The Chicago Bears have their QB1 in place, but it isn’t keeping them from having their eyes on prospects elsewhere.
ESPN’s Eric Williams tweets the Bears were one of 13 teams watching Manziel throw at the University of San Diego’s pro day. Among the other teams joining the Bears were NFC North rivals (Lions), Matt Nagy’s old team (Chiefs), the team that drafted Manziel in the first place back in 2014 (Browns), and a team that’s always on the hunt for quarterback talent (Patriots).
Of course, the Bears could have been looking at other prospects in addition to Manziel. But it’s still noteworthy that a team representative took the time to give him a look just in case.
Manziel hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since December 27, 2015, which was his second season in Cleveland. He was released in March 2016 and has been in the spotlight (mostly) for all the wrong reasons. Manziel has been on an image (and life) rehabilitation tour of late, recently opening up about alcohol abuse, off-field issues, and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017. He said his goal was to get back into the NFL, and I suppose working through drills at an on-campus pro day is a good place to start.
Because he has some prospect pedigree that comes with being a 2014 first-round pick and could be given a clean slate by a quarterback-thirsty team, there is a chance that Manziel latches on somewhere to compete for a backup job. HOWEVER, signing Manziel wouldn’t make much sense for a Bears team that has Mitch Trubisky firmly atop the depth chart with Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray behind him.
Manziel broke onto the scene in 2012 as a redshirt freshman at Texas A&M. After winning a preseason quarterback battle, Manziel went on to throw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns against just nine interceptions. He also added 1,410 rushing yards and 21 ground scores en route to being named an All-American and winning the Heisman Trophy, AP Player of the Year award, Davey O’Brien award, and SEC Offensive Player of the Year.