The Chicago Bears had to address the QB situation during this offseason, and they have done that, but if you’re analyzing the team’s roster, the question remains: are they done shoring up the most important position in the sport?
If you’re a Bears fan, you’d have to hope that they aren’t.
What the Bears Have Done at QB in the Offseason
The Bears are set to acquire former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fourth-round compensatory draft pick. This pick was awarded to the Bears earlier in the month, and it was the first time the team had received a compensatory pick since 2009.
This one came as a result of the Bears losing safety Adrian Amos to the Green Bay Packers the last offseason. That loss likely was deemed to have shifted the Bears into a negative based on their net gain and loss from free-agent acquisitions and additions from this past season.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport posted the chart that covers all NFL teams and their compensatory pick situation:
What the Bears Have Lost at QB
While the Bears are adding Foles, their backup QB from last season, Chase Daniel has reportedly agreed to sign with the NFC North division rival Detroit Lions.
Daniel, a 10-year NFL veteran, played the last two seasons with the Bears as Mitchell Trubisky’s backup. Over that time, Daniel started three games, he appeared in eight and accumulated a QB record of 2-3.
Moreso than his on-the-field contributions, Daniel was an excellent locker room presence and veteran mentor backup to help Trubisky develop.
What the Bears Currently Have at QB
As of now, the Bears have Trubisky, who will likely head into training camp as the starter, with Foles in the No. 2 spot, but the designation isn’t as clear cut as most other QB1-QB2 arrangements.
Teams don’t bring in a veteran with Foles’ resume and ability unless they believe there is a good chance he could wind up on the field at some point in 2020.
The Mitchell Trubisky Predicament
All the pressure is on Trubisky. He has been pushed as the franchise QB, but he has been mostly disappointing to this point. Through three seasons, 41 games of action, Trubisky has led the team to one playoff appearance, and his QB record is 23-18.
If we’re being honest, he hasn’t been horrible. He’s had some big games and shown the ability to perform well in the clutch, as evidenced by his four fourth-quarter comebacks. His ability to make plays with his feet has arguably been his best asset.
Trubisky has run for 862 yards and seven TDs in his career. However, he was not drafted as a running back. His accuracy, field vision, and decision making must improve if the Bears’ offense is going to follow suit.
The Nick Foles Situation
Foles may not have wanted to be put back into a position to compete for a starting job, but this is a winnable spot for him. While he isn’t nearly as athletic as Trubisky, Foles does excel where Trubisky struggles.
Trubisky can be inaccurate as a passer, careless with the ball, and his leadership skills are still unproven. In his career, Foles has taken impeccable care of the ball. His TD-to-INT ratio is better than 2:1, and he will almost never lose a game for his team with turnovers. He’s led a team to a Super Bowl and won MVP on the sport’s grandest stage.
As Foles, who is 31 years old, heads into the ninth year of his career and his fifth NFL team, the biggest question might be: is he motivated enough to push Trubisky the way the Bears hope.
If Foles is and can win the job from Trubisky, you can expect to see the latter elsewhere heading into the 2021 season. The Bears almost certainly wouldn’t keep both on the roster long term. If that does happen, who then becomes the QB of the future?
Why The Bears Still Have to Draft a QB
Chicago might be set at QB for 2020. Between Trubisky and Foles, one or both of the guys will hopefully play to a level that compliments the team’s above-average defense.
However, do we expect Trubisky to have such a great season in 2020 that he eliminates all doubt about his ability to be the franchise QB for the next five to seven years? Even if Trubisky wins the job, how feasible is it for Foles to hang around long term as his backup?
If Foles does beat Trubisky for the starting job and the latter moves on, who is the former’s backup in 2021, and who is the guy being groomed as the starter down the road? The answer to most of these questions could be found in a selection during the 2020 NFL Draft. Bears GM Ryan Pace has to find a talented QB the team can develop.
The Bears don’t have a first-round pick, and it may not be wise to use their second-round selection on a QB as the team is in need of help on the offensive line. However, at some point through the first two days of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bears need to select a young QB who can learn under Trubisky, Foles and head coach Matt Nagy. Too often the Bears have found themselves turning to backup QBs with no real future of being anything more than a backup.
Chicago must take every step to strengthen the QB position not just for 2020, but for years to come.