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Justin Fields
Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears 2022 Roster Breakdown: QBs

  • Bryan Perez
  • January 6, 2022
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With one meaningless game remaining in the Chicago Bears’ 2021 season, it’s time to look ahead to the 2022 offseason with a position-by-position roster breakdown. There’s no better place to start than quarterback, especially for a team that’s been without a legitimate starter since Jay Cutler’s peak years. For the first time in a very long time, the Bears won’t have any quarterback issues to resolve this offseason. In fact, it’s a position that will be viewed as a strength in their soon-to-commence coaching search as well as their attempt to lure attractive free agents to Chicago. Justin Fields is that dude. He’s the franchise quarterback, even if his rookie season had its fair share of highs and lows. Sure, there were some moments when his processing was slow and there were some high-risk throws that were unnecessary. But there were also some dazzling highlights that have Bears fans excited about 2022 and beyond. Fields had plenty of big-time throws in 2021, too, including this rope to Allen Robinson against the Detroit Lions: Fields has one game remaining in his rookie year, coming this Sunday in Week 18’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. He’ll have a chance to improve his underwhelming stats, which include just seven touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. But let’s be honest, as long as he’s healthy when the final whistle blows, Chicago’s starting quarterback is set… for a while. The depth chart gets a little murkier after Fields. Nick Foles is under contract through the 2022 season but carries a manageable $7.6 million dead cap figure if the Bears decide to cut ties. Andy Dalton’s contract expires at season’s end and it’s unlikely he’ll return to Chicago to be Fields' backup; at least, not at a team-friendly price. As such, we could be in for another season with Foles as the Bears’ QB2, which wouldn’t be the worst thing for Chicago’s quarterback room. If the Bears do choose to keep Foles around, his cap figure balloons to $10.6 million. Most of the Bears’ quarterback strategy will depend on what their plans are in free agency. If they need the extra spending power to sign a big-time free agent, Foles’ days in Chicago are probably numbered. In a way, cutting ties with both of Matt Nagy’s hand-picked quarterbacks feels like a necessary cleanse, but don’t expect the Bears to risk quality depth for the sake of flushing the toilet. If neither Foles nor Dalton returns in 2022, the Bears will likely be forced to sign a veteran journeyman to serve as QB2. A quick scan of The Draft Network’s 2022 NFL Draft quarterback rankings leaves much to be desired at the position in the day-three range. As for those veterans, Arizona Cardinals backup Colt McCoy could make some sense. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB2, Blaine Gabbert, is a logical choice if the Bears make a run at Byron Leftwich for the head coaching gig. But, at some point, it may be cheaper just to keep Foles than to cut him and pay a veteran’s salary that, combined with Foles’ dead-cap number, might exceed the cost of keeping No. 9 around for 2022. For Bears fans, this should be refreshing. The quarterback conversation is about the No. 2 and even No. 3 guys on the depth chart. For once, QB1 is settled as we sprint into the offseason.

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Bryan Perez