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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Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater expected to have a hefty price tag in free agency

Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater expected to have a hefty price tag in free agency

The NFL offseason is gearing up this winter, with trade and salary rumors running rampant among analysts and fans. Bears GM Ryan Pace has his work cut out for him, with a decently sized to-do list before the 2020 season, including finding competition under center for QB Mitch Trubisky. From Tom Brady to Philip Rivers, there are plenty of quarterback options, but one player may be too expensive for the Bears.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater is expected to rake in big money in free agency. With a projected salary to the tune of $30 million per year, Bridgewater could land a lucrative deal.

It makes some sense Bridgewater could come with such a hefty price tag. He earned above-average rankings in adjusted yards per attempt (15th), QB Rating (11th), TD Rate (13th) and completion rate (6th) among 38 QBs to start at least five games in 2019. If Drew Brees decides to keep playing, the Saints will have to choose between Bridgewater and Taysom Hill as their backup.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer previously reported if Brees were to retire, the Saints viewed Hill as their new franchise quarterback, leaving Bridgewater free to explore other options.

It has yet to be seen how Brees and the Saints will proceed, but it’s certainly a reality check to see how expensive the QB market will be this offseason. 

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Bears could use a quarterback like the XFL's standout passer

Bears could use a quarterback like the XFL's standout passer

The XFL is two weeks into its inaugural season, and there's one player who's standing head and shoulders above the rest as a viable NFL prospect at the game's most important position.

Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker has taken the league by storm. His three touchdown passes in Week 1 set the table for another impressive performance in Houston's Week 2 victory over the St. Louis Battlehawks, and looked every bit the part of a dual-threat playmaker that's quickly become the modern-era prototype.

Take a look:

Walker tossed another three touchdowns while looking like the best player on the field (and in the entire XFL) for the second week in a row. Whether his game can translate to success on the NFL level is a big unknown at this point. He spent two seasons on the Colts practice squad without seeing any regular-season action.

Walker's early-season success is a great example of how developmental leagues like the XFL can serve as a feeder for the NFL at positions of need. Quarterback is no exception, especially in Chicago where Mitch Trubisky is in the most uncertain offseason of his career. 

This isn't to suggest that a player like Walker is appealing enough to be the guy GM Ryan Pace adds to the roster as potential competition for Trubisky. But as a possible QB3 behind Trubisky and an established veteran added in free agency? It isn't the worst idea in the world, especially after seeing the kind of playmaking ability he has when given a chance to get on the field.

XFL players can make the jump to the NFL after the 2020 season concludes. The championship game Is scheduled for April 26.