The Chicago Bears seem to be looking at every possible avenue at quarterback. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Bears “were a suitor” for New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, who agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with his 2020 team on Monday.
The Bears were apparently looking at Winston a bit longer than other quarterbacks currently available via free agency, and it sounds like the Saints had more to offer the 27-year-old. Insider Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune revealed on Twitter that Winston was ‘Plan B’ for the Bears, which suggests head coach Matt Nagy had to have been keen on working with him.
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Bears Have Vowed to Be Diligent in QB Search
“Everything is on the table in regard to the quarterback situation and honestly that includes players on our current roster, that includes free agency, trade, the draft and a combination of all those. So, we have a plan in place and now it’s about executing that plan,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said earlier this month.
The Bears GM also wasn’t shy about admitting he would be looking to add a quarterback via trade this offseason, if a player was available the team saw value in. “We’re gonna explore every one of those. You know we’ll be thorough with that,” Pace said about the trade market. “It’s just us doing our due diligence on all different things and exploring every avenue to improve our team and improve our roster and it’s no different with that.”
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Would Winston Have Been a Good Fit in Chicago?
Winston saw limited action in a backup role behind Drew Brees last season, but his work as a starter in Tampa Bay the five years prior was a mixed bag at best. While he’s mobile and dynamic with the ability to make huge throws at times, Winston has also been wildly inconsistent and extremely turnover-prone.
In his last full season as starter with the Bucs in 2019, he completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 33 touchdowns and a league-best 5,109 yards passing — but he also tossed a league-high 30 interceptions, and he lost nine fumbles in addition to that. I highly doubt a turnover machine like Winston would have ultimately lasted too long with Nagy, who benched Mitch Trubisky three games in this past season after one ill-advised pick.
Another thing that doesn’t particularly add up is the fact that Winston’s issues off the field, which include shoplifting, sexual assault accusations and a suspension for groping an Uber driver in 2017, doesn’t exactly mesh with the team’s message of having quality character guys who create minimal distractions in the locker room. With as much as Pace and Nagy saying they value character, bringing Winston in would have been a questionable move in that department.
Regardless, what’s done is done, and Winston is staying put in New Orleans, a move he confirmed himself via Twitter later Monday.