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NFL Draft

Bears Have A QB Problem, Here Are 4 Options For 2021

  • The Draft Network
  • January 27, 2021
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Chicago Bears president Ted Phillips outlined their upcoming offseason in an eerie statement just a few weeks ago. The Bears were bounced out of the postseason by a much superior New Orleans Saints team; it capped off their second consecutive 8-8 season, leaving much to be questioned, and expected, according to Phillips.

“Have we gotten the quarterback situation completely right? No,” Phillips told NFL media. “Have we won enough games? No. Everything else is there.

“Everything else is there.” That’s interesting. 

Don’t get me wrong, Chicago has building blocks to use as it steps towards the future with promising players in linebacker Roquan Smith, running back David Montgomery, and wide receiver Darnell Mooney paired with elite veterans in linebacker Khalil Mack and defensive end Akiem Hicks; but Chicago has failed to address the quarterback position. Now, the Bears have found themselves in another ever-important offseason for general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy. 

Bears fans have heard the slander when looking back to the 2017 NFL Draft; a draft in which Pace selected Mitchell Trubisky over now-NFL and -Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, among others. 

Trubisky’s 199-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Saints was likely his last under center with Chicago, ending a tumultuous four seasons of benching, under-performing, and lack of development. Occasionally, the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but in his case, Trubisky is standing on concrete with no signs of life regarding his future with the Bears. 

Pace and Nagy have failed to address the most important position on the field, and now, in an expected quarterback carousel of an offseason, the Bears must turn their focus under center. With an array of options available, here are potential fits for Chicago as it moves into a critical offseason.

Deshaun Watson

If you’re going to be “big players,” why not go for one of the biggest fish in the pond. Watson is just that. 

After a disgruntled relationship with former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and failed inclusion in the hiring of the team’s vacant general manager position, Watson wants out. 

Despite the criticism, Chicago was a playoff team in 2020, and Nagy has successfully maneuvered through the snake pit to lead the Bears to the postseason in two of his three seasons in the Windy City. 

Another factor to add to the argument of bringing Watson to Chicago is the potential return for this year’s WR1 on the free-agent market: Allen Robinson. And with that, things become interesting.

Robinson has been the Bears’ clear top target since his arrival in 2018, and if Pace were to attempt to acquire Watson, I’m sure the presence of Robinson out-wide will become a large topic of conversation. 

Matthew Stafford

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Look no further than Matthew Stafford. The 12-year veteran of the Detroit Lions is now on his way out and is just a short trip west via I-94 from flipping his ingrained colors of Honolulu blue to burnt orange. 

The NFC North is seemingly up for grabs following the news surrounding a disgruntled Aaron Rodgers, as instability ravages much of the division's rosters. The Lions are in full rebuild mode under new head coach Dan Campbell. The Minnesota Vikings, albeit a roster with promising talent, finished under .500 in 2020 and have a blaring spotlight on Kirk Cousins, who has just one year remaining on his contract. With Stafford’s addition in a backfield alongside running back David Montgomery, the Bears could find themselves in the heat of a division race come next winter. 

Mac Jones

“One of these is not like the other.” 

The Bears currently sit at No. 20 in the 2021 NFL Draft, too low for any of this year’s top talents under center. However, Pace hasn’t been shy trading up. He’s moved up eight times in the past six drafts, and although the well doesn’t run dry after Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Justin Fields, Pace could be aggressive and jump up to grab his QB1. 

Additionally, Trey Lance could slip. Although I don’t see it happening, even Rodgers dropped to 24th overall in 2005. It happens. 

Mac Jones has been criticized this offseason following his record-breaking year at Alabama, but he can flat out spin it. Many have labeled Jones as a product-of-the-system quarterback under Alabama head coach Nick Saban, as he operated with an embarrassment of riches in wide receivers DeVonta Smith, John Metchie, and Jaylen Waddle—when healthy—and running back Najee Harris in 2020. 

Jones would be a project like Trubisky, but from a film standpoint, Jones is heads above Trubisky when focusing on location and touch on vertical throws. Jones was outstanding from sideline-to-sideline while consistently working the second level of the defense on crossers and option-routes. Chicago needs massive help up front and could go towards the likes of tackle Rashawn Slater at No. 20, but the last quarterback of relevance in Chicago was Jay Cutler; Pace must address the position somehow. 

Jared Goff

After Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead said, “Anything can be done” with this year’s salary cap regarding Jared Goff, it should raise eyebrows not only in Los Angeles but in Chicago as well. 

The Rams would owe Goff $22 million if they are able to find a trade partner. But the Bears could present a fresh start for Goff, who has endured an up-and-down career thus far despite a Super Bowl appearance just three short years ago. Goff touts tremendous ability in throwing the football. His arm-talent isn’t replicated by many in the NFL, and his skill-set would fit very nicely in Nagy’s run-first scheme in Chicago. It would take a unique trade package to get it done, but again, Pace is under immense pressure to get this Bears team in a position to win, and he'll have to make moves to create that reality. 

Let’s just hope he makes the right ones.

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