The Chicago Bears are in an interesting position, at least in terms of their QB room. They finally kicked the wheels of the Mitchell Trubisky experiment, letting him walk away in free agency. They’ll be rocking with a duo of veterans Andy Dalton, and Nick Foles, along with young, hotshot rookie Justin Fields. In this article, I’ll be assessing each quarterback in Chicago’s carousel, and analyzing how they’ll be used in 2021.
One of the Bears’ more notable free agency signings came when they picked up veteran QB Andy Dalton. At first, it seemed like Dalton was brought in to be a backup, until he revealed that he signed after being told he was the starter. This move came as a shock to many, and for good reason. The Bears, who were seemingly targeting a star quarterback through trade, instead opted to bring in Andy Dalton to be their starter. Dalton being the starter felt extremely underwhelming compared to having Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson or even Carson Wentz suiting up in Chicago. It was clear he was brought in to be a bridge QB until Chicago could find their franchise quarterback.
GM Ryan Pace made the flashiest move of Night 1 of the draft by trading up to select Ohio State QB Justin Fields. Pace traded a premium price to snag who he, and all Bears fans hope is their quarterback of the future. Justin Fields is absolutely the most talented quarterback in the room, and everyone knows that he’ll eventually be the starter at least some point this season. Just a few months ago, Fields was regarding as the QB2 in the draft, and the Bears were lucky that he fell to pick 11. Justin Fields will absolutely make the Bears better as soon as he steps onto the field. If everything goes well, he’ll be the franchise quarterback in Chicago for many seasons. If not, the Bears took a big hit after giving up a lot to select him.
Now moving on to Nick Foles. Last offseason, the Bears traded for Foles, in hopes that he would create some much-needed competition for Mitch Trubisky. They hoped he’d either push Mitch to be a better player or just take over the starting role. Well, they both played poorly, and now Trubisky is in Buffalo, and Foles is sitting at the bottom of the depth chart. I really didn’t like the decision to trade for Foles a year ago, and it seems like an even worse move now that the Bears have Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. Will Foles even be on the roster come week 1? I could absolutely see the Bears getting rid of Foles whether it’s through trade, or just outright cutting him. Dalton is the veteran placeholder, and Fields is the future. To me, there isn’t a place for Foles on their roster.
Who Should Start?
There is a debate on who should be the Bears’ starting quarterback. Personally, I would like to see the Bears take a similar approach to the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes. In Mahomes’ rookie season, they allowed Alex Smith to start, while Mahomes sat on the bench. Then, the next season, Patrick took over after a year of sitting and developing. Now, will Justin Fields throw 50+ touchdowns in his second year? Probably not, but I think the Bears will definitely do something similar. I get the feeling that they don’t want to rush Fields and end up in a situation like the New York Jets and Sam Darnold. They’d rather sit him to learn, instead of just throwing him into the fire when he’s not ready. I’d expect Fields to sit Week 1, behind Dalton.
Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski