There it is. The Chicago Bears have landed their veteran “competition” for Mitch Trubisky.
It’s Nick Foles:
QB trade: Jacksonville is trading QB Nick Foles to Chicago for the Bears’ compensatory fourth-round pick, sources tell ESPN.
Bears’ coaches such as Matt Nagy have worked with Foles in past and know him well.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2020
The coaching staff gets a veteran QB they’re very familiar with, and Ryan Pace gets a guy who could take over and salvage the short-term window he’s built on the strength of the defense.
The price tag – a compensatory fourth rounder – suggests Foles’ contract must have some shorter-term out or lower guaranteed dollars than we’d originally been thinking, or there’s a restructure. We’ll dig in on that part if and when restructuring it announced.
As for the player, well, you shouldn’t be shocked at this point, since he’s exactly the type of quarterback reports have signaled the team would try to bring in: a guy who could push Trubisky, could serve as a capable back-up, but could also supplant Trubisky right away if it’s clear he’s not taking an enormous step forward from last year. I’d expect the Bears also to draft a quarterback this year.
More on Foles here, and much more coming. There will also be more cap-related maneuvering coming for the Bears. Updates soon.
UPDATE: So, indeed, the contract is being restructured, which helps explain the high price tag:
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 18, 2020
Obviously it’s not a lock that Foles makes any starts for the Bears – he could wind up a very good, very pricey back-up, as has often been his story – but the idea has been to get a guy in place that the coaching staff would be comfortable starting with the rest of the team in place. Foles can be that guy right away given his familiarity with the system and the coaches (he’s worked with all of Pace, Lazor, and DeFilippo before), and maybe for a bit longer if the team wholly moves on from Mitch Trubisky and drafts a young, developmental QB this or next year.
UPDATE 2: Implication here is that although Foles was the guy they wanted, they were always committed to some sort of competition:
Foles was #Bears top choice to acquire. Experience with HC, QB, OC big reason. But he'll have to earn starting job, will not be handed to him.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 18, 2020
To me, that feels like a “bare minimum” move at the QB spot this offseason. I’m glad that at least the bare minimum has been accomplished, but dang, that defense better be insane …
UPDATE 3: Like I said this morning, I wonder to what extent the Bears were fine with the rumors being floated to keep a little pressure on the Jags, since apparently Foles was the guy they wanted all along:
FWIW: I heard from a source those Cam Newton rumors involving the Bears were bogus. Too many concerns about health/play recently.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) March 18, 2020