In hindsight, there’s a bit of irony to the idea that, actually, Ryan Pace *wasn’t lying* when he said this during the Bears’ end-of-season press conference:
“Mitch is our starter. We believe in Mitch and we believe in the progress that he’s gonna continue to make. But two of the three players in that room are free agents, so we’ve gotta look at—The quarterback room is critical. It’s important for us. We’re always gonna try to make it better. But as far as who it is, what we’re gonna do, we’re not there yet.”
Everyone jumped down Pace’s – and then subsequently, reporters’ – throats for running with that line, casting aside the idea that the Bears were still holding out hope for the former second overall pick. Then this happened!
QB trade: Jacksonville is trading QB Nick Foles to Chicago for the Bears’ compensatory fourth-round pick, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2020
Bears’ coaches such as Matt Nagy have worked with Foles in past and know him well.
Make no mistake about it – Trubisky’s on about as tight a leash as an NFL quarterback could be, and it’s not unreasonable to think that if the season continues at a normal pace, the two QBs would head into training camp on even footing. That being said, despite the Bears reportedly kicking the tires on just about every free agent quarterback on the market, Pace’s goal this winter was never to find the immediate replacement. Consider:
- The Bears were ready to throw a *bunch* of money at Teddy Bridgewater, but reportedly wouldn’t commit to guaranteeing him the starting spot. That’s what reportedly drove the Saints’ backup to take the same amount of money in Carolina.
- Pace quietly stayed away from free agents who would come in under the assumption – whether from their own camps, or fans in general – that they’d start over Trubisky. Andy Dalton never picked up serious traction, and despite being connected to Cam Newton this morning, the newest reports make it seem like that was more posturing than anything else.
Nothing screams QB Hot Seat like bringing in perhaps the most famously-successful backup quarterback of All-Time? The optics are perfect; Jacksonville contract (lmaoo) aside, Foles has earned his NFL stripes thriving in the exact position that the Bears have put him in: a capable, knowledgeable, insurance policy who’s ready to step in when a team with postseason aspirations looks to be taking on water.
Whether you hate it or love it remain apathetic about it, what’s clear is that the Bears haven’t given up on Mitch Trubisky yet. Reports that Foles is going to have his contract restricted lend even more credence to that. It may not be the quarterback situation the Bears fans had hoped for, but there’s a true QB competition in Chicago this year. Buckle up.