The frenzy of NFL free agency will get underway in a little more than a month, and Bears fans will be hitting the refresh button on Twitter at a feverish pace waiting to see which big-name player will be added to a roster that's ready to make a legitimate run at a Super Bowl in 2020.
The Bears' offseason will be headlined by what GM Ryan Pace does at quarterback, and fortunately, he'll have plenty of options in free agency to choose from. The best, and most logical choice, might be Saints backup-turned-starter-turned-backup, Teddy Bridgewater.
The former 2014 first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings was cursed by a gruesome knee injury suffered during training camp in 2017. It derailed an otherwise promising start to his career; Bridgewater started 28 games for the Vikings in his first two seasons but his injury forced him to resurrect his career as Drew Brees' backup with the Saints over the last two seasons. It was a smart play by Bridgewater. It enabled him to get fully healthy in 2018 and when his number was called in relief of Brees in 2019, he excelled.
Bridgewater won all five games he started for the Saints last season and completed nearly 68% of his passes along the way. He showcased his ability to be an efficient game-manager who's more than capable of making the clutch throw when his team needs it most. His physical limitations will create some doubt about his ability to ever become a legitimate franchise-caliber quarterback, but the Bears don't need a guy like that. They just need an anti-Mitch Trubisky; a quarterback who can make all the throws Matt Nagy's offense asks of him while playing mistake-free football. Bridgewater fits that description perfectly.
But he won't come cheap on the open market. He's expected to command an average annual salary of $20 million, per Spotrac, which means any attempt to sign Bridgewater will mark the official end of the Trubisky era in Chicago.
Bridgewater's market value could get pushed down a bit because of the number of talented quarterbacks scheduled to hit free agency. Regardless of his price tag, however, the Bears should be all-in on the Bridgewater sweepstakes this March.