Could Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott be the answer for the Chicago Bears?

Could Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott be the answer for the Chicago Bears?

The Chicago Bears have been connected to virtually every veteran quarterback expected to be available this offseason, including Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton. Even Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are in the conversation. But the most appealing option may have just surfaced.

According to NFL Network analyst and longtime Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, Dallas is considering trading Dak Prescott and pursuing Brady in free agency.

“I am telling you right now, at the Super Bowl in Miami, some very significant people that I had conversations [with were] leaning in that same direction," Irvin said on the Dale & Keefe show. "It was shocking. I had a vodka cranberry in my hand and when they said it to me. I put the drink down and said, ‘Let’s talk a little bit more about this.’ I promise you, I had a conversation with people, I can’t tell you who, about that same scenario going down.”

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Irvin later clarified his comments and said his source wasn't Jerry Jones or any high-ranking Cowboys official. Still, it's a noteworthy nugget. Where there's smoke with a rumor like this, there's usually fire, and with Prescott's camp demanding a contract that will make him one of the highest-paid, if not the highest-paid, quarterbacks in the NFL, there's at least a chance they will listen to trade offers if a new deal seems unreachable.

Dallas would have to place the franchise tag on Prescott before moving him and a potential suitor would need to have a long-term deal in place before pulling the trigger, which means interested clubs need a whole lot of cap space. There's also the issue of trade compensation. It's impossible to imagine a scenario where the Cowboys would take anything less than multiple first-round picks for Prescott.

The Bears don't have that. Not in 2020, at least. They're still paying the debt owed to the Raiders for Khalil Mack.

But a young franchise-caliber quarterback like Prescott rarely becomes available on the trade market and the Bears owe it to fans to at least put a package together to try, once an for all, to secure a player who can become the face of the franchise for years to come.

Again, the biggest impediment to any trade would be the price. It wasn't too long ago that former Bears genral manager Jerry Angelo traded two first-round picks, a third-round pick and Kyle Orton for Jay Cutler back in 2009. Angelo had the assets to pull off a trade like that. Ryan Pace isn't as fortunate and a deal for Prescott would likely require a similar package.

The Bears have two second-round picks in 2020 and will be back in the first round in 2021. They could package the No. 43 and 50 picks in this year's draft, and their first-rounder in 2021 for Prescott, but that feels way short of a reasonable asking price for a franchise quarterback. 

As a result, Pace would have no choice but to add a player or two into the offer. But who? Mitch Trubisky has no appeal or trade value, and Khalil Mack's contract makes trading him extremely unlikely. Plus, Mack is to the defense what a player like Prescott would be for the offense. And while securing a franchise quarterback will get you closer to a Super Bowl than an elite pass-rusher will, it doesn't seem logical for a Bears team that can add a veteran passer in free agency while holding onto Mack.

It would be an unfortunate turn of events if the Cowboys actually do make Prescott available this offseason and Pace, because of past roster decisions and trades, can't make a legitimate run at him.

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Danny Trevathan already knows just how dominant the 2020 Bears defense can be

Danny Trevathan already knows just how dominant the 2020 Bears defense can be

While most of yesterday's Bears media availability focused on more pressing issues, Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan both breifly talked about the state of the Bears' defense heading into 2020. 

2018's historically good side came down to earth a bit last year, but the free agent additions of Robert Quinn and Tashaun Gipson, along with rookies Jaylon Johnson,  Kindle Vildor, and Trevis Gipson have some believing there's enough talent on the unit to compete with 2018's production. Healthy seasons from leaders Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan will do wonders, too. 

"We’re going to be monsters," Trevathan said. "There’s no doubt in my mind. I watched Quinn from afar. I know he’s been going for a while. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a wrecking machine. Now you’ve got to watch this side here, this side over here. You’ve got to watch the middle. You’ve got to watch the back end. Front seven. Dangerous."

And though they haven't been able to practice together yet, Trevathan mentioned that he's been encouraged by the steps the defense has taken to ensure that the transition back to the practice field goes as seamlessly as possible.

