After watching Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz find new homes this offseason, there might be a sense that quarterbacks will continue to fly off the boards at a relatively rapid pace.
I’m here to tell you to temper those expectations.
For starters, it doesn’t look like Derek Carr is going anywhere. And while Marcus Mariota seems like an ideal candidate to be shopped, there is no rush to beat down the Raiders’ doors for their backup. This leaves Sam Darnold as the next big name on the block this offseason. But if Darnold is the next QB to be sent packing by his original team, his suitors should be ready to wait out:
The #Jets are planning to complete their evaluations of the top QBs in the NFL Draft before making any decisions on Sam Darnold, sources say. That includes Pro Days and interviews. While they’ve received real interest in Darnold, they want to get the full QB picture first.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2021
In other words, it might be a while until Darnold is available. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s cool with me.
The Bears should be in no rush to trade for Darnold. He is a flawed quarterback coming off an awful statistical season. Talented? Yes. In possession of tremendous upside? Sure. Owner of untapped potential? Absolutely. But unlike Stafford, Wentz, or even Goff, Darnold has yet to scratch the surface of what he can become. In a way, that makes him an intruiging buy-low candidate. But on the other hand, it’s a red flag. In short, Darnold isn’t the kind of player GM Ryan Pace or Head Coach Matt Nagy should expect to save their respective jobs upon arrival.
Perhaps there is a hidden benefit to the Jets taking a measured approach to this offseason. And it could even aid the Bears. Because there is a path where the Jets’ evaluations result in them sticking with Darnold for 2021, then shopping the No. 2 overall pick to the highest bidder. If that’s what happens, then Chicago — needing a quarterback of its own — could make its own push to move up in the Draft to take the best quarterback (non-Trevor Lawrence edition) available. To be clear, the Bears wouldn’t be alone in wanting to move up. But I’d argue they’d be the most desperate team of the bunch. And I know better than to bet against quarterback-starved teams whose future is wholly dependent on what happens at quarterback this offseason.
So stay tuned and buckle in for the long haul. The Bears’ search for a QB is gonna take a bit of time.