I didn’t think much of Mitch Trubisky signing a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills to be Josh Allen’s backup last offseason.
But that move might have propelled him into a second chance as an NFL starting quarterback:
Inside Mitchell Trubisky's career reset in Buffalo, and why the Bills believe he should once again be an NFL starter entering free agency.
Jordan Poyer: "One-thousand percent."
Josh Allen: "The dude is an AthLete." https://t.co/g5pn0hElpq
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 22, 2022
In what some are calling a career reset of sorts, Trubisky spent the last year attempting only eight regular-season passes with the Bills in 2021. He threw more interceptions (1) than touchdowns (0), but might’ve gained something more. So much so, there is a growing discussion about Trubisky being a potential target of teams looking for a starting QB.
There are a handful of teams looking for a starter. Or someone with starting potential who can compete with their existing starter. And it seems like the Bills hype machine is out in full force telling anyone who will listen that Trubisky is ready for another shot.
Starting with Josh Allen, the Bills’ QB1 who was of Trubisky’s most prominent teammates in Buffalo.
“The dude is an athlete,” Allen said. “I don’t think people really understand that. You give him leeway in an offense to have that mindset of, ‘See it, do it, we trust you.’ He’s going to kill it.”
Trubisky, himself said as much (without explicitly saying it).
“Going to Buffalo really opened my eyes,” Trubisky told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “After being in Chicago for four years, there was only one way I knew how to do things. [Being] in Buffalo and [having] a different way of doing things, you learn what’s possible. It helped me get back to instinctual football and using my talents rather than overthinking.”
After Trubisky’s days in Chicago came to an end with a loss to the Saints in the the 2020 NFL playoffs, Trubisky had to weigh his options. He could go somewhere where he felt that he had a chance to play in 2021, or find somewhere he could take a step back and learn in 2021. Then-Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll convinced Trubisky that the latter was the best long-term move for him at that point. And when no offers to play presented themselves, Trubisky followed Daboll’s advice. In Buffalo, it was a chance to shed the bad habits. Most notably, the “robotic” habits that Trubisky developed playing under Matt Nagy from 2018-20.
A year later, after tutelage from Daboll and Bills QBs Coach Ken Dorsey, Trubisky says he is “in a confident place right now” as he prepares for what’s next.
There will be plenty of potential fits for a guy like Trubisky, whose comeback tour is in its opening stages. Houston, New Orleans, Denver, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Washington need a starting quarterback in 2022. The Panthers, Colts, and maybe even the Daboll-led Giants could be a possibility. Daboll might have an interest in bringing in someone to compete with incumbent QB1 Daniel Jones.
The Athletic’s NFL Free Agency Rankings has Trubisky as the fourth-best available QB this offseason. That puts him behind Teddy Bridgewater, Jamies Winston, and Marcus Mariota. I’d put Winston (who is working his way back from ACL surgery, but looked good in New Orleans before the injury) at the top, then move Trubisky ahead of Bridgewater and Mariota, if I were crafting the list.
No matter how it shakes out, there is no doubt that going to Buffalo was the best move for Trubisky. After he was a victim of circumstance playing under Nagy, now things are lining up for him to be the beneficiary of circumstance. With a new mindset and votes of confidence from those who worked with him in Buffalo, Trubisky is sure to be fielding calls for the bevy of quarterback openings across the league this offseason.