As Mitch Trubisky’s struggles continue on the field, our look toward the future of the Bears’ QB position will continue off it. And with that, we’ll keep our eyes on quarterbacking positions elsewhere throughout the league … just in case. After all, what happens with other teams could very well impact what happens in Chicago.
The obsessive QB watch begins right now.
Nick Foles Gets His Job Back
The idea of trading for Nick Foles was alluring, to be sure. But I bet the Jaguars are glad they didn’t make that move.
Jaguars’ HC Doug Marrone announces Nick Foles is returning to his role as starting quarterback after team’s bye.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2019
Jacksonville has announced it will hand the starting quarterback job back to Nick Foles after the team’s bye in Week 10. By the time Week 11 roles around, Foles will have spent the requisite eight weeks on injured reserve nursing his broken clavicle and should be ready to resume action.
There was a time, however, when Foles’ starting status was in flux. Rookie Garnder Minshew jumped into the role and caught a heater, generating buzz with solid play and undeniable swag. Minshew took the league by storm, prompting rumors that the Jaguars could move on from Foles and a salary cap number that will exceed $20 million in 2020.
But because Minshew was a turnover machine in last Sunday’s loss to the Texans, Head Coach Doug Marrone decided it was time to give Foles his job back.
While this move brings finality to this year’s situation, it doesn’t necessarily end the quarterback watch in Jacksonville. The Jaguars now have two players they could dangle on the market for quarterback-starved teams to fight for in the offseason. And while much of our focus was on Foles because of his familiarity with Matt Nagy’s system and prior success as a Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, Minshew is the far more valuable player because of his contract status.
Minshew’s rookie scale deal over the next three years comes with cap numbers of $632,904, $722,904, and $812,904, per OverTheCap.com. On a team that projects to have exploding salaries elsewhere, a quality signal caller on a rookie deal that doesn’t even surpass $1 million AAV could be viewed as being worth its weight in gold.
Cam Newton Hits Injured Reserve
With no clear timetable for his return, the Panthers announced that they’ve placed Cam Newton on injured reserve. Unfortunately, the foot injury that has nagged him hasn’t gotten any better — even after rest and rehabilitation. This stinks for Newton, a league MVP and one of the most entertaining players to watch in the NFL.
Previously, Newton has been propped up someone the Bears should have been targeting in an in-season trade. In hindsight, we should have seen the challenges in that happening because of his foot injury. But now that Newton is on IR, he will get a full opportunity to rest, rehab, and get a clean bill of health without having to stress about returning to his NFL team in a hurry.
Newton, 30, has one year left on his deal at a $21.1 million cap number. A player with his résumé and upside would be worth that kind of coin on a one-year deal. If Carolina can prove he is healthy, the Panthers will have quite the trade chip on their hands.
Chicago As A Landing Spot For Andy Dalton?
The Bengals celebrated Andy Dalton’s birthday last week by informing him he was being benched and relegated to QB2 responsibilities. Talk about a buzz-killer. But at least brighter days could be coming Dalton’s way once he gets a clean slate upon leaving Cincinnati.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hears from several NFL general managers who have pinpointed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a team that could provide an ideal landing spot for Dalton. But La Canfora doesn’t stop there – he also mentions the Bears and Titans as possible destinations. Considering the number of teams looking for quarterback upgrades, I can’t see Dalton having a shortage of options if he hits the open market. And even if he has to be moved by trade, willing partners should emerge.
The Bears fit is a sensible one, as La Canfora points out Chicago as a team who could be in search of a veteran quarterback who could provide short-term stability after first-round quarterbacks failed to live up to their potential. Trade packages weren’t discussed in La Canfora’s piece, but it should be pointed out that Cincinnati missed a golden opportunity to move him before the trade deadline.
Dalton still has one year remaining on his contract , though it comes with a $17.7 million cap number. Even still … Dalton could still be viewed as the right change-of-scenery quarterback who could provide a bridge for a team’s quarterback-of-the-future, while not sacrificing the present.