UPDATE UP TOP:
The Bears are reportedly in talks with Teddy Bridgewater right now. Or actually, they’re looking at trade targets. Today has been fun.
With the NFL officially deciding to proceed with the new league year as scheduled, we should brace ourselves for a flurry of quarterback madness this week. For the Bears, that could mean quickly landing a preferred veteran to back-up/compete with Mitch Trubisky, or it could mean trying to get creative with the cap (and/or the trade market) to land a replacement.
And since the quarterback market has a deeply interconnected chain of events to it (starting with the Titans re-signing Ryan Tannehill today), we’ve gotta keep tabs on the latest …
- Tom Brady figures to be the first big domino to fall, and with the 49ers reportedly out, everyone seems to think it’ll either be a reunion with the Patriots or a move to the Buccaneers:
Per Chris Simms: “It was Tom Brady’s No. 1 choice . . . to go to San Francisco and be the starting quarterback.”#49ers doing the right thing by sticking with Garoppolo as most thought they would. https://t.co/7LOEBd8T6l
— Al Sacco (@AlSacco49) March 15, 2020
Sources: 49ers are OUT on Tom Brady, sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady sweepstakes are down to 2 teams: https://t.co/uqxtdcjCNl
— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) March 15, 2020
T Brady 1st Snap of 20-21 NFL Reg Season updated
NE, TB 10/11
LAC, SF 8/1
No Snap Taken 40/1
Chi, Mia, Car, Den, Det, 300/1
LAR, Atl, Jax, NYG 500/1
Cle, NYJ, Buf, Ari, Phi, Pit, Hou, NO, Wsh, Cin, Min 1000/1
Sea, GB, Bal 10,000/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) March 15, 2020
- Hopefully Brady makes his decision quickly, which will set the rest of the market into motion. Then again, if he’s TRULY down to only New England and Tampa Bay at this point, then maybe there actually won’t be a ton of ripple effects based on his decision? I guess it depends a bit on who else Tampa Bay is going to target if Brady returns to New England (which feels increasingly likely).
- Meanwhile, an older rumored destination for Brady is moving on to another round of rumors – the Raiders are reportedly looking at a first round quarterback in the draft. Per Vic Tafur: “Speaking of the draft, there is growing buzz that the Raiders might draft a quarterback with their second first-round pick at No. 19. Utah State’s Jordan Love is a possibility if the consensus fourth-best QB falls to No. 19, or the team could trade down from 19 and grab Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, whom the team is very high on.”
- As you’ll recall, the Bears have been connected to (outgoing?) Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr. Unlike adding a veteran in free agency, going after Carr would be a clear move that the Bears are supplanting Trubisky, whom they might then look to move. An unlikely series of events? Yes. Theoretically possible? Yes.
- To be sure, the Raiders could hang onto Carr and develop a guy like Love or Hurts behind him for a year or two, but it seems far more likely, if the Raiders really do anticipate taking a first round quarterback, they are going to shop Carr as the quarterback free agent market moves. In any case, watching the Raiders closely is a worthwhile exercise.
- As for the Bears, specifically, Adam Jahns writes about how, truly, everything is on the table at the position: “What is clear to me is that when Nagy uses the word “competition” for Trubisky inside Halas Hall (or now during conference calls), that he sincerely means that and more. He wants a legitimate competition — one that Trubisky could possibly lose …. The quarterback who provides that competition could be a veteran in free agency or come via a trade or maybe it’s a second-round draft pick. Or maybe it’s a combination of things. Do you trade for Derek Carr and make him Trubisky’s replacement? Or do you sign Case Keenum, draft Jalen Hurts and let Trubisky fight for his roster survival?”
- In other words: The Bears simply cannot afford to be caught with their pants down this fall if the rest of the roster is playoff-caliber again, but Trubisky does not take a dramatic step forward. Yes, all would be happy if Trubisky exploded … but you cannot assume in advance that is going to happen. Ensuring there is a capable other option on the roster this summer begins this week.
- Patrick Finley pegs the five quarterbacks most likely to land with the Bears, in order, as Andy Dalton, Case Keenum, Nick Foles, Marcus Mariota, and Derek Carr. Dalton (a rumored target, with the obvious connection to Bill Lazor) and Keenum would be veteran complements who could wind up backing up Trubisky or replacing him if the leap doesn’t happen. Foles arguably would be the same, but given his background and the coaching staff, I could see him stepping right into the QB1 job (but fitting his contract is another question altogether). Mariota would be true competition for Trubisky. Carr, like I said, would likely just be a straight up replacement.
- For more on the Bears’ cap situation at this very moment, see here.