Chicago’s football team doesn’t take the field for another 11 days. And yet, we’re already having conversations about who will (or won’t) be playing quarterback.
Nick Foles has been behind the wheel of a four-game losing streak, but might be unavailable because of hip/glute injuries. Should he prove to not be healthy, then I imagine Foles won’t play. But even if he is healthy, the Bears have incentive($) not to play him:
Nick Foles now has a chance to earn some extra coin:
▪️ QB rating: 95.0+ ($500K), 98.5+ ($1M), 102+ ($2M)
▪️ Playing-time: 50%+ ($500K), 65%+ ($750K), 80%+ ($1.5M)
▪️ Pro Bowl: $750K
▪️ NFL/SB MVP: $750K
▪️ 50% playing time & playoffs: ($500K + $500K for a win)
$6M max total.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 28, 2020
Had the Bears been in a position to pay out the full $6 million in bonuses for Foles’ performance, then I think everyone associated with the team would’ve been happy campers. Presumably, in that scenario, the Bears would have also been playing at a level much higher than what we’ve seen lately. Unfortunately for the Bears, and Foles, he hasn’t played well enough to earn bonuses tied to QB rating, Pro Bowl, NFL, and Super Bowl MVP awards. However, playing-time bonuses are still in play. And this is where it gets tricky.
Foles can still earn $2.75 million worth of bonuses tied to snaps played. But whether he should be given time to achieve those milestones is up for debate. Let’s face it: Foles hasn’t played well enough for it to be a given that he is the Bears’ starter moving forward this season. And considering the upcoming cap crunch, Chicago should consider sitting Foles. Of course, that’s not an easy decision to make.
Benching Foles might come with resounding approval from a segment of Bears fans. But if Mitchell Trubisky can’t play, it would leave us with … Tyler Bray. Bray, who completed his first pass ever on Monday, simply doesn’t look ready for that stage. And what would it say to the rest of the players if the team made this type of decision? Say nothing of the grounds for a potential grievance filing. It’s a slippery slope, to say the least.
In a vacuum, a team up against the cap like the Bears should consider the financial consequences of playing Foles down the stretch. But football isn’t played in a vacuum. Even still … it’s something to consider for one rea$on or another.