In his first two-plus seasons in the NFL, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has continued to trend south with his performance and production. That has drawn ire from their fan base that it may be time to move in another direction to push the franchise in a forward direction of competing for the playoffs and much more. With all that in mind, Trubisky actually draws more several similarities to that of former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez that you tend to believe.
One of the more glaringly obvious contentions that Trubisky shares with Sanchez is that both entered the NFL with high expectations around him.
The two were brought in to immediately step in as the starting quarterback in their rookie campaigns. Sanchez was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, making him the first quarterback that the Jets took in that round since Chad Pennigton.
The USC product had the job of replacing Hall of Famer Brett Favre out of the gate. Sanchez struggled early on, but he was able to do enough to help navigate the franchise to back-to-back AFC title game appearances in his first two years with their dominant defense leading the charge by the likes of Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis.
Meanwhile, Trubisky had the task of stepping as the starter from the get-go to bring the franchise back to relevancy after the team moved up to the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to take him. Trubisky also struggled in his rookie campaign, but showed some improvement last year that was enough to lift the team to a playoff berth. However, it too saw Chicago experience the bulk of their success behind their dominant defense that features Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson.
Worn out welcome
Unlike Trubisky, Sanchez did experience arguably his best statistical season with a career-high 26 touchdown passes and 3,474 passing yards, but that didn’t equate to a playoff appearance. Things did fall back down to earth in his fourth year as he struggled with consistency, throwing 18 interceptions for the second straight season.
New York finished with a 6-10 record that season, falling well out of the playoff picture that drew questions about Sanchez’s long-term future with the team. He missed all of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury that saw the Jets elect to let him walk in free agency.
The situation has progressed in a similar manner with Trubisky at a much quicker pace as he has struggled tremendously in his third campaign. His inability to lead the team with his arm has handicapped the team’s ability to find success regardless of how formidable their defense has been.
That has led to the loud outside clamoring for a new quarterback as Trubisky is in the third year of his four-year, $29 million rookie deal. In many ways, his lackluster play like Sanchez’s in New York has worn out his welcome in a city that has also been without a Super Bowl win in multiple decades.
Mitchell Trubisky headed for Mark Sanchez-like departure in Chicago?
Trubisky has one year left on his contract, but the sentiment has grown to the point where the Bears may feel change at the position is needed.
Yes, there’s the argument that a different game plan could better utilize Trubisky’s size and mobility. Still, he hasn’t demonstrated any progression as a passer like Lamar Jackson has seen in that regard in his second campaign, such as still being unable to throw to his left. There simply hasn’t been any promising development that would suggest the team is moving a forward direction offensively with him at the helm.
Like Sanchez, his production with his arm wasn’t meeting the standards set for a first-round pick, as this may be as good as it gets for him as a player. He is still young and can improve his skill set, but it’s becoming more apparent with each passing week that the franchise needs to move in another direction.