"I feel like right now is the time where we create that communication between one another," he added. "We’re kind of the first people in the history of football to have to deal with a situation like this. We’ve got to hold it down on our part. That’s why I feel like keeping in contact with one another is going to be a deciding factor between which team comes out of this victorious and on top. And I feel like we have the people on this team and this defense to be one of the ones who stand out and ones who come out of this positively. I feel like all we have to do is take one day at a time. Push one another. Call one another out. Have each other’s back. And let’s roll out."

How Bears are thinking about playing football again amid coronavirus pandemic

How Bears are thinking about playing football again amid coronavirus pandemic

Football players are conditioned to block out things on the “outside noise.” The focus for the Bears, though, has recently been on racial injustice and police brutality — and those topics will continue to be part of the team’s daily discussions. There’s no blocking those out anymore or taking a "stick to sports" mindset. 

Linebacker Danny Trevathan isn’t concerned about those issues impacting his, and his teammates’, ability to play football, though. But something else might. 

“I'm more worried about Corona than I'm worried about that in football,” Trevathan said. “I’m not worried about, I mean it still exists in the world so let's not forget about corona, bro. You know, I might go to camp and somebody might have that and I might not be able to play no more.”

MORE: Inside the Bears' emotional team meeting on Monday

Typically, the Bears would right now be in the midst of OTA practices at Halas Hall. The offseason program would conclude with a minicamp in mid-June, providing coaches with a total of 13 non-padded practices to install the playbook and build a foundation ahead of training camp. 

None of those practices will take place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Coaches will be allowed to return to team facilities on Friday but no more than 100 employees can be in a building at one time. And no players will be allowed, meaning none of the remaining OTA practices or this month’s veteran minicamp will be conducted in person. 

So the first time the Bears as a team physically convene again will almost certainly be for the start of training camp. But coronavirus will still be around when that happens. 

“It is scary,” defensive tackle Akiem Hicks said. “It's scary to think that most of my job is physical contact with other players. And so boy, I don't know. I don't know. I want to be safe and I'm sure they're going to do their best to make sure we're in the best possible situation in order to be able to play this game and do it, right? But it's scary. That's how I feel.”

How the NFL handles concerns from players like Hicks will be critical. Players will inevitably test positive for coronavirus, but widespread outbreaks in team facilities will need to be prevented. 

"We fully well expect that we will have positive cases that arise because we think that this disease will remain endemic in society and so it shouldn't be a surprise that new positive cases arise," Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical doctor, said last month. "Our challenge is to identify them as quickly as possible and to prevent spread to any other participants. We're working very diligently on that and we'll have some detailed plans to share about that at a later time."

MORE: Read Akiem Hicks' full comments on social injustice and Colin Kaepernick

The NFL and the NFLPA have at least a month and a half to plan for returning to play in the midst of a pandemic. There is a certain level of trust, though, that wide receiver Allen Robinson has in the sport’s decision-makers to create as low-risk an environment as possible this season. 

Robinson, too, has recently been working out with and catching passes from Mitch Trubisky recently (which coach Matt Nagy said is "freaking awesome"). 

“Honestly, me personally, I'm not too concerned,” Robinson said. “I think that if we're going to be put back in the facility I think that measures are going to be taken. I think that a plan will be had and I think that enough research and stuff will have been done to put everybody in the best kind of situation.”

Let’s hope Robinson is right. Because while the NBA, NHL, MLS and the NWSL have moved toward returning to play — and Major League Baseball moves toward a ruinous destruction of the sport — none of those leagues have actually staged games yet. The NFL has the ability (and luxury) to see what problems may arise with those sports’ return before encountering those issues as a league. 

But as Trevathan said, we can’t forget about corona (bro). It’s — unfortunately — another massive issue facing our country, one that’s also bigger than football. We’ll eagerly await the NFL’s plan to keep its players, coaches and staff safe in 2020. 

Until then, though, maybe we’ll try to figure out what was actually in Hicks’ Quarantini cocktail. 

“There’s been a lot of variations,” Hicks laughed. “What I will say is this: after I found out that, I read an article — and just like everybody else, you read an article on twitter and every other form of media — they said that drinking alcohol could increase your chances of getting COVID. That kinda went down the drain at that point. 

“But I will say this: Tequila was involved.”

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