What the future holds for Mitch Trubisky is still to be determined, but the franchise is very clearly committed to building around the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Indeed, they’ve already doubled-down on their efforts to get the most out of the position by hiring an offensive-minded head coach and an offensive coordinator with a background in quarterback development.
The only questions about the quarterback position heading into 2018, then, revolve around who will be serving as Trubisky’s backup and how the Bears will attack the room. So, let’s dive into the first in an offseason series breaking down the happenings at each position starting with the most important position in the game.
WHO’S UNDER CONTRACT?
Mitch Trubisky is under team control for at least the next three years on his rookie deal, which could extend another year beyond that if he performs well enough to inspire the team to pick up the fifth-year option. But if Trubisky is that good, there’s a possibility he’ll receive a Derek Carr-like extension before his rookie deal expires. If Trubisky plays well enough to earn that kind of long-term commitment, we might be able to collectively move past the fact the Bears moved up in the draft to take him.
EXITING FREE AGENTS
Mark Sanchez is the only Bears quarterback to not take a snap in 2017 and the only one who will hit free agency this offseason. Sanchez has completed just 69 passes since the start of the 2015 season, but has slid into a role as mentor, soothsayer, and quarterback whisperer in his last two stops with the Cowboys and Bears. He seemed to hit it off with Trubisky, so it might be in the team’s best interest to bring back Sanchez to maintain some continuity at the position.
WHO COULD BE CUT BEFORE THE LEAGUE NEW YEAR BEGINS?
Mike Glennon opened up 2017 as the Bears’ starting quarterback, but his poor showing in the team’s first four games opened the door for Trubisky’s debut. And because Trubisky never relinquished the job, the Bears are expected to part ways with Glennon and clear up $11.5 million in salary cap space in the process.
Potential cap savings: $11.5 million ($4.5 million dead money)
HOW CAN THE BEARS ADDRESS/UPGRADE THE POSITION?
With Trubisky entrenched in a starting role on a rookie scale deal, the Bears are positioned to use their cap flexibility to improve the roster elsewhere. However, Glennon’s expected departure and Sanchez reaching free agency would mean the Bears could add two quarterbacks to their mix this offseason.
The team met with Washington State’s Luke Falk at the Senior Bowl and could look to take a late-round quarterback to fill a need that way. Draft prospects like Falk, Nic Shimonek (Texas Tech), Mike White (Western Kentucky), and Kyle Lauletta (Richmond) are among the late-round diamond-in-the-rough types who could be available on Day 3.
If the Bears decide to go with a veteran, someone like Josh McCown (Jets) could be an interesting offseason target. Same for Chase Daniel, who has connections to Nagy from their time with the Chiefs.