Mitch Trubisky’s days with the Chicago Bears appear to be numbered. NFL insider Ian Rapoport revealed in early January that if the former second overall pick failed to lead the team on a playoff run, he could be shown the door this offseason.
Well, the Bears lost in the Wild Card round to the New Orleans Saints, 21-9, and when speaking with the media in the team’s year-end press conference, general manager Ryan Pace did not sound like a man pleased with the position: “As far as the plan at quarterback, to get to where we want to go, we definitely need more out of that position. We know that. What does that entail? That is what this whole offseason is about,” Pace said.
Now that the quarterback carousel has begun spinning at top speed with the Matthew Stafford – Jared Goff trade, what does that mean for Trubisky and the Bears? The team declined his fifth-year option, so he’ll be a free agent this offseason. While any team can pursue him, a growing number of analysts seem to think the former North Carolina quarterback will land over in the AFC North.
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Multiple Analysts Think Trubisky is a Great Fit for Pittsburgh Steelers
At present, there are rumblings in Pittsburgh as to whether longtime Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return in 2021 despite indicating that’s his intention. The 17-year veteran played well in 2020, starting 15 games after suffering a season-ending elbow injury in 2019, but after throwing four interceptions in the team’s playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns, there is growing concern as to whether Roethlisberger’s age is becoming a factor.
StillCurtain’s Tommy Jaggi had this to say about why Trubisky would be a solid potential successor to Roethlisberger:
Sometimes a fresh start with a new organization is what a young quarterback needs. I’m certainly not suggesting that Mitch Trubisky is anything more than a quality depth option, but perhaps he could still develop into a little bit more. Still just 26 years old and with some good tools to work with, the former first-round pick would be an immediate upgrade over Dwayne Haskins and could compete for the number two quarterback spot on the team. People forget that Trubisky is quite the athlete as well, as Chicago never utilized his talents here. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.67, had a 116” broad jump, and posted an impressive 6.87-second 3-cone. … Perhaps Matt Canada could find a role for Trubisky on this offense. If Ben were to decide to hang it up, he could compete to be the starter next year.
Ryan Fedrau over at BearsWire agrees: “Trubisky is a perfect replacement and would easily beat out Haskins for the starting role. He is even an upgrade from both Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph. Look for the Steelers to make a play for Trubisky to come in and compete for the starting job.”
Trubisky Could Be Signed to Marcus Mariota-like Deal
As Jaggi noted, a fresh start could benefit both the Bears and Trubisky, who turns 27 in August. The Steelers recently signed another former first-round pick in Dwayne Haskins, and Trubisky’s numbers (he has completed 64 percent of his passes for 10,609 yards, 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions in his first four seasons with the team) are far better than what Haskins has produced in his limited opportunities.
Trubisky is also a legitimate threat on the ground, and if he gets in the right system with a solid running game (he and Steelers running back James Conner know each other from their college playing days), he could be a capable starter in this league.
Right now, it’s looking like Mitch could be this year’s Marcus Mariota, but with a slightly better chance to compete for a starting position somewhere. The Raiders signed Mariota to a two-year, $17.6 million contract with $7.5 million guaranteed last year, and it wouldn’t be outlandish to see Mitch signing a deal similar to that.
Could Trubisky wind up playing in yet another legendary football town? The jury is still out, but it’s certainly looking like his days are numbered in the Windy City.