If you happen to be Mitchell Trubisky, you’re not going to want to look at this list of the NFL’s best starting quarterback options according to Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk.
Fair warning. Here it goes:
Trubisky ranks 38th on a list of 40 quarterbacks, which is a far cry from where he was expected to be at this time last year. As Trubisky enters Year 4 of his professional career, the first quarterback selected in the 2017 NFL Draft finds himself ahead of only Tua Tagovailoa (a rookie with no pro snaps under his belt) and Dwayne Haskins (a second-year player who took minimal snaps in his first year in Washington). Among the notable signal callers ahead of Trubisky who you might next expect to rank ahead of a guy who went to the Pro Bowl (as an alternate) in 2018 include rookie Justin Herbert, gadget player Taysom Hill, Tom Brady’s heir apparent Jarrett Stidham, and of course, the player who will provide the competition in Chicago’s summertime QB competition — Nick Foles.
In short, I thought Eli hit the nail on the head last night when he text me, “This is one of the most disrespectful things I’ve seen (for Mitch, that is).”
Because, in an ideal world, Trubisky should be head-and-shoulders ahead of these players he ranks behind currently. At this time last year, he was in the top-20 of Simms’ list with the arrow pointing up. A year later, after a nasty setback, Trubisky has been put through the ringer and now has his long-term future in Chicago is up in the air. With the team publicly searching for (and ultimately acquiring) his possible replacement via a trade and then declining his fifth-year option, I can understand why Trubisky ranks where he does on Simms’ list.
But, hey, Trubisky probably shouldn’t be the only one who feels dissed by this list.
Bears GM Ryan Pace should see this list and feel uneasy about it. Not only because of where Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson rank, but where other quarterbacks he pursued this offseason show up. Teddy Bridgewater comes in at 29th, while Andy Dalton pops up at 27th. Both would have represented considerable upgrades from Trubisky, at least based on Simms’ ranking. And then there’s Cam Newton checking in at 10th.
I can’t front. Seeing Newton check in at No. 10 stings. There is a top-10 caliber quarterback on the free agent market who remains unsigned just hanging out waiting for a place to play. And considering the Bears’ quarterback issues, it’s tough to make excuses as to why his name hasn’t been bandied around as a possibility. Yes, I understand Newton has had a rough injury stretch over the last few years. His injury riddled recent history is the reason he hasn’t been scooped up to this point. But at what point does a team roll the dice, put Newton through testing, and give him the ball? Perhaps the better question is when will it be allowed, since NFL facilities are still limited because of precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the record, I don’t have much interest in re-litigating the Bears’ offseason decision regarding their quarterback. That’s because I find myself understanding the nuance as to why their decision was made, even if I don’t totally agree with the line of thinking that got them to that point. But if neither Trubisky or Foles excels this summer, and Newton remains a free agent, Chicago should be ringing up Newton’s agent’s phone.