Every Bears fan wants to hear big name quarterbacks linked to Chicago. Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson mania on social media is totally understandable. But on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport said it's worth keeping an eye on three other QBs that don’t get as much press when trying to predict who will be the Bears’ starter in 2021.
“Their options include Alex Smith when he gets cut, possible,” Rapoport said. “I would say Marcus Mariota, if he gets cut, possible. Sam Darnold would be another interesting one. If the Jets trade Sam Darnold, someone is going to trade for him, and the Bears would make a lot of sense. I think it would set up a huge make or break type of season for both of those parties.”
Smith is an interesting option, as Nagy has familiarity with him from their time together at Kansas City. Not only was Nagy the offensive coordinator for Smith, he was his quarterbacks coach as well. Mariota’s name has been thrown about as well after reports surfaced that the Raiders were more willing to trade him than Derek Carr. Mariota also provides the best running ability of all these three QBs, something Nagy said he covets when he addressed the media on Tuesday. Which brings us to Darnold, the biggest unknown of the group. Darnold was highly touted when he came out of USC in 2018, but he’s largely flopped with the Jets. It’s unclear however, whether Darnold deserves the bulk of the blame for his poor play, or if he has a brighter future now that Adam Gase isn’t running the offense in New York.
With two months until the NFL Draft, it’s unlikely we’ll get any concrete answers regarding the Bears’ QB position soon. But as Pace reiterated on Tuesday, “everything’s on the table.”