win games with, who also won’t cost as much as Watson or even Matthew Stafford, if you’re willing to accept his average-to-good level of play being a complete upgrade over what the Bears had in the last two years.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes, he’s a realistic trade option for Chicago. You can acquire Carr for a relative bargain, and his contract is manageable to where the Bears won’t need to slash a bunch of their players. In a team that’s ready to “win now,” Derek Carr would make a great deal of sense, and it’s possibly a move that has been years in the making. Khalil Mack and Derek Carr are close friends, for what it’s worth.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Some draft picks, maybe a pair of 2nd rounders, and a player. It’s a flooded QB market, and on top of this, I truly believe the speculation that Jon Gruden has been shopping Derek Carr for years. Carr isn’t a fit for what Gruden wants in his QB; however, Carr is a fit for what Nagy wants. I think a deal could come together quickly between both sides.

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Carr is a goofy QB to evaluate — he’s got incredible arm talent, surprising mobility, and a fast-working brain, but he also struggles to read the whole field (I call him a “1-2-3 reader” because he consistently looks at his first 2 options then hits the checkdown) and his fundamentals are iffy, leading to random inaccuracy. Carr can do anything, but he’s not consistent enough in anything to be a true superstar. If you don’t think he’s a “Franchise QB” then you likely think there’s less than 10 existing franchise QBs — he’s a perfect example of a “good, not great” player.

Should the Bears pursue him: Sure, why not.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: The biggest problem in making a move for Derek Carr is that I don’t think he’s available. Why would the Raiders, who draft #17 this year, move off of a cheap (~22M cap hit) high-performing QB that outperformed his own annual averages last year and made Nelson Aghalor a legitimate #2 WR? I get that they could move off of him and that you never know with Jon Gruden, but we went through this Carrousel last year too and he remained in Vegas all the same. I’m willing to give up CHI’s 1st round pick and next year’s 3rd personally, but I don’t think that’s enough to move a QB the Raiders likely don’t want to move.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jack Salo

General thoughts: The fact that this guy is still in the league is an argument for why the NFL is low on quality quarterbacks. He’s played for 8 teams in his 16-year career. He obviously knows enough about the game of football to keep getting jobs. I could see him as a commentator/analyst soon.

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: An all-time journeyman with a nickname worthy of a legend.

Should the Bears pursue him? Yes.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work? In the event a superstar is not under center, Fitzpatrick could steward a team not ready to win and let it restrengthen its foundation without feeling bad about a lack of competition.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

General thoughts: Besides Dak, Fitzpatrick is the best free agent on the market. He’s still capable of starting in the NFL, but he needs a strong supporting cast to get the most of his talents.

Should the Bears pursue him: No, but...

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Fitzpatrick is basically a flashier version of Nick Foles. Both are high end backups that can still start if you need them to, but he’d be redundant in Chicago. But with that being said, it would be exciting to have Fitzmagic on the Bears.

Bill Zimmerman

General thoughts: Ryan Fitzpatrick always seems like the best QB available of that “other group” of quarterbacks. He can play a decent game, he will have some huge games, he will throw some crippling interceptions, fans will always enjoy his personality but in the end, if Ryan Fitzpatrick is your quarterback, you know he isn’t your answer at quarterback.

Should the Bears pursue him: Maybe.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If Ryan Fitzpatrick is on the Bears roster, that means their pursuit of a veteran didn’t work out. Hopefully the Bears were able to ship Nick Foles to the Colts or Broncos or someone and you have Fitzpatrick on your roster and go for a rookie quarterback. A QB like Trey Lance needs to sit for awhile because he’s quite raw, a Fitzpatrick/Lance combo certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Bears.

Sam Householder

General thoughts: Great beard, seems like a cool guy.

Should the Bears pursue him: Nah

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I mean, it kind of surprising he hasn’t been a Bear at this point, but we know what he is; streaky and turnover prone. The thing is though the flashes of brilliance never actually lead to anything.

Ken Mitchell

General thoughts: Fitzmagic is getting old.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If the Bears were to sign Fitzpatrick, they would win some games with him. He’s not terrible. It’s also just punting on the future, because they would also lose some games because of him.

