We’re barely 24 hours into the NFL’s pre-free agency negotiating window, and there’s already been a ton of movement on the quarterback front — even if Tom Brady doesn’t have a new home yet.
So far, here are the notable deals that’ve been reportedly agreed to:
(Additionally, Chase Daniel will sign with the Lions and Nate Sudfeld will stay with the Eagles, but those were backup-oriented options.)
So that leaves the following quarterbacks available via free agency or a trade:
And the following teams still need a quarterback:
*We’re assuming Philip Rivers winds up with the Colts, thus possibly making Brissett available.
**The Dolphins haven’t been linked a whole lot to the guys on this list, but theoretically could be interested in a quarterback more like Newton/Winston/Brady, not Dalton/Foles/Brissett.
The good news for the Bears is there are enough quarterbacks to go around, so there’s no need for unnecessary urgency while Brady waits to announce his decision. If Brady goes to the Bucs, and Newton goes to the Chargers, and Dalton goes to the Patriots, there's not going to be much of a market for Foles or Brissett.
That means Ryan Pace can wait out the trade market, allowing him to not have to give up one of his higher picks (fourth, even fifth round) to get one of those guys. Free agency is less certain — Winston is not a good option, no matter how cheap he were to get.
But maybe the Bears wait things out and one of the quarterbacks they were trying to trade for gets cut. The two linchpins here lie with Brady and the Patriots.
Plus, what if a major surprise hits and Brady doesn’t sign with the Bucs or Chargers and instead goes to the Raiders, thus making Derek Carr available? It may not seem likely right now, but it can’t be completely ruled out, and even a slim shot at Carr is worth waiting for in Chicago.
But while we’re here, consider this a stab at who the Bears will add to their quarterback room this week, from most likely to least likely:
1. Andy Dalton
2. Nick Foles
3. Cam Newton
4. Jacoby Brissett
5. Jameis Winston
6. Tom Brady
The Bears have to get this quarterback addition right. But that doesn't mean they need to make the move right now.