Sunday’s embarrassing loss to Kansas City highlighted the perils and rewards a team can reap when selecting a quarterback atop the draft. On one side, you had the Chicago Bears with a persistently underwhelming Mitchell Trubisky, and on the other side, the Chiefs flaunted NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.
The story’s been told a million times already. The Bears actually traded up a spot to take Trubisky second overall in 2017 — a move that was widely panned. Then, eight spots later, the Chiefs traded up to No. 10 overall and landed Mahomes.
- Three years into the careers of these forever-compared quarterbacks and there’s no doubt about which team is loving their gamble.
- There’s also no doubt that the Bears will have some soul searching to do this offseason about whether Trubisky is really the long-term answer.
The bare facts: Trubisky is a below-average quarterback, and the stats bear this out.
Quite aside from the stats, the simple truth is that Trubisky consistently shows an inability to accurately get the ball to his playmakers down the field.
So the Bears have to honestly answer the question: Is Trubisky always going to be a limited offensive weapon with spotty accuracy, or does he have the physical tools to become elite and simply needs more seasoning?
As someone who was down on Trubisky ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft, the answer seems obvious. It’s time to at the least bring in some legitimate competition this offseason. Trubisky may never be it.
The options: If the Bears come to the same conclusion, they have some options open to them.
Thanks to the Khalil Mack trade last year, the Bears don’t have first-round pick and won’t be selecting until the mid-40s next April. So, the draft probably isn’t going to be the spot where they look for any sort of potential immediate replacement.
We recently wrote about 10 quarterbacks who could be looking for new teams in 2020. Of those 10, the Bears should think long and hard about three in particular.
- Tom Brady: Brady is going to be a free agent after this season, and there have been rumors he may be ready to finally move on. Adding him to an offense with Chicago’s level of talent, and to a strong defensive team, could immediately make the Bears contenders.
- Cam Newton: Assuming Newton can get healthy, and assuming the Carolina Panthers are going to move in a new direction as many assume they will, he’d be an intriguing addition to Chicago’s offense.
- Josh Rosen: It looks like Rosen really could land on his third team in three seasons as a pro. He’s not looking like part of the long-term plans in Miami, but this kid still has the same talent that had scouts drooling in 2018, and he’d challenge Trubisky to be sure.
The bottom line: The Bears absolutely cannot maintain the status quo here. Chase Daniel is a very solid backup, but he’s not going to provide the Bears with any real competition for Trubisky. And despite some surges of strong play, he’s consistently struggled to do basic things at the NFL level.
At this point, it sure looks like Trubisky’s ceiling is mediocre. The Bears must do something to proactively address this issue. Now the question is, will they have the courage to admit a past mistake, and the fortitude to act?