Bears QB Big Board, 5.0: Nick Foles isn't the answer

Bears QB Big Board, 5.0: Nick Foles isn't the answer

We learned quite a bit about the potential free-agent quarterback landscape in Week 13 as Andy Dalton (Bengals) made his return to Cincinnati's starting lineup while Nick Foles (Jaguars) was benched in favor of Gardner Minshew in a move that may all but end his tenure as a Jaguar.

Foles' 2019 season hasn't gone the way he or the Jaguars planned when he signed a four-year, $88 million contract with the team last offseason. His dead-cap figure of nearly $34 million in 2020 makes the transaction even worse considering it's more than likely Minshew will be dubbed the quarterback of the future assuming he finishes this season with the same kind of fanfare he began it with.

Minshew started eight games for the Jaguars while Foles recovered from a collarbone injury and managed to keep the team at .500 during that stretch. He's thrown 14 touchdowns to just five interceptions and has greatly outplayed his sixth-round draft value. Plus, he's an extremely marketable personality who the team could (and should) build its identity around.

As a result, the Jaguars will likely make Foles available on the discount trade market in an effort to rid their books of some of his cap hit, but has he shown anything in his limited action this season (or at any time other than his seemingly miraculous runs with the Eagles) to justify targeting him? In Week 13 against the Buccaneers, Foles completed just 50% of his passes for 93 yards and an interception. It was a brutal outing.

It's hard imagining a scenario where Ryan Pace would add Foles to the roster via trade this offseason unless it's simply to stoke the fire in Mitch Trubisky's belly with a smoke-and-mirrors quarterback battle in training camp.

Meanwhile, Dalton led the Bengals to their first win of 2019 and became Cincinnati's all-time leader in touchdown passes (198) last Sunday. He wasn't perfect, but he played exactly the way Matt Nagy needs his quarterback to perform in order to assist Chicago's defense in a winning effort. He threw for 243 yards and a touchdown (88.1 passer rating) against the Jets and was the game-manager he's become known to be. His performance was the kind Bears fans would welcome with open arms.

But here's where it gets really interesting: Trubisky had what may have been his best game as a Bear when he threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, including a 90-yard game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He wasn't just a game-manager; he was a game-winner. He showed why Pace thought so highly of him in the 2017 NFL Draft and if he can continue to play on that level for the rest of this season, there won't be a quarterback big board to evaluate. Chicago will be Trubisky's city in 2020.

We aren't there yet, however. Trubisky's resume is littered with more downs than ups and he needs to flip that narrative around in what will be the most important four-game stretch in recent Bears history.

With all that in mind, here's the updated Bears QB Big Board entering Week 14:

Bears QB Big Board (Dec. 3, 2019)

1. Andy Dalton (Bengals)
previous: 1 (Nov. 27)

2. Mitch Trubisky (Bears)
previous: 3 (Nov. 27)

3. Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
previous: 2  (Nov. 27)

4. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
previous: 5 (Nov. 27)

5. Marcus Mariota (Titans)
previous: 4 (Nov. 27)

6. Teddy Bridgewater (Saints)
previous: 6 (Nov. 27)

Outside looking in...

-Jake Fromm (Georgia)
previous: outside looking in (Nov. 27)

- Cam Newton (Panthers)
previous: outside looking in (Nov. 27)

-Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
previous: outside looking in (Nov. 27)

-Anthony Gordon (Washington State)
previous: outside looking in (Nov. 27)

-Nick Foles (Eagles)
previous: outside looking in (Nov. 27)

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Pat McAfee thinks Cam Newton is the move the Bears should be making this offseason

Pat McAfee thinks Cam Newton is the move the Bears should be making this offseason

Recently on the always-light-hearted, analytical-bending Pat McAfee Show, the former Indianapolis Colts player turned radio host weighed in on the Bears’ decision to keep Mitch Trubisky under center for the upcoming season. McAfee believes it’s time the Bears climb back into relevancy by replacing Trubisky with former-MVP Cam Newton:

If I was the Chicago Bears, I would be trying to get Cam Newton. What's the worst that could happen? He stinks? You guys stink anyways. 

With a “what do you have to lose?” mantra, McAfee believes that the Bears should swap out Trubisky for the Panthers' star. Newton is not a free agent, however; it's possible his time with the Panthers could be up,  as it's been heavily-rumored that they'll trade him away this offseason. Newton was sidelined most of the 2019 season with back-to-back injuries, first in his shoulder, then his ankle. If they trade away Newton, the Panthers could allot the money to rebuilding their team around one of the league’s best running backs, Christian McCaffery. 

2020 Senior Bowl: Jordan Love's 1st-round hype is real

2020 Senior Bowl: Jordan Love's 1st-round hype is real

MOBILE, Ala. — The Detroit Lions didn't gain any new fans after their questionable practice session (North team) on Day 1 of the 2020 Senior Bowl, but despite a lot of time warming up and working against air, there were a few prospect performances worth noting.

Utah State quarterback Jordan Love was the headliner, showing off his cannon of an arm in what was a clear display of starting-quarterback talent. Compared to fellow North team quarterbacks Shea Patterson (Michigan) and Anthony Gordon (Washington State), Love looked like the only quarterback who's capable of succeeding in the NFL. It wasn't even close.

Love has an effortless throwing motion. His passes are crisp, accurate and on a rope. Was he perfect? No. But he had the most impressive arm of the day. His first-round hype is very real and will only continue to build momentum as the week goes on.

RELATED: Here's who Bears scouts are watching at the Senior Bowl

As for Patterson and Gordon? Bears fans need to temper their excitement for both of them. Patterson's quirky throwing motion looks labored and forced while Gordon's slight frame and underwhelming arm strength scream backup at best.

Tight end Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) had a quiet first practice. His opportunities to make plays were limited. But he'll need a strong finish to the week to maintain his standing as the top tight end at the Senior Bowl.

One player Bears fans should highlight as a name to watch is Michigan offensive lineman Ben Bredeson. He looked the part on Tuesday. He has strong hands and the kind of powerful playing style that tends to lead to success in the NFL. He showed pretty good feet, too. He has a chance to rise up the board if he stacks two more positive practices together.

On the defensive side of the ball, Syracuse edge rusher Alton Robinson flashed in drills. He showed a good first step and violent hands at the point of attack. He won several reps with ease. The Bears have to add pass-rush help in the middle rounds, and Robinson looks like a quality prospect worth keeping an eye on.

Ohio State defensive lineman Davon Hamilton had a nice day, too. He was almost unblockable at times and practiced with a level of intensity that scouts are certain to like. While not a need in Chicago, Hamilton looks like a player whose value could trump need come draft day. 

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