Bears

All of the Bears' coaching hires point toward one thing: Mitch Trubisky being QB1 in 2020

All of the Bears' coaching hires point toward one thing: Mitch Trubisky being QB1 in 2020

Back in October, Bears coach Dave Ragone had this to say about quarterback Mitch Trubisky: “With any quarterback that I’ve been around as a player or I’ve coached, you want to play to that person’s strengths or what the defense is essentially giving you per play.” 

On its face, it’s not exactly the most enlightening quote – it’s hard to see that being slapped on a poster for your middle school’s library any time soon. But considering Ragone’s role – and more importantly, his latest promotion to passing game coordinator – it’s worth revisiting that quote in the wake of the Bears’ latest coaching hires. 

In December, Matt Nagy said “I think I know Mitch better than anybody in this building, except maybe Dave Ragone.” Ragone and Trubisky’s close relationship has been well-documented, as is the case with most QB coaches and their students. John DeFilippo – who will take Ragone’s old job – was close with Nick Foles, and new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was close with Andy Dalton, etc.

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Read between the lines of these latest hires and you can see the same message the Bears have been trying to send all offseason, if not longer: Mitch Trubisky is their starting quarterback now, and Mitch Trubisky is going to be their starting quarterback next year. 

Now that the full staff is hired, it’s hard to look at the moves and not see an implicit endorsement of Trubisky. Ragone didn’t get the Bears’ OC job, as some people predicted he might, but after four years as the team’s QB coach, it’s nonetheless notable that he got promoted. His track record with Trubisky certainly deserves a long look, but personal politics shows up just as much in Halas Hall as it does in any other office space, and Ragone is clearly well-liked and respected with decision makers in Lake Forest. 

Next comes the hiring of DeFilippo, whose stock is undoubtedly lower than it was just a few years ago when he was a candidate for the Bears’ head coaching job that eventually went to Nagy. He’s still considered one of the league’s better QB coaches, though, and if you’re to believe some of the reports out there, he chose Trubisky and the Bears over other offers.

With DeFilippo in place, the offensive coaching tree breaks down somewhat similarly to what it did last year, when the Bears surrounded Trubisky with maybe too many enough coaches that OC Mark Helfrich could concentrate more heavily on run schemes. Between Nagy’s role, Ragone’s increased voice, and DeFillipo’s experience, the 2020 Trubisky Braintrust now looks armed and fully operational. 

And yeah, maybe that means DeFilippo was told something about the quarterback situation that we don’t know. Maybe he turned down other jobs because he knows he’s going to get one of the free agent reclamation projects out there.

But when the owner says that Mitch is The Guy, and the GM says Mitch is The Guy, and the Coach says Mitch is The Guy, maybe, just maybe, Mitch is the Guy. And when you promote the person closest to Trubisky while hiring multiple offensive coaches who already have said QB reclamation projects on their resume, that probably means Mitch is The Guy. 

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Raiders prepping to set the market for Tom Brady in free agency

Raiders prepping to set the market for Tom Brady in free agency

If the Bears have any interest in signing soon-to-be free-agent quarterback Tom Brady this offseason, they may have to be willing to commit beyond just the 2020 season for him.

According to longtime NFL writer Larry Fitzgerald, Sr., the Las Vegas Raiders are prepping to offer Brady a two-year, $60 million deal.

It's a steep price to pay regardless of Brady's resume largely because of his age; he'll be 43 at the start of next season. It's highly unlikely Ryan Pace would be interested in a multi-year deal for a player as close to the end as Brady, but the market will ultimately dictate what needs to be offered by teams who are serious about acquiring TB12.

If Brady wants to play beyond 2020 and is looking for a commitment from a team that extends into at least the 2021 season, his list of potential suitors is likely to shrink. But all it takes is one club willing to meet his asking price, and with Raiders coach Jon Gruden's affinity for established veteran quarterbacks, it seems like a logical match for both sides.

The Bears are expected to be aggressive in the quarterback market this offseason, whether it's via trade for someone like Bengals veteran Andy Dalton or in free agency with players like Marcus Mariota (Titans) and Teddy Bridgewater (Saints) presenting as attractive options.

Former second overall pick Mitch Trubisky has largely been a disappointment over his first three years in Chicago and is facing a make-or-break season in 2020. There's a chance he won't even begin training camp as the starter, depending on who the Bears court in free agency and the promises they make in order to sign him.

NFL free agency could be ‘potential chaos’ for available quarterbacks

NFL free agency could be ‘potential chaos’ for available quarterbacks

A plethora of NFL quarterbacks are set to hit the open market in the next few weeks in Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston, Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota and Case Keenum.

With at least nine in-demand signal-callers, the NFL could see a quarterback shakeup unparalleled in recent NFL history. According to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, there may be “more butts than seats.”

“In this looming game of quarterback musical chairs, I still don’t think we know whether when the music stops, there’s gonna be more butts than seats, or more seats than butts,” Florio said on NBC Sports’ PFT Live. “And there’s a chance that there’s gonna be a team that is left — because they wanted too long to have something lined up — they’re gonna be left looking around saying ‘Who the hell’s our quarterback for 2020?’”

Based on that list of quarterbacks, teams that could have a QB vacancy to fill this winter include the Patriots, Cowboys, Saints, Buccaneers, Chargers and Titans. There are nine quarterbacks on that list, though Mariota and Keenum may be viewed more as backups by prospective suitors. Therefore, you could have six teams in need of a quarterback and seven on the open market.

The former figure could increase if teams like the Bears or Raiders look to upgrade the quarterback position in free agency. In that case, perhaps there are more “chairs” than “butts” this offseason, meaning some teams may find themselves without a starting quarterback entering the NFL draft.

In that scenario, a team may be inclined to trade for a QB, such as Bengals’ Andy Dalton. How this chaotic situation plays out will determined in the coming weeks, but what’s already certain is this offseason’s free agency could be a frenzy.

“We’ve never had anything even close to this, by way of potential chaos for quarterbacks in free agency and really through the draft,” Florio said. “Who knows how it’s all gonna play out? There’s gonna be a major, major shakeup, potentially. It’s gonna be somewhere between nothing changes and complete and total chaos, but I think it’s gonna be closer to complete and total chaos.”