Will Andy Dalton follow offensive coordinator Bill Lazor to the Bears?

Will Andy Dalton follow offensive coordinator Bill Lazor to the Bears?

The Chicago Bears filled their offensive coordinator vacancy Monday with the hiring of Bill Lazor, who served in the same capacity with the Dolphins (2014-15) and Bengals (2017-18) before being out of football last season. Naturally, his addition will add fuel to the speculation that Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton may be high on GM Ryan Pace's offseason wish list.

Regardless of what the Bears decision-makers say about their confidence in Mitch Trubisky, there's no doubt they're going to add a viable threat to his starting job over the next few months. Whether it's via a highly-rated NFL draft prospect or a veteran with starter's experience in free agency, the days of Chase Daniel as backup/coach are over.

Enter Dalton, who isn't the winningest or most physically gifted of quarterbacks likely to be available this offseason, but he certainly has the kind of established resume to at least project a higher degree of success than what Trubisky's put on tape over his first three seasons in the league.

This time of year is spent trying to connect as many logical dots as possible, and there's no connection easier to make than Dalton and Lazor.

Lazor served as Dalton's quarterback coach in 2016 and kept that title after being promoted to Cincinnati's offensive coordinator in 2017, a position he held through the 2018 season. If the Bears are looking for any edge, any inside intel on quarterbacks who can not only challenge Trubisky in 2020 but potentially salvage the season too, having Lazor on staff will certainly give them that with Dalton.

It's worth noting that Dalton threw for the second-most yards of his career under Lazor's tutelage in 2016 (4,206) and had a quarterback rating of 91.8 that year. His numbers dipped in 2017 and 18 after Lazor moved up to offensive coordinator, but it's clear the two worked well together while in one of the most closely-knit coach-player relationships.

It's also important to remember that Dalton isn't a free agent this offseason. He has one year remaining on his contract at a team-friendly $17.7 million cap hit; his salary is a bargain in today's starting quarterback market. If the Bears want him, they have to trade for him.

The Bengals can cut Dalton without any salary cap penalty, but if he's the guy Chicago is targeting, they'd be wise to avoid the inflated payday he'd generate in free agency and get a trade done.

Cincinnati's asking price for Dalton is likely to be quite low. It's obvious he isn't in their plans for 2020 and they won't have much leverage in negotiations. The Bears can benefit from this; a day-three pick is probably all it will take. It's highly unlikely Chicago can land a player that late in the draft with as much upside to help them win in 2020 as Dalton, so it would be foolish to not at least consider it.

Assuming the price to trade for Dalton is right, his salary and resume of production warrants serious consideration.

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Mitch Trubisky underwent surgery to repair shoulder injury

Mitch Trubisky underwent surgery to repair shoulder injury

Chicago Bears QB Mitch Trubisky is entering the most important offseason of his NFL career. Naturally, he needs to be 100% healthy in order to hold off competition that's expected to be added by GM Ryan Pace via free agency or the NFL draft.

In order to get there, Trubisky underwent offseason surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Trubisky was originally injured in Week 4's win over the Vikings.

The good news is the surgery was on his non-throwing shoulder. And while it'll be a few months before he's back to full strength, it's not nearly as severe as it would've been had it been his right side.

RELATED: Top free agent QBs of 2020 NFL offseason

Trubisky's 2019 regular season was defined by regression. He took a step back in every major category, including completion percentage, yards and touchdowns. He didn't run nearly as much either, as his rushing totals dipped from 421 yards in 2018 to just 193 last year.

The Bears are one of the first teams connected to almost every big-name free-agent quarterback likely to hit the open market, and they've also been mentioned as a club that could potentially trade back into the first round if a quality quarterback prospect begins to slip in the 2020 NFL draft. Needless to say, the pressure's on No. 10.

We haven't seen enough from a healthy Trubisky to consider him a starting-quality player at this point, so a less-than-full-strength version of the 2017 second overall pick would've all but doomed his chances at holding onto the starting job this summer.

Under Center Podcast: Kevin Clark & Robert Mays of the Ringer

USA Today

Under Center Podcast: Kevin Clark & Robert Mays of the Ringer

For today's podcast for Super Bowl week in Miami, host Laurence Holmes has two separate discussions with two great guests. Kevin Clark and Robert Mays of the Ringer join the podcast to discuss why the Chiefs and Niners are in the Super Bowl and what the Bears are missing that's holding them back from a Super Bowl.

Part 1 with Kevin Clark

(2:19) - All the NFL players wanted to talk about Kobe Bryant at Media Night

(5:58) - What is the Ringer?

(7:24) - There is a lot that can be learned from Kyle Shanahan

(11:16) - What is Matt Nagy doing wrong with the Bears

(13:36) - What should the Bears do with Mitch Trubisky?

Part 2 with Robert Mays

(20:21) - Interview starts with Mays/ innovation of offense with Reid and Shanahan

(22:31) - Shanahan had the coolest offense Mays has ever seen

(25:16) - Can Matt Nagy be Shanahan?

(26:55) - What are the Bears options at QB?

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Under Center Podcast