Bears Pressed to Sign Pro Bowl QB With ‘Extensive Experience’ to Back Up Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams

Getty The Chicago Bears are predicted to draft QB Caleb Williams.

The Chicago Bears are very likely going to draft rookie quarterback Caleb Williams and trade Justin Fields, as an overwhelming number of NFL insiders have reported.

If and when that happens, are the Bears really going to go into the 2024 season with Williams and Tyson Bagent — and undrafted free agent just last year — at QB? That’s highly unlikely.

Kris Knox of Bleacher Report thinks the Bears should add an experienced veteran such as Tyrod Taylor to the mix.

“While Bagent handled himself well in four starts this past season, he isn’t the sort of experienced mentor the Bears should want supporting their next signal-caller,” Knox wrote on February 19. “Ideally, the Bears would add a more proven backup, one with extensive starting experience like Jacoby Brissett or Tyrod Taylor.”

We’ve discussed the possibility of Brissett before, so let’s look at what Taylor has to offer.

Would QB Tyrod Taylor Be Good Addition for the Chicago Bears?

A sixth-round pick for the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, Taylor won a Super Bowl in 2012 as a backup for former Ravens QB Joe Flacco.

After four seasons in Baltimore, the 6-foot-1, 217-pound Taylor spent three years with the Buffalo Bills. He was named to the Pro Bowl with the Bills after his 2015 season, when he completed 63.7% of his passes for 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

A 13-year NFL veteran, Taylor just hit the end of his two-year, $11 million deal with the New York Giants and is now headed to free agency. Taylor started five games for the Giants last year, going 2-3. He completed 64.4% of his passes for 1,341 yards, 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

The veteran signal-caller has suffered rib, wrist and hamstring injuries in recent years, but he can still fill in capably when needed.

“Taylor still has a howitzer for an arm. He can still make plays with his legs. He is imperfect and inconsistent, as are most backup quarterbacks, but he can still do a lot of things that should make him desirable to a number of teams this offseason,” Giants analyst Ed Valentine of SB Nation wrote on January 24.

Valentine also believes Taylor is “as good or better than many of the backup quarterbacks who could be available on the free-agent market this offseason.”

Caleb Williams Will Need Experienced Backup

There is minimal doubt the Bears will do anything other than draft Williams with the No. 1 overall pick. There’s a very small chance another rookie, such as Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, could overtake Williams as QB1 on Chicago’s board, but that’s highly unlikely.

Regardless which rookie quarterback the Bears take, having a veteran with experience at the position seems like a good idea.

Bagent showed he could play in the league while filling in for Fields last year. The UDFA out of Shepherd University went 2-2 in his four starts, completing 65.7% of his passes for 859 yards, 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also rushed for 109 yards and two TDs.

The Bears could do what they did for a large chunk of the 2023 season and keep three QBs on the roster, which would allow them to further develop Bagent while also bringing in a more experienced quarterback who could mentor both Williams and Bagent.

Is Taylor the best option for that? He or Brissett would make sense, as would Marcus Mariota. Whoever it is, expect Chicago to pursue an experienced signal-caller this offseason.

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