Just when it felt like the Bears were exiting a vicious cycle of quarterback disappointment that ranged from Jim Harbaugh in the early-90s straight through Jay Cutler a couple of seasons ago, Mitch Trubisky's regression in 2019 has the fanbase searching for answers under center once again.
Fortunately for the Bears, there will be a handful of quality quarterbacks available this offseason who'd represent an upgrade over what we've seen from Trubisky this year. Whether via free agency or the NFL draft, GM Ryan Pace will have more than a few names to consider when evaluating the game's most important position.
At the top of the 'Quarterback Big Board' right now is Bengals starter-turned-backup, Andy Dalton. At 32 years old, Dalton has enjoyed varying degrees of success including two seasons over 4,200 yards (both would've set Bears franchise passing records). He's experienced, smart and more than capable of effectively managing games while Chicago's defense strings together another season or two of top-tier play. He won't break the bank, either. Dalton, paired with a rookie in the 2020 NFL draft, just feels right.
Then there's Marcus Mariota, who unlike Dalton hasn't had the best ride in Tennessee. But he's a classic case of a supremely talented player who needs a fresh start, and what better place to get that reboot than in Chicago where he'd reunite with his former college coach, Mark Helfrich. Mariota could end up No. 1 on this board by season's end because at just 26 years old, he still profiles as a potential franchise quarterback a team can build around.
There's also Cam Newton, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday because of a foot injury. He's been banged up in recent years and has lost some of the magic that made him one of the NFL's must-see talents. But Cam at 75% is better than most options on the open market.
The NFL Draft can't be ignored in this conversation, either. Armed with two second-round picks, Pace could choose to package them in an effort to move up and grab a quarterback who falls later than expected, potentially even into the back half of the first round. If he stays true to the second round, prospects like Georgia's Jake Fromm and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts would make sense (especially if Dalton is added in free agency).
As I said, there are a lot of options to get this fixed. Here's the first installment of our Bears QB Big Board:
Quarterback Big Board (11/5/2019)
1. Andy Dalton (Bengals)
2. Marcus Mariota (Titans)
3. Cam Newton (Panthers)
4. Jake Fromm (Georgia)
5. Nick Foles (Jaguars)
6. Teddy Bridgewater (Saints)
Outside looking in...
Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
Mitch Trubisky (Bears)
Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
Jacob Eason (Washington)