Do Bears have a backup plan?
We know Chase Daniel isn’t the solution if Mitch Trubisky fails to answer the questions for Matt Nagy. So who is?
Will GM Pace add QB depth in case Trubisky can’t find success in fourth season?
What would Tom Brady look like in a Bears uniform? Don’t hold your breath. While he’s part of the quarterback musical chairs about to shake up the league, it’s unlikely the Bears would sign him to replace freeagent-to-be Chase Daniel. Instead, expect a lower-tier QB through free agency or trade. We break down all of the options.
Ryan Pace has left no uncertainty about his Plan A for the Bears quarterback situation in 2020. The sixth-year general manager wants to see through his draft pick of Mitch Trubisky, whose inconsistency and regression in 2019 pulled the team backward.
“We’ve seen this before with young quarterbacks and the trials and tribulations they go through,” Pace said Dec. 31. “It’s part of it. Sometimes if you stick with it and you see it through and you’re dedicated to the development of the process, that can be very beneficial to the organization long term.”
But what about Plan B? What if Trubisky, in his fourth season, can’t “smooth out those inconsistencies,” as Pace put it?
Yes, Pace described Trubisky’s erratic play as “just a growth process we’re all watching take place.” But after the Bears finished last in the NFL in 2019 with 5.7 yards per pass, it stands to reason Pace and coach Matt Nagy will try to thicken the ice beneath their feet in continuing with Trubisky’s development.
Pace said the Bears will examine their quarterback depth with an eye on upgrades over incumbent backup Chase Daniel and third quarterback Tyler Bray. But unless Pace adopts a different sales pitch from what he said publicly, any quarterback who agrees to sign with the Bears would do so knowing Trubisky is the organization’s priority.
Still, before Pace traded up to select Trubisky second in 2017, he spoke of taking multiple swings at the quarterback position to ensure a solution. In the months ahead, we’ll learn whether Pace is again using that approach.
With that in mind, let’s survey the landscape of veteran quarterbacks who could become available as free agents or via trade this offseason.
They are listed in alphabetical order within three categories: entrenched starters with expiring contracts, lower-tier veterans headed toward free agency and quarterbacks under contract at least through 2020.
The Bears are estimated to have about $20 million in salary-cap space, which is below the league average. Of course, cap space can easily be created by restructuring and/or terminating contracts. That’s part of the quarterback puzzle the Bears must put together before free agency opens March 18.
Here’s a look ahead to the 2020 quarterback market, with each player’s 2019 team and 2020 opening-day age.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace has plenty of options to pursue to help improve the quarterback position.