Bears

Mitch Trubisky ranks among worst starting quarterbacks of 2019

Mitch Trubisky ranks among worst starting quarterbacks of 2019

Mitch Trubisky's first three seasons in the NFL haven't been great. His rookie year was a typical roller coaster ride of good and bad that's expected from a first-year player. He improved in 2018, at least it seemed, during the Bears' 12-4 NFC North championship season, but his massive regression in 2019 has pundits questioning whether he'll ever become the kind of quarterback Chicago needs to legitimately contend for a Super Bowl.

How bad was Trubisky last season? According to NFL.com's latest QB index, which ranked every quarterback who started at least one game in 2019, Trubisky checked-in at 30th.

I want Trubisky to be successful. I really do. But I think after the season we just saw from the former No. 2 overall pick, the best and most practical way for this franchise to extract more out of that position is to add some real competition this offseason. I guarantee Bears fans would much rather GM Ryan Pace backtrack than continue doubling down on a mistake.

The worst thing that could've happened to Trubisky and the Bears in 2019 happened; Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback who Pace passed on in the 2017 NFL draft, won the Super Bowl for the Chiefs and was named the game's MVP.

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Mahomes' success has increased the pressure on Chicago's front office to make sure it has the Bears' quarterback situation under control. And that could mean another season of Trubisky, which is fine as long as he develops into a legitimate NFL playmaker. If, however, Trubisky's play is closer to Matt Moore than Mahomes, there will be a bunch of help wanted signs at Halas Hall in 2020.

The more logical strategy is for Pace to add veteran competition for the starting job via free agency, and fortunately for the Bears, this year's free-agent market will have an abundance of quality starters to choose from.

No one could've predicted such a fall for Trubisky after his promising 2018 season. His ranking among the NFL's worst starters is the kind of positional weakness that can doom a franchise, even one with as much talent as the Bears.

Maybe he storms back in 2020 and has the kind of Ryan Tannehill-season some Bears fans think can only be had by a veteran searching for a reboot. Maybe he'll find comfort in being a game-manager who, after an offseason studying coverages, is able to turn field goals into touchdowns next year. And if either of those scenarios become reality, Pace can be at peace with his decision (kind of) to draft him over Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

But ask yourself this: How confident are you in Trubisky? Do you believe in him? Has he given you enough reasons to feel like he can lead this team to a championship? The answers seem obvious; to everyone outside Halas Hall, at least.

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Should the Bears trade for this Ryan Pace player?

Should the Bears trade for this Ryan Pace player?

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks wants out of L.A. It's no secret the Rams are trying to trade him, and he expressed his desire to be traded on Twitter on Friday.

The Bears have a need in their offense for a speed wide receiver, and Cooks has been one of the most explosive weapons at the position throughout his career.

Prior to last season's offensive meltdown in Los Angeles, Cooks recorded four-straight 1,000-yard seasons and averaged more than 15 yards per catch in three of those years. He's still only 26 years old and has plenty of juice left in his legs to offer his next team a similar level of production; he would be a dynamic complement to Allen Robinson and would round out Chicago's wide receiver corps.

And here's the thing: we know Ryan Pace loves his former Saints. He just rewarded Jimmy Graham with a two-year, $16 million contract despite a market that likely wouldn't have valued his services anywhere near that amount.

But Graham was one of Pace's guys from his days in New Orleans, and so is Cooks.

The Saints traded a first- and third-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft to move up for Cooks (they moved from No. 27 to No. 20 to select him). Pace was New Orleans' Director of Player Personnel at the time; his voice was a powerful one in the decision to acquire Cooks.

The biggest impediment to making a move for Cooks is his contract. He signed a five-year, $81 million deal with the Rams in 2018 and has a $16.8 million cap hit in 2020. With Robinson looking to break the bank on a contract extension in the coming weeks, it's highly unlikely the Bears will commit that much money to the wide receiver position. Any trade will have to include some kind of restructured contract or an agreement that the Rams carry a significant portion of Cooks' cap hit.

There's also the issue of compensation that the Bears could send to Los Angeles for a player as dynamic as Cooks. A trade would require at least one of Chicago's second-round picks. Maybe that's all it will take, but the Rams would be justified asking for more.

The dollars have to make sense and the compensation has to be appealing enough to get a deal done. But there's no doubt Pace is at least researching his options.

Cooks, unlike Graham, would be one of Pace's guys who Bears fans would welcome with open arms.

Bears land two potential starters in latest NFL.com mock draft

Bears land two potential starters in latest NFL.com mock draft

The 2020 NFL draft is less than four weeks away and now that the first wave of free agency is over, team needs have begun to crystallize.

For the Chicago Bears, that means youth at tight end and a starting-quality safety will be high on their draft wish list. According to Chad Reuter's latest NFL.com 2020 mock draft, the Bears check both boxes with potential starters in the second round.

At pick No. 43, Chicago adds LSU safety Grant Delpit, who prior to the 2019 college football season was considered by most draft analysts to be the most gifted defensive player not named Chase Young.

Delpit's final season with the Tigers wasn't the best for his draft stock. He lacked the splash plays that made him a household name last season, but he still displayed the kind of aggressive and fearless style that would make him a strong complement next to Eddie Jackson, who the Bears want to get back to playing centerfield. Delpit will slide to the second round because he's an inconsistent finisher, but he'd offer great value for a Bears defense that needs an aggressive run defender on its third level.

At No. 50, the Bears snag a potential starter at tight end in Purdue's Brycen Hopkins

Hopkins is a wide receiver in a tight end's body; he's everything Chicago's offense has been missing. Regardless of who wins the team's quarterback competition this summer, a player like Hopkins has the kind of playmaking ability to instantly become one of the early reads in the offense's passing game. 

With veterans Jimmy Graham and Trey Burton already on the roster, a player like Hopkins could be eased into the lineup with the expectation that he'd eventually become the primary receiving option at the position by the end of his rookie season.

Not a bad second-round haul. It's critically important that Ryan Pace hits on his second-rounders, too. The Bears' next pick doesn't occur until the fifth round, which is usually when special teams players and practice squad candidates are added.