Trading for Matthew Stafford within the division wasn’t really plausible. Carson Wentz wasn’t an ideal fit for this team. And yet, seeing two potential Bears options go elsewhere early in the carousel does get you thinking about what happens if they keep not getting the next guy.
One option who conceivably remains out there is Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Rumors linked the Bears and Carr last year, and there was a point this offseason where the interest was there again. Unfortunately, last year might have been the best time to try to strike a deal:
NFL: "Last year around this time, he was 100% available." @caplannfl on the latest news with the Las Vegas Raiders regarding Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr.#NFLTwitter #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/Y87p011pQQ
— SportsGrid (@SportsGrid) February 20, 2021
In an interview with Scott Ferrall, NFL insider Adam Caplan said Carr was “100 percent available” last offseason. And if you’ll recall, the Bears were considered an interested party were he put on the trade block. But the Raiders didn’t move Carr. And one year later, it sure looks like they’re not moving him now. Because after a 4,000-yard passing season, Caplan passes on word that Carr isn’t available. In fact, Carr might be sticking around Las Vegas for the foreseeable future:
“Carr may end up getting his contract extended, that’s the belief around the league. They do not want to trade him. I can tell you as a fact, where as last year at this time, he was 100 percent available. It’s funny how things change.”
Indeed, it *IS* funny how things change. But I’m not laughing. Not when it’s painfully clear the Bears let an opportunity to solidify the QB spot skate by a year ago – and we were pushing for the to go after Carr at that time.
Perhaps the cost of doing business with the Raiders was too high? It’s not as if the Bears had a first-round pick to dangle as trade bait. Would you have been comfortable jettisoning the two second-rounders with a little something extra to get Carr last offseason? Or is that too difficult of a question to answer now that we’ve seen tight end Cole Kmet and cornerback Jaylon Johnson start scratching the surfaces of their potential?
In any case, the Bears don’t have a quarterback and one of the more ideal options doesn’t appear available, absent a shocking Raiders trade for Deshaun Watson. Sigh. That’s just this franchise’s luck, isn’t it?
For what it’s worth, there is one Raiders quarterback who figures to be sent packing this offseason. Caplan expects the Raiders to trade Marcus Mariota, adding there are suitors for the 2015 second overall pick. And while there are some red flags regarding his injury history, the small sample of tape put out in his cameo in relief of Carr last season was enough to impress some teams. We’ve discussed Mariota and the Bears previously here.
Want to know how desperate teams are for quarterback help without telling me they are desperate? That some talent evaluators are clinging to a 65-snap sample in which Mariota completed 17 of 28 passes, threw for 226 yards, tossed 1 TD (and 1 INT), while posting an 83.3 passer rating says everything you need to know.
And yet, here I am considering Mariota for the Bears because I’m trying to keep an open mind in this process. Considering the Bears’ needs at quarterback and prior connection to Mariota, I suppose we’ll be keeping an eye on what the Raiders do with their quarterbacks. Even if it’s not the one Bears fans might want.