ATM: First Look at the Quarterback Market

| January 12th, 2021

Regardless of who is making the decisions, the top priority for the Chicago Bears this offseason has to be finding a quarterback. The Bears can’t – and from the sounds of it, won’t – let the best stretch of Mitch Trubisky’s career change what they already knew: he is not and never will be good. Not finding an upgrade is no longer an option for the Bears.

While some have tried to paint the picture that the Bears won’t be able to find a better quarterback, the truth is they have no choice. And upgrading isn’t the monumental task some make it out to be. Here’s a quick look at some of the options:

The Extreme Long Shots

Russell Wilson

After finally letting Russ cook in 2020, the Seahawks seem determined not to do that again.

This is, more or less, throwing mud to see what sticks, but trading Wilson has been floated before and if Seattle wants to run into the middle of the line of scrimmage every other play, they might as well move him.

Seattle is operating in a different existence right now. Pete Carroll is determined to waste Wilson and the rest of the league can thank him for that. Don’t rule out Wilson requesting a trade since Carroll just signed a huge contract extension.

Deshaun Watson

Whatever the price for Watson might be, it isn’t too much. Like Wilson, it’s very unlikely that Watson will be traded, but players have power and Watson is ticked off.

Slightly More Likely

Derek Carr

We went down this road last year and not a lot has changed. He still plays for Jon Gruden and Jon Gruden doesn’t like anybody who currently plays quarterback for him.

The Raiders didn’t sign Marcus Mariota last year for insurance. They did it because Gruden always has a wandering eye. Carr likely wouldn’t cost that much in draft capital, but he may want a new contract to guarantee his future a little more.

With two straight seasons surpassing 4,000 yards and a passer rating of 100, Carr would solve the position for the foreseeable future. The difficult part is making sure they have enough talent around him.

Dak Prescott

If the Cowboys loved Prescott as much as they say they do, he wouldn’t be worried about a contract right now.

Prescott was on pace to throw for nearly 6,000 yards; completing 68% of his passes for an average of 8.4 per attempt. He has a career passer rating of 97.3 and he can run.

Bringing him back seems like a no-brainer for the Cowboys, but Jerry is Jerry.  It’ll cost draft picks and a lot of money, but Prescott is worth it.

Jimmy Garoppolo

It’s hard to make sense of what Kyle Shanahan thinks of the only quarterback he’s been able to regularly win with, but the Bears should be willing to take a look if the 49ers move on.

Injury issues are huge with him, but when he’s healthy, he’s a good player and probably a better fit for what Nagy wants to do than what Shanahan wants to do.

Realistic Options Better Than Mitch

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Say what you will about Fitzpatrick, but he keeps coming back for more. He’ll never be an ideal option, but he can get the job done.

Jacoby Brissett

Brissett was playing well in 2019 before he was injured. I’m not sold that the Colts upgraded at QB with Phil Rivers. Can do everything Trubisky did at the end of the season, but without the dumb interceptions and with a willingness to use his legs.

Jameis Winston

He’ll throw a ton of interceptions, but they’ll also score points. It’ll be fun. Well, more fun than scoring three meaningful points in a playoff game.

The Draft

The most likely scenario is that the Bears sign a veteran, in which case, they have to hit the draft hard.

There are four quarterback prospects who many consider to be high level picks. Forget about Trevor Lawrence and probably Justin Fields. Zach Wilson’s hype is largely a Twitter thing and we’ll see how NFL doctors feel about his surgically-repaired shoulder. Trey Lance only has one year playing higher than the high school level.

None will likely be available at Pick 20, but the Bears shouldn’t hesitate to move up if they drop into the teens.

If they can’t move up, Mac Jones is the fifth quarterback who many have projected to be a first round pick.

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