Much has been made of the Bears quarterback quandary. The front office is trying to will Mitch Trubisky to be the guy while acknowledging that competition is needed. Free agency is the most likely means by which the Bears will add that competition, and former Titans' first-rounder Marcus Mariota would be a sensible target.
In fact, The Ringer dubbed the Bears a logical landing spot for the former No. 2 overall selection, although it wasn't for all the best reasons.
Signing Mariota to a one-year, $6 million deal to serve as “competition” for Trubisky is the exact sort of half-hearted move the Bears would make.
Mariota's career hasn't been all that different from Trubisky's first three seasons in the league. There's been some good, there's been some bad, and there's still a sense of an overall unknown when it comes to who he is as a quarterback. Sometimes, highly drafted players maintain the benefit of the doubt after several seasons of underwhelming play because of how hyped they were as draft prospects. That seems to be the case with Mariota, whose career resume doesn't read like a surefire upgrade over Trubisky.
And therein lies the problem if Mariota is, in fact, the guy the Bears target. How much confidence would Chicago have in his ability to string together a consistent (and healthy) season when he's done nothing in his career so far to suggest he can?
Mariota's best season came in 2016 when he threw for 3,426 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. It was his second season in the league and it had his arrow clearly pointing up. But he's managed just 31 touchdown passes (total) in the three seasons since and has yet to start a full 16-game schedule. Most damming to his case to be the spark that the Bears need is that he wasn't that guy for the Titans; Ryan Tannehill was.
Tennessee was better without Mariota. He was beaten out by Tannehill, who prior to joining the Titans was an underachiever himself. Not the best sales pitch, I'd say.
But this is where the Bears' quarterback situation is. They aren't going to land an automatic upgrade, a guy whose history of success is well-documented and respected. Instead, it's going to be a player like Mariota, who will use a team like the Bears to rehabilitate his standing in the NFL's quarterback fraternity.
Maybe Chicago catches quarterback lightning in a bottle. Just don't get your hopes up.
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