I don’t tend to believe in coincidences.
So when I saw ESPN’s Adam Schefter drop a nugget (via Larry Brown Sports) that the believed the asking price for Sam Darnold was both a second and fifth-round pick, I took note to save it for later. But when I saw SI.com’s Albert Breer echo those sentiments and list the Bears among the possible suitors, I couldn’t ignore the smoke that was accompanying the fire. And to take it a step further, Breer believes bringing Darnold into the fold is a dream scenario for Chicago.
In my dream scenario for Chicago, it will flip a two and a five for Darnold, and draft a tackle (maybe Rashawn Slater, Jalen Mayfield, Walker Little, Liam Eichenberg or Alex Leatherwood) in the mid-first round, and maybe sign a big-time interior guy in free agency. Then, the Bears are all in for 2021, to take one last shot with that defense.
Before you boo me off the screen, hear me out.
This isn’t the worst proposed solution you’ll see for the Bears’ quarterback solution. Moreover, it’s a sensible one should the franchise run it back with GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy. In essence, the Bears could hand Pace a one-year extension that lines him up with Nagy. And to take things to another level, they could pick up the fifth-year option on Darnold’s rookie deal. In this scenario, it would put the GM, head coach, and quarterback on the same timeline. And ultimately, lining up one last shot to maximize this defense’s window before turning it over to start with a clean slate after the 2022 season.
Let’s face it. Breer’s idea of taking a stud tackle such as Leatherwood, Mayfield, Eichenberg, Little, or Slater is drool-worthy. As is teaming that prospect with someone who can bolster the line’s interior. Gimme, gimme, gimme! And yes, I know that Darnold hasn’t shown off much in his three years as a pro. However, giving him a clean slate, an upgraded line, and targets like Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney would give him one last chance to prove himself. It would be a remarkable comeback story. And that it would be one that could be written without locking into a long-term commitment would be a plus.
Considering Chicago still has seven games left to play, it’s not worth falling too far down that rabbit hole. But there’s nothing wrong with a little exploration of solutions for the most important position in sports.