There was major NFL news on Monday night, with the New England Patriots shipping Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a second-round pick in next year's draft.

Now with both teams playing outside of the NFC North, that's not the most impactful news when it comes to the Bears — though the price the Niners paid might open up a debate about whether or not the Bears traded too much to draft Mitch Trubisky earlier this year — but Garoppolo is a local guy, an Arlington Heights native and a Rolling Meadows High School alum.

Before the Bears drafted Trubisky (and signed Mike Glennon) this offseason, there was plenty of online suggestion that they should've gone after Garoppolo, who was stuck behind Tom Brady on the Patriots' depth chart, to fill their void at the quarterback position. That never materialized, and now it's the Niners who get to take a chance on the former Eastern Illinois Panther as their quarterback of the present and perhaps future.

But there is a Bears connection here as they play the Niners later this season, on Dec. 3, to be exact, in a game at Soldier Field.

After this week's bye, the Bears play three games that figure to be tough ones against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. But if the Bears still have playoff hopes by the time December rolls around, the game against the Niners could wind up being a big deal. So the Bears' playoff hopes, should such hopes still exist by Dec. 3, could be riding on how they fare against the Chicagoland native Garoppolo and the Niners, the team the Bears traded with in order to secure the No. 2 pick and draft Trubisky earlier this year.


And while the Niners still might be little threat, what with their current NFL-worst 0-8 record, who knows what difference the quarterback change from the duo of ex-Bear Brian Hoyer and Iowa product C.J. Beathard to Garoppolo will bring?

In other words, things just got a lot more interesting.