Mitchell Trubisky Can Salvage His Career by Using Jameis Winston’s Wisdom

Mitchell Trubisky spent four seasons as the Chicago Bears‘ starting quarterback instead of Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes. Sorry, Bears fans.

Now, in fairness to the Bears, Mahomes and Watson may not have enjoyed the stardom in Chicago that they have on the Chiefs and Texans, respectively. But the Bears’ decision to draft Trubisky with the second overall pick in 2017 looks worse every year.

Trubisky is set to hit free agency in the coming weeks, and another year in Chicago appears unlikely right now. If Trubisky is smart, he’ll try to be the next Jameis Winston.

Mitchell Trubisky had an inconsistent Bears career

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Too many narratives exist about Mitchell Trubisky, so we’re going to give you the truth.

Trubisky isn’t as bad as the media has made him out to be, but he instead is the victim of not being Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes. And for that, Trubisky is the scapegoat in Chicago.

In four seasons with the Bears, Trubisky completed 64% of his passes for 10,609 yards, 64 touchdowns, and 37 interceptions in 51 games. Trubisky went 29-21 as the Bears’ starting quarterback and led them to an NFC North Division crown in 2018.

Those likely aren’t the numbers that the Bears expected from a No. 2 overall pick. All in all, Trubisky has been competent as a starter, but that isn’t enough with how well Mahomes and Watson have played after going later in the 2017 NFL draft’s first round.

Trubisky is about to hit free agency

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The Chicago Bears decided in the spring of 2020 that they wouldn’t pick up Mitchell Trubisky’s fifth-year option for the 2021 season.

As of now, Trubisky will hit the open market as a free agent in March. Chicago can always re-sign Trubisky at a lesser rate than he would have commanded on his fifth-year option, but a reunion seems unlikely.

Trubisky, who will play the 2021 season at age 27, is among the quarterbacks with starting experience who can become free agents. Dak Prescott is coming off a severe ankle injury, but the 27-year-old is a borderline elite quarterback when healthy.

Jacoby Brissett started most of the 2017 and 2019 seasons in Indianapolis, and he doesn’t turn 29 until December 2020. 49ers backup Nick Mullens, who turns 26 in March, is a restricted free agent.

Mitchell Trubisky needs to learn from Jameis Winston’s wisdom

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There is another notable 27-year-old quarterback who could hit the free agency market with Dak Prescott and Mitchell Trubisky this spring. 

Jameis Winston, the former No. 1 overall pick, spent the 2020 season backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans. Despite passing for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns with the Buccaneers in 2019, Winston chose to use last year as an opportunity to learn from Brees and Saints head coach Sean Payton from the bench.

Trubisky should consider taking a similar route and signing somewhere as the backup behind an older, established quarterback. If a situation arises where the starter is injured, Trubisky can take the field and receive meaningful snaps.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan turns 36 in May and is still playing at a high level. If the Falcons hold onto Ryan, they can sign Trubisky as the replacement for longtime backup Matt Schaub, who retired earlier this year. 

As of publication, Brees has yet to announce his plans for 2021. If Brees puts off retirement for another year, the Saints could choose to keep what worked last year and try re-signing Winston.

Mitchell Trubisky is still young, and he’s shown talent in the past. But if the opportunity comes up for him to back up someone like Ben Roethlisberger or Matt Ryan and possibly make a case as their long-term replacement, Trubisky should try taking that path. 

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