In the stream of thoughts I was popping under the Bears-Teddy-Bridgewater rumor post, there’s this thinking out there that if Tom Brady does not wind up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the Bucs will go aggressively after Bridgewater … whom the Bears are obviously courting.
So, the Bears have a strong urgency to get the Bridgewater deal done ASAP, lest they be left there holding the bag when he goes elsewhere, and now they’ve just told Mitch Trubisky, yeah, we’re looking to replace you. At that point – I said in a text thread with Luis, Michael, and Eli – they’d be stuck having to go the trade route for Andy Dalton or Nick Foles.
Hey, what do you know? Back-up plan in motion:
Hearing from a source Bears trying to get involved with trading for Nick Foles. Bears are all over this QB market.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) March 16, 2020
To be sure, this doesn’t mean the Bears are flat out trying to acquire Foles – and his massive contract – at the moment. It could just mean they’d decided to make $20+ million annually available to a quarterback who could replace Trubisky, and Bridgewater is 1(A) and Foles is 1(B). Get those ducks in a row, just in case.
With Foles, there’s a lot to like if you can get past the contract, which the Jaguars would absolutely have to expect very little for in return. He has familiarity with this staff, he’s proven he can win in this league, he’s only 31, and he’s been solid when healthy.
More soon. Luis has a long take on Foles here.
UPDATE ALREADY: Well, the gut was right on why the Bears would be talking about Foles:
Not expecting Teddy Bridgewater to land with the #Bears. Other QB options in play there.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 16, 2020
Or was the Bridgewater rumor entirely a ruse to get the Jaguars to jump quickly to unload Foles on a very favorable deal to the Bears?! That’s right! I say crazy things when the head is spinning!
UPDATE 2: Adam Caplan reports via his sources that now the Bears aren’t expected to land Bridgewater even if they don’t land Foles, which suggests the Bridgewater stuff might have been meant to stay under the radar initially. But it got out, the price tag shot up (maybe), and the Bears were priced out? Speculating on the fly here.
UPDATE 3: Ah, and there’s that other veteran trade target QB:
The phones are active in the NFL world right now and the Bears, per a source, are reaching out to the Bengals and Jaguars re: trade possibilities for Andy Dalton or Nick Foles.
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) March 16, 2020
Sure does make you wonder if the Bridgewater stuff got out, and then the Bears were left scrambling on the trade market. But these are guys they’ve long been attached to – and the trade market was always expected to be an avenue for them – so whatever.
Dalton, 32, had a terrible year on a terrible team as the crew around him completely fell apart. Before that, he was a perfectly fine starter (paired with new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor), so it always made sense to view him as a veteran complement to Mitch Trubisky. More on Dalton here.
Dalton has just one year and $17.5 million left on his deal (no guaranteed money), so it’s possible the Bengals will cut him if there’s no trade. The price tag would be minimal.
UPDATE 4: Well, hey, if you’re just all over things, why not go after Derek Carr while you’re at it …
Bears exploring every QB option out there.
Multiple calls to FA and potential trade partners.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 16, 2020
UPDATE 5: Oh give me a break, Jacksonville. If you are willing to move him at all, it’s because you’re happy to be rid of the contract:
Teams have approached Jacksonville about Nick Foles for weeks. To date Jacksonville has been unwilling to trade him. It still feels that way. But never know what happens if another team gets aggressive.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
Meanwhile, I’m just gonna say: I think this team can win with Foles or Dalton as a short-term shepherd. Bridgewater has the exciting upside of just taking over as the new future guy, but I would at least like the Bears to come out of this offseason with a QB that I believe can be clearly better than Mitch was last year. Then, presuming Trubisky doesn’t make enormous strides this offseason heading into the fall, he’s out (if not sooner).
In the meantime, the Bears perhaps also drafted a developmental QB for the longer term …
UPDATE 6: Not necessarily new info, but additional confirmation of the route:
Source: #Bears are focused on acquiring Andy Dalton or Nick Foles – both veteran quarterbacks who have played for either Matt Nagy or members of coaching staff. There’s a sense in the organization that Mitchell Trubisky should be forced to compete for the starting position.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 16, 2020
UPDATE 7: No, the price tag on either guy should not be steep at all:
The issue for #Bears in trade discussions with #Jaguars for Foles and #Bengals for Dalton is compensation as team lacks a first-round pick already. That creates reluctance to give up more than a third-day pick in this years draft.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 16, 2020