Strap yourselves in, my friends. Our summer of “will he or won’t he” when it comes to who is the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback is officially underway.
Recently, we discussed a report saying the Bears aren’t averse to Justin Fields starting the season as their starting quarterback. Provided, of course, that he wins the job outright this summer. But PFT’s Mike Florio hears, “the Bears already have promised quarterback Andy Dalton that he will start the season as the starting quarterback.”
Here’s the thing about promises: They are made to be broken.
Sorry if I have to be the one who breaks that news to our beloved readers. But that’s just the way of the world.
And here’s another thing about this reported promise: We have seen Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy display an itchy trigger finger when it comes to pulling the hook. The time he yanked Mitchell Trubisky for Chase Daniel during the 2019 Sunday Night Football game against the Rams. Or when Nagy pulled Trubisky in the middle of the third quarter of that crazy come-from-behind win against the Falcons last year. And let’s not forget Nagy pulled the plug on the Nick Foles experience after he recovered from an injury last year because he wasn’t cutting it. There are real data points that suggest to me that a promise made now is essentially worthless.
Things change. The Bears might’ve said Dalton would start upon signing. They might have said he wouldn’t be battling Nick Foles for the job just to get the deal done. But situations change. The Bears were going to pick 20th in the 2021 NFL Draft. And then Justin Fields became available. That changed things.
For what it’s worth, Dalton is QB1 right now. Dalton is getting the first-team reps. And he is handling the media responsibilities that come with being the starting quarterback. But as Nagy has said before, we’ll know when it’s Fields’ time to start. In other words, whatever promise was made in March might not matter if Dalton can’t prove he should start.