March 15, 2021 - Earlier today on the NFL Network, Ian Rapoport reported that the Chicago Bears were one of a couple teams showing “significant” interest in free agent quarterback Andy Dalton, but he followed that up by saying the Bears are interested in every available quarterback, so I dismissed it as just the usual free agency rumor buzz.
But just moments ago, the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs Tweeted that the “next QB domino to fall could be Andy Dalton, and one league source said he believes the Red Rifle could be headed to the Bears.”
Biggs, who has covered the Bears for years, has been spot on with his reports of late, so if he’s putting this out there it’s a report I believe. Biggs also reported tonight that his sources tell him the Bears are still in on a possible Russell Wilson trade.
Whether adding Dalton comes to fruition or not remains to be seen, but with Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick both signing new deals, the Bears may want to ensure they have a veteran with starting experience in their back pocket while they still negotiate with the Seattle Seahawks about Wilson.
The only new development in that situation is that Seattle may have a plan B ready if they do trade Wilson. According to a report from Pat Leonard from the New York Daily News, the Seahawks could have interest in Sam Darnold of the New York Jets. It’s been reported that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll really likes Darnold, and he has been quoted talking him up in the past.
If the Bears do sign Dalton, that wouldn’t necessarily mean they are done adding at the position, as he could be signing on as insurance if the Seahawk talks continue to drag on, and also if they can’t upgrade until draft weekend.
Current Bears QB Nick Foles has been linked as a possibility in a trade with the Broncos to help mentor Drew Lock, so if he is traded there’d be an opening for a vet in the Bears QB room.
Chicago’s quarterback situation is fluid, and while the Bears are keeping all their options open, they also understand how critical it is to improve at the position.
Dalton wouldn’t be a significant enough of an improvement for head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace to take to the McCaskey family.
March 16, 2021 - UDPATED: Biggs was on the Score on Tuesday morning and he clarified some things surrounding this Dalton situation and he also sent out the following Tweet.
We'll see what shakes out.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 16, 2021
3 things to remember:
1) Lots of folks have used the Bears in QB talks already (see the Wentz situation)
2) Adding Dalton would not preclude them from then trading for a QB
3) Absent a massively expensive trade, there isn't a great option out there
Biggs said that a front office guy from another team is who gave him the Dalton “could be” headed to the Bears thing, so perhaps that was Dalton’s people floating the rumor to drive his market up. Everyone knows the Bears are desperate for a QB, so getting that talk started makes sense from Dalton’s perspective.
But if the Dalton thing had legs, Biggs said he wouldn’t necessarily be the Bears only add at the position.
Biggs also said the Bears are looking to add a better tackle to go along with a new QB, but wasn’t entirely sure it would be Trent Williams.
He said a Foles trade would be tough based on his contract.
UPDATED AGAIN: Andy Dalton is a Bear... (link)