Erik Duerrwaechter

General thoughts: He’s Nick Foles on (figurative) steroids. He’s also a great mentor, and teammate, someone who would mesh well with the Bears’ locker room. With that said, he’s a journeyman, and should not be signed with the intent of naming him the unquestioned starter.

Should the Bears pursue him: Sure, as a back-up and mentor for a young QB to develop.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Just a little bit of cap space. He won’t be expensive whatsoever.

Robert Schmitz

General thoughts: Ryan Fitzpatrick is a ball of fun. He’s a first-read QB who regularly throws the ball into tight windows and consistently gives his teammates chances to make plays downfield with deep throws of all varieties. He’s got solid velocity in his 38 year old arm, he’s surprisingly mobile, and he’s as tough as they come physically, but eventually age will catch up to him and it’s hard to know when. He’s a journeyman in every sense in the word and slots well into “see it -> throw it” systems, so I’m not surprised he succeeded with Arians in Tampa. Not sure how he’d fit into a West Coast scheme, but that assumes the Bears stick to West Coast.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Chances are signing Fitzpatrick will cost $10-$12M if the QB market works like it usually would, so signing Fitzpatrick actually makes a lot of sense if the Bears see value in bringing him on. Trouble is that I don’t think Fitzpatrick’s “Just throw it” style fits with what the Bears want to do offensively, and while his accuracy and grit could certainly add to Chicago’s QB production I don’t know if he’d be enough to move the needle over other options. Put another way, why pay for Fitzpatrick when you could just play the “journeyman system QB” you already have on your roster (Nick Foles) while upgrading talent around him?

Cam Newton/Andy Dalton

Jack Salo (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: I would have been happy if the Bears went after Cam Newton this past offseason, but that probably would have nailed the coffin shut on Trubisky and I don’t think they were ready to do that at the time. Now Cam is going to get paid to be a starter somewhere.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

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

Jack Salo (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: Dalton has had an interesting, and very literal career arc. He came into the league as a 2nd-round pick, earned a starting role his rookie year and was serviceable, making the Pro Bowl as an alternate. His play improved every year of his rookie contract, and the Bengals were a consistent playoff team while he developed. Then he hit his peak, struggled, was benched and eventually replaced. He tried to be the Cowboys’ savior last year when Dak went down and just wasn’t it. Low ceiling, low floor.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

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

Robert Zeglinski (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: Genuinely one of the most talented signal callers to ever play. It’s a crime he probably never wins a Super Bowl, but you can’t tell the story of the NFL without him.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I don’t think he has any juice left. I felt differently last year, but the man is cooked.

Robert Zeglinski (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: The Red Rifle is mostly shooting pellets these days (if he wasn’t already before).

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s a backup, and definitely not the steward of a team that wants to appear like it’s competing. If you want a top-five pick next spring, you sign him and start him, which isn’t the worst idea.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: I’m not sure Cam has ever made it all the way back from his injuries, and if he has, then I’m not sure if his struggles last year were due to diminished skills or New England not having a very good offense around him.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I would have been fine with him last offseason, but after watching him struggle with the Patriots I think his days as a full time starter are over.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: Dalton has been a decent QB for years now, and he could still be a decent option somewhere, but I think he’s content being a backup at this stage in his career.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Dalton would be another redundant pick up with Foles still in Chicago.

Bill Zimmerman (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: Cam Newton still had flashes of the old Cam Newton. But too many times in New England we saw that the Cam Newton from the last couple of years is the reality of who he is now. Cam probably has too much pride to finish his career bouncing around teams as a backup quarterback and he doesn’t seem to have the physical ability anymore to start and make an impact.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: It won’t work because Cam can’t elevate a roster anymore.

Bill Zimmerman (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: I thought Dalton was going to be the quarterback that ended up in Chicago last year and reports were the Bears definitely poked Cincinnati last year. Dalton didn’t have a good year his final year in Cincinnati and he didn’t look great last year in Dallas.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace put their jobs on the line with Andy Dalton, they deserve to be fired.

Sam Householder (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: Washed.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick can’t get anything more out of him than they did, what makes you think the Chicago Bears’ band of merry idiots could?

Sam Householder (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: He’s fine. Nothing special.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He was the best of the post-Dak bunch in Dallas but I was never enamored from what I saw. I don’t see a vast improvement over what we got from Foles. An improvement? Sure, but not enough that I’m saying “sign me up for that.”

Ken Mitchell (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: Cam Newton can no longer throw a football

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Nothing would make 2021 Cam Newton work.

Ken Mitchell (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: Dalton would probably be OK in Chicago, but... that just doesn’t move the needle any. He’s not better than Foles, and we don’t need two people of that talent level on the team.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Redundant skills, significant paycheck in a tight-finance year? Just no.

Erik Duerrwaechter (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: He’s toast. Not even “the great” Josh McDaniels, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots could fully revive his career. His attitude has always remained top-notched. At this point, though, he’ll need to accept his fate as a player who’s likely destined to sign with a new team strictly as a backup.

Should the Bears pursue him: Not outright, no. If you get your new starter, and the market becomes thin on quality backups, then “maybe.”

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Whatever happened to the “Cam Newton for MVP” headlines in 2020? That hot start to his season fizzled out quickly once teams plugged up the run and dared the Patriots to go vertical. He couldn’t be a more poor fit in Nagy’s offense than he is right now.

Erik Duerrwaechter (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: I was surprised to see the Bears not acquire Andy Dalton last offseason. The fact they valued Nick Foles over Andy Dalton — Bill Lazor coached both players — should tell us how they view him.

Should the Bears pursue him: Nope.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: We have to strive for improvement. If the plan is Andy Dalton, you might as well run everything back with Mitchell Trubisky under center.

Robert Schmitz (Cam Newton)

General thoughts: Cam Newton was a superstar and a league-changer, and I’m convinced that his time in the league is part of why mobility is so highly valued in modern QBs. His MVP run was special and he was one of the NFL’s most marketable players for a reason — he was great, if unconventional, and his mental talent playing the game has never gotten enough attention. All of that said, the post-injury Cam Newton that we saw in New England is no longer “SuperCam” and I’m not convinced he’ll be much better than other journeyman going forward. His running ability is still dangerous and his 2020 receiving corps was notably abysmal but I’d look elsewhere for a true starter if I was the Bears.

Should the Bears pursue him: It depends?

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Of all the journeymen we’ve talked about in this series, I think Fitzpatrick and Newton make the most sense. Newton brings a stronger running threat than Fitz does and Fitz brings more deep passing, but both would fit well in the PA-heavy passing system the Bears ran near the end of the year. My guess is that Newton won’t be looking for a second consecutive 1-year deal though, so I imagine he’ll look for a 2 year, $7.5M deal at least — if the Bears want to offer that and roll with Foles/Newton, I’m not gonna get upset (though I am going to plan for a new coach/GM in 2022)

Robert Schmitz (Andy Dalton)

General thoughts: The sun has set on Andy Dalton’s career — he’s a backup going forward and the Bears already have one of those. Right now there’s nothing in Dalton’s game that makes him “special” or separates him from the rest of the NFL, so I don’t see any value there.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: At this point in his career (and based on what we saw in Dallas) I’m not sure Andy Dalton is appreciably better than Foles/Taylor/Fitzpatrick. With that in mind, he’s yet another guy I’d rather see Foles play over than be brought in as Chicago’s 2021 starter. Would much rather Pace/Nagy “sleep in the bed they made” with Foles than sell the franchise on an equivalent player being “the answer”.

Alex Smith/Joe Flacco

Jack Salo (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: Well-deserved Comeback Player of the Year winner. If the Bears acquired Smith, could they bring Zach Miller back as well? That would be tissue-worthy.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

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

Jack Salo (Joe Flacco)

General thoughts: It blows my mind sometimes that Joe Flacco, a Super Bowl MVP who’s started over 150 games in his career, signed with the Jets to be a backup last year. He keeps getting beat out by young talent, and I think if the Bears went after Flacco, dumped Foles, and drafted a quarterback then he would again lose his job to a youngin.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

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

Robert Zeglinski (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: Would’ve been Aaron Rodgers if he ended up in Green Bay. (Just kidding)

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I don’t think he can move anymore and also, he’s not a fun quarterback to watch. If the Bears should be poor for a year, and they should, I at least want them to have a quarterback who makes it interesting, for better or worse.

Robert Zeglinski (Joe Flacco)

General thoughts: E-L-I-T-E.

Should the Bears pursue him: Come on now.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: See above.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: I think his comeback from injury was fantastic, and he showed he could still play a little, but he’ll be 37 in a few months and he has a near $25 million cap hit in 2021.

Should the Bears pursue him: No, but he would be able to run exactly what Matt Nagy wants.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Unless Washington cuts him or takes a contract back in a trade, I can’t see the Bears pursuing him.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (Joe Flacco)

General thoughts: He has to be close to retirement, right?

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Another redundant option with Foles still on the roster, but if the Bears somehow find a suitor for Foles, then maybe Flacco could be the veteran QB2.

Bill Zimmerman (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: Alex Smith was a wonderful story this year, but it’s also very clear that the quality quarterback we saw in Kansas City is gone.

Should the Bears pursue him: Not as a starter.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If the Bears manage to bring in a quality starting quarterback and trade Nick Foles. I’d love to see Alex Smith in Chicago as a QB2 and I have a feeling Matt Nagy would love to see it too.

Sam Householder (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: Washed.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: He’s old and he’s basically done. His injuries robbed him of what mobility he had left. He could execute Nagy’s offense, but I think it would be like Foles level without a better OL in front of him.

Sam Householder (Joe Flacco)

General thoughts: He’s had a great career and he’s a walking miracle.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Flacco was done two years ago in Denver, why would I want to see more of him now?

Ken Mitchell (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: I hope Alex celebrates that he was able to come back and start in this league again after his hideous injury, and since he did that retires this offseason.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Alex should retire and turn his eyes towards coaching.

Ken Mitchell (Joe Flacco)

General thoughts: See Alex Smith, minus the injury.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Stick a fork in Joe, he’s done.

Erik Duerrwaechter (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: Alex Smith is a dark horse candidate to consider for the Bears. Ultimately, if everything works to how I’d fix the QB situation, he’s my #1 target for the top backup. He already knows Matt Nagy quite well, has produced good numbers in said system, and is savvy enough to adjust his own playing style within the new playbook. I can’t say enough as to how hard of a worker he is, how good of a teammate he is, and how much quality experience he can pass onto the young QB he’s tasked with mentoring.

Should the Bears pursue him: Yes. It also won’t surprise me if, eventually, we see Alex Smith interview for coaching jobs once he’s retired.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: In the worst case, we’re looking at a late conditional draft pick, or maybe a one-for-one swap of Nick Foles for Alex Smith. Washington appears prepared to move on from Alex Smith, and may just release him. So, in that case, a veteran minimum contract with similar incentives to what we saw with Nick Foles.

Erik Duerrwaechter (Joe Flacco)

General thoughts: He’s also toast. He just needs to retire.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Why would the Bears pursue Joe Flacco? Or, rather, why should the Bears pursue Joe?

Robert Schmitz (Alex Smith)

General thoughts: Smith’s comeback story is amazing, but once you sit down and grade his play for what it is it’s clear the 37 year old Football Teamer was “just okay” on the whole. His mobility has gotten limited with age, he throws the ball short more often than not, and while he was absolutely the engine that drove the Washington Football Team into the playoffs I’m just not sure that’s saying much given the state of the 2020 NFC LEast. Again, did Smith play at a backup level? Absolutely not. But I don’t think he was a top 25 QB and that’s certainly not a player worth trading for.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Chances are Smith could get moved for a 2nd round pick, as ridiculous as that sounds, but I think that given his $23M contract and his “just okay” 2020 play that’d be way too much to pay for a QB that’s only going to get older and more run down. WAS would be happy to unload the contract, I’m sure, but Chicago should stay away. Yet another player that “playing Foles” is probably a better option than.

Robert Schmitz (Joe Flacco)

General thoughts: ELITE. Jokes aside, he’s an old-school strong pocket QB who’s had his day in the sun and turns 36 next year. 3 years ago he might creep into the “journeyman” category, but now I think he’s a clear backup whose arm is fading.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: Shouldn’t take much more than the $1.5M the Jets offered him last year to bring him to Chicago, but you’re only doing that if Foles is starting. At that point, just draft a rookie to sit behind Nick.

The ECD Special

(ECD added in a couple extra names, because he likes to give me more work.)

Jalen Hurts

General thoughts: He’s the one trade target nobody is talking about. Let me cue you all in on a well known secret...Philly isn’t trading Carson Wentz. They literally hired their new coaching staff from Indy to bring Frank Reich’s style back into the Eagles. If anything, Jalen Hurts will be the QB traded out from Philly, and he could be a fantastic option to build around. His current level of pocket awareness, or a lack thereof, is a little concerning. That can improve with time in the NFL. He’s got the spark, strong arm, and bold decision making to be a high caliber starter in the pros. All he needs is a chance.

Should the Bears pursue him: Absolutely, yes. The only reasons why I don’t have him as my top option are 1) I think the QBs in the 2021 class can be even better and 2) Deshaun Watson.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: If the Bears move to trade for Jalen Hurts, they will need to consider a premium draft pick. A second rounder won’t cut it. Brett Favre was traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Green Bay Packers in 1992 for one 1st round pick after just one season as the Falcons’ QB. I’m so-so on offering a first round pick, maybe a 2021 2nd rounder and a 2022 conditional pick which can be as high as a 1st if Hurts turns into a surefire stud. He’s on his rookie contract, so the Bears won’t need to worry about cap space.

Jameis Winston

General thoughts: Oh where do I even begin....the former league leader in passing yards (and interceptions) has gone from 1st overall pick to backup. There are far too many reasons to list as to why he’s a backup. 30-for-30 Winston has such a ridiculous arm, and evasiveness in the pocket, with a central processor unit in his head that needs a serious revamp. His decision-making both on and off the field are horrendous.

Should the Bears pursue him: Hell no. Don’t even consider him.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: First of all, let’s address his antics away from the gridiron. Dating back to 2013 Jameis Winston has been in trouble with the law. From simplistic cases of stupidity involving damages just under $5000 to an apartment complex with a BB gun in 2013, to the notorious Publix crab legs incident of 2014, to the far more severe sexual assault allegations — he’s faced two seperate cases since 2015 — he’s a person who refuses to grow up and set a better example. Halas Hall does not need to bring Winston into their offices.

(Robert Scmitz decided to pile on as well...)

Gardner Minshew

General thoughts: Evaluating Minshew has taught me a lot about how hard QB is and the tools it requires because Minshew has every tool you could ask for (touch on his throws, consistent accuracy and plus ball placement, the ability to rifle through reads, even a surprising amount of mobility) except for one: arm strength/throw velocity. Unfortunately, his lack of arm strength alone bumps him from “really good potential starter” to “14 year backup with no real starting potential” because it means you can play Cover 3 against him all game and dare him to make the tight-window throws he doesn’t want to make. This is exactly what happened to him against Miami just this last year, and while Minshew certainly can slice and dice up a defense when given the chance to do so (IND, TEN wave hello) the teams that dared him to abandon touch-throwing often locked him down.

Should the Bears pursue him: No.

What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I think there’s a chance Minshew is available for cheaper than some realize due to the Jags’ #1 overall pick, but I don’t think acquiring him would move the Bears’ needle enough to justify the price paid (4th round pick). I could make a joke here about having acquired enough Jaguar QBs for the time being, but I’ll just say that Minshew isn’t a good enough starting option to justify price and there are cheaper backup options available. Play Foles, draft a raw talent.


And that is all she wrote. Sure, much of this is probably a moot point, but... I don’t actually have a but. It was done, so we put it out. I had some fun making the jersey swaps, and everyone got to share their thoughts on the QB market. Hopefully you all enjoy it as well, regardless of what may or may not happen with a Carson Wentz trade. Take it easy everyone.

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