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Ranking Chicago Bears Quarterback Options for the 2021 NFL Season

  • 2021 NFL Draft
  • 2021 NFL Offseason
  • Chicago Bears
  • Gardner Minshew
  • Mac Jones
  • Marcus Mariota
  • Mitch Trubisky
  • Mitchell Trubisky
  • Nick Foles
By Brian Goodwin February 25, 2021 0 Comment
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Brian Goodwin gives his top five realistic options at quarterback for the Chicago Bears in 2021. 

The 2021 Chicago Bears find themselves in a tough spot. They boast a borderline-great defense — but it’s one that is aging. As such, the time to win it all is now.

What are the Bears missing to do so? The answer is easy but massive: They need a starting quarterback, the most important position in all of sports. This has been a glaring hole for the Bears for most of the decade. The time to address it is now.

In this article, I give five realistic options for the Bears to fix this problem.

Running It Back

Options four and five are definitely not sexy options the fan base would love, but in my mind, they represent realistic choices that could definitely happen.

5. Mitch Trubisky

The once-thought franchise quarterback the Bears traded up to snag in the 2017 NFL draft is a pending free agent.

While it is likely he has run his course in Chicago, I would not rule out the sliver of a chance Trubisky has to sign a short-term, low-money contract. While I do not think this is the best move for the franchise, Trubisky will always have a special place in my heart. During his 2018 Pro Bowl season, Trubisky did show glimpses of being a franchise quarterback.

I like this option more than trading draft capital for a guy like Sam Darnold, who only has one year left on his rookie contract (excluding his fifth-year option).

4. Nick Foles

This option is by far my least favorite. I am not a believer in Nick Foles.

Besides Foles’ bright spot in the comeback win vs the Falcons in Week 3, he looked awful for most of the 2020 season. His inability to move or to be mobile at all is a killer in today’s NFL.

Yes, I understand Foles strung together a magical run a few years back and won a Super Bowl MVP. But things happen and people change. He is not that guy anymore. I rule this as the fourth-best option only because he is the only quarterback currently on contract for the Bears at the moment, making it a real possibility.

Reconnecting Old Friends

3. Gardner Minshew

Trading late draft capital for a potential starting quarterback on a very cheap rookie contract may sound too good to be true. I am here to tell you why this option is very realistic.

Gardner Minshew actually has not been as bad as most people think in his short time in the NFL. In his two years of play, Minshew started 21 games, passing for 5,530 yards and throwing 37 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions. Pretty decent for a sixth-round draft pick, right?

Minshew also has connections with the Bears’ coaching staff, most notably with offense coordinator John DeFilippo. Coaching connections usually play a huge role in player trades during the offseason.

Minshew fits today’s NFL in that he is mobile and can move in the pocket. He rushed for 497 yards in his 21 starts. While trading for Minshew seems like a real possibility, the biggest knock against it is this: GM Ryan Pace wants to make a splash this offseason to save his job.

This move would not be that splash, and while it could be smart, it also has the potential to backfire rather quickly.

Draft Day

2. Mac Jones

The Bears might look to draft a young quarterback to compete with Foles this offseason. While growing consensus is that Mac Jones may be gone by pick 20 in this year’s draft, the Bears might need to make a trade and move up for him if he is their guy.

Jones enjoyed an incredible 2020 season at Alabama and skyrocketed up draft boards over the past few months. With coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace being on the hot seat this year, betting on a rookie quarterback to save your job might not be the best option. But it’s realistic nonetheless.

Betting on Talent

1. Marcus Mariota

The former Oregon duck had a shaky NFL career thus far and may be in line to earn a starting job once again this upcoming season.

Mariota only played in one game in 2020 for the Raiders — but he looked phenomenal in that opportunity, gaining 314 total yards and adding two touchdowns. The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner has one year left on his current deal and could be had for little draft capital.

That bodes well for a Bears team with little cap space and limited picks. While this option has not been discussed or rumored by the media, I see it as the most likely option for the Bears in 2021. Mariota is mobile and coachable. Matt Nagy just might be able to turn him into the star many thought he’d be out of college.

Countless factors could arise, but these currently represent my five most realistic quarterback options for the Chicago Bears in the upcoming 2021 NFL season.

Additional reading: Check out Brian Goodwin’s Mock draft 1.0

Brian Goodwin’s Pre-Free Agency 2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 …

 

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