Well, it’s officially official:
We have officially signed QB Mark Sanchez to a one-year contract.
Welcome to Chicago, Mark! ?⬇ pic.twitter.com/fRz0MokKXo
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 24, 2017
As we wrote last night on reports that this was going to happen, Mark Sanchez figures to compete for the primary back-up job in 2017 behind presumed starter, Mike Glennon. The Bears currently also have Connor Shaw on the roster (David Fales is a restricted free agent), plus there’s a chance they could take a quarterback in the upcoming draft, but each of those avenues represent significant unknowns for the Bears, even in a back-up role. There’s still a lot to be sorted out here over the summer, but the early take here is that Sanchez and Shaw will compete to be the back-up, and the Bears may have a developmental quarterback (from the draft) behind the back-up.
You are reminded, though, that this year’s crop of draft quarterbacks is regarded as weak overall, and the Bears’ moves this offseason could very well suggest they simply aren’t in love with any of the draft options – thus, they could be punting on drafting a franchise-type quarterback until 2018. I know no one wants to hear that, but I’m just saying it’s possible.
As for the other Bullets …
- If nothing else, Sanchez is regarded as good in the locker room, and was a positive influence on Dak Prescott in Dallas as he developed into a starter (Sun-Times). Perhaps his presence will help not only a younger quarterback if the Bears take one in the draft, but also Glennon. Might as well get a guy like that in the door when you have space, especially when he might be a perfectly adequate back-up anyway.
- Sanchez marks the Bears’ 16th unrestricted free agent signing this year, and if that sounds like a lot, it is – it’s the most in the NFL (ChicagoBears.com). You can debate the merits of the signings, themselves, but the Bears have certainly been active. The theme of the offseason has clearly been to limit the long-term impact of signings, while still working to overhaul a roster that lost 13 games last season. Do the moves, alone, put the Bears in a position to make the playoffs in 2017? Realistically? Probably not. But do the moves, *if* coupled with the possibility of an impactful draft and better health in 2017, put them in a position to luck into playoff contention with some friendly bounces? Absolutely. How’s that for optimism?
- Jeff Dickerson writes that the Bears weren’t necessarily bluffing in their all-out attendance at Deshaun Watson’s pro day, but it would still be very difficult to pick him third overall. The more plausible route for the Bears to land Watson – if they do want him – would be to trade back with the third pick (we all know that’s easier suggested than pulled off, especially in a draft that isn’t very top-heavy) or to trade up into the back of the first round (which is pricey, and also may not net you the guy you want).
- OSU cornerback and possible top five pick Marshon Lattimore wants people to know there’s nothing wrong with his hamstrings. That may well be the case right now, but hamstring injuries in both legs cost him most of 2014 and 2015 at OSU, so concern is justified.
- On the docket for today in draft-assessment mode:
The Bears are sending several scouts to Michigan's pro day Friday, where Peppers, Charlton, Lewis, Wormley, Butt, many more will work out.
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) March 24, 2017
- And free agent DT Ricky Jean-Francois is signing with the Packers. He’d previously visited the Bears.
- Speaking of the Packers, Aaron Rodgers believes the offense next year is going to “really tough to stop.” He’s probably right. And if the Bears want to be the team to prove him wrong, they’re probably going to have to make an impactful addition to the secondary from the draft, and get big years from free agent additions Quintin Demps, Prince Amukamara, and Marcus Cooper.