The Chicago Bears quarterback carousel took fans on a wild ride in 2020, but Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky helped put the team in a position to land Justin Fields. Unfortunately for Chicago, it might be stuck with a crowded quarterback room this season.
The Bears looked everywhere for a quarterback upgrade this offseason. Failed trade pursuits, namely for Russell Wilson, ultimately forced general manager Ryan Pace to make a desperate move. So, even with Foles already on the roster for $6.6 million, Chicago signed Andy Dalton for $10 million.
Pace still needed a long-term solution at the position, the only way he might have a shot at staying employed through the year. As Fields slipped down the board in the 2021 NFL Draft, Chicago jumped up to No. 11 and grabbed one of the most talented quarterback prospects in recent years.
Immediately after drafting Fields, Chicago started making calls around the league. With so many NFL teams in need of a quarterback, either to start or as veteran insurance, surely at least one club would be interested in a Super Bowl MVP.
According to NFL insider Adam Caplan, nobody wanted Foles. Pace called every general manager he could reach and not a single executive was interested in giving up anything for the 32-year-old quarterback.
The lack of interest in Foles shouldn’t be too surprising. While there have been a few bright spots during his NFL career and he will be remembered in Philadelphia forever, the last few seasons have been rough.
- Nick Foles stats (2019-’20): 2-9 record, 2,588 passing yards, 65% completion rate, 13/10 TD/INT ratio, 6.0 yards per attempt, 81.8 passer rating in 13 games
Chicago thought Foles returning to a familiar scheme would help him return to his former glory. Pace traded a compensatory fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft for Foles in March 2020 and it didn’t take long for the deal to backfire.
After seeing that deal backfire, no one can blame Pace for desperately trying to find a trade partner this offseason. But it’s hard to imagine any team reaching the point of desperation where they’d move anything for Foles.
The Bears likely can’t afford to cut him either. Designating Foles as a post-June 1 release would actually create a bigger cap hit ($7.66 million) than keeping him on the roster ($6.66 million).
It seems Pace and Nagy are set on Dalton opening the season as the team’s starting quarterback. While that might be a mistake, given Fields is more talented, paying two backup quarterbacks a combined $17.1 million to sit behind a rookie isn’t an ideal situation for a team tight against the salary cap.