NFL

Mitchell Trubisky Faces the Chopping Block in the Chicago Bears’ Desperate Gamble to Save the Franchise

If the Chicago Bears have any faith in Mitchell Trubisky as the future of their franchise, they’re not doing a good job of showing it. For over a month, rumors have tied them to potential trades involving the two hottest quarterback targets of the offseason — Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. In fact, if reports are accurate, the Bears may be desperate enough to mortgage their future.

The Chicago Bears are desperate

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The Chicago Bears are one of many teams who have no idea who will line up under center for them in 2021.

Last season, Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles split time at quarterback, with neither being able to hold onto the starting role for very long. Somehow, the Bears squeaked into the playoffs with an 8-8 record. This was more in spite of their offense than because of the offense, which finished near the bottom-third of the league in most significant statistics.

To spark positive change, the Bears’ front office is pursuing an upgrade at the quarterback position. Earlier this offseason, they already swung and missed on former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who instead went to the Indianapolis Colts.

There’s no bigger possible upgrade at the moment than the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson or the Texans’ Deshaun Watson. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Bears are willing to trade “a boatload” of draft picks to either team to get the man they’re after. There was no clarification of what exactly a “boatload” is here, but we’re picturing something like a