Bears

Which Packers player would you want on the Bears?

Which Packers player would you want on the Bears?

The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are the oldest rivalry in the NFL and after 198 games between the two teams, it's easy to understand why Bears fans refuse to acknowledge that there may be a Packers player or two who'd represent an upgrade for Chicago.

So it begs the question: Which Green Bay player would you want on the Bears?

Let's get the obvious choice out of the way: Aaron Rodgers. And this isn't a knock against Mitchell Trubisky. Rodgers would be an upgrade for just about every team in the NFL sans the Patriots. He turns 36 in December and still has a live arm, so there's no argument based in reality against Rodgers as an upgrade for this roster.

Now, if Trubisky outduels Rodgers Thursday night? Maybe we revisit this. It will be evidence of his development and potential ascension into the upper-class of quarterbacks. We just aren't there yet.

Forgetting Rodgers for a moment, there are a handful of other Packers players who'd warrant strong consideration as a replacement for a current Bears' starter. 

RELATED: Bears begin 2019 ranked among NFL's best in Week 1's Power Rankings

Let's start on offense, where WR Davante Adams is one of the top five pass-catchers in the game. He set career-highs across the board in 2018 (111 rec., 1386 yards, 13 TDs) and will present the biggest challenge for Chicago's defenders in Week 1. As much as Bears fans love Allen Robinson and the potential in Anthony Miller, Adams would be a marked upgrade at what's quickly become one of the NFL's most important positions.

Green Bay's offense features one of the NFL's top offensive tackles, too. LT David Bakhtiari was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded offensive lineman in 2018 (88.3) who especially excelled in pass protection (93.6). Compare that to Charles Leno, Jr., who PFF ranked 49th, and it sure looks like an upgrade. 

That said, offensive line play is not always about one player. Instead, it's about five guys playing well as a cohesive unit over an extended period of time. Leno has proven himself as an above-average blindside protector and was rewarded as such with a healthy contract extension in 2017 (one he recently restructured to free up cap space for his linemate, Cody Whitehair.)

So while Bakhtiari may be the better all-around player, his impact on the Bears probably wouldn't result in the same kind of upgrade that Adams could offer.

As for the defense? Let's face it, the Bears are loaded. From the defensive line to the secondary, there aren't many players -- if any at all -- who are an obvious target for an upgrade; especially not for a Packers' defender. NT Kenny Clark is arguably Green Bay's best player on defense but there's no reason to search for a replacement for Eddie Goldman, who is just as effective as Clark as an interior disruptor. 

So it boils down to Adams, and Week 1's Thursday night showdown could ultimately come down to the Bears keeping Adams under wraps. He's the kind of player who can flip the scoreboard in a single play, so Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara and the rest of Chicago's cover guys have their work cut out for them. 

What say you? Join the conversation on Twitter and let us know which Packers player you think would look great in a Bears uniform (as painful as that may be).

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

Under Center Podcast: Chris Simms fixes the Bears

bears_helmet_usa_today.png
USA Today

Under Center Podcast: Chris Simms fixes the Bears

Laurence Holmes is joined by NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms live from radio row in Miami as they try to fix the Bears. They also discuss what the Bears can learn from the San Francisco 49ers and their head coach Kyle Shanahan.

(1:57) - How to fix the Bears/Trubisky

(6:54) - What would he tell Mitchell Trubisky

(9:24) - What people don't understand about Khalil Mack

(11:44) - Kyle Shanahan is a football genius

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Under Center Podcast

Subscribe:

Bears' odds to sign Teddy Bridgewater just got better

Bears' odds to sign Teddy Bridgewater just got better

When Bears GM Ryan Pace selected quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, he referred to future Hall-of-Famer, Drew Brees, as the kind of passer he envisioned the former North Carolina product becoming. After three underwhelming seasons under center in Chicago, Trubisky's fallen way short of those expectations. It's unclear whether he can even become an average starter at this point.

The 2020 offseason is expected to bring competition for Trubisky and it's most likely to come via free agency. Pace will have an opportunity to tap into the Brees-led Saints quarterback room to find that competition, as all three passers (Brees, Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater) are scheduled to hit the open market.

The reality, however, is that only one of the three will likely be available. According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, it'll be Bridgewater.

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of the 2020 NFL offseason

Brees will call his own shot; if he wants to return to New Orleans, he will. And while Bridgewater played well enough to warrant a starting opportunity in 2020, he'd also serve as the perfect starter-in-waiting for the Saints. But that player is Hill, who Glazer said New Orleans views as a legitimate franchise quarterback.

This is actually great news for the Bears. Of the three Saints quarterbacks, Bridgewater would make the most sense as a target for Chicago. He'll turn 27 next season and still has several years of high-level play remaining in his arm. In the 2019 regular season, Bridgewater started five games (he went 5-0), completed nearly 68% of his passes, and threw for 1,384 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. 

Is Bridgewater an elite player? No. Is he a franchise-changing quarterback? No; but that's not what the Bears are looking for. Instead, Pace needs to sign a veteran who is consistent and reliable enough to support an elite defense with enough points to win. Trubisky's failed mightily at that, and Bridgewater proved in relief of Brees in 2019 that he's not only capable of it, but he can thrive in that role.

Bridgewater's projected market value is a three-year, $60.1 million deal (or $20 million per season) per Spotrac. It may seem like a lot of money to pay to a quarterback whose signing wouldn't come along with a guaranteed starting job, but when combined with Trubisky's $9.3 million salary in 2020, as long as the Bears receive quality play from whoever their starting quarterback is, the cost will be in line with those teams that have respected starters on their payroll.

It's possible Bridgewater won't sign with a team that doesn't promise him the starting job. But is a promise even needed with Trubisky being the only roadblock in Bridgewater's way? It wouldn't take long for him to distance himself at the top of the depth chart, and maybe, once and for all, the Bears can enjoy some Saints-like quarterback play. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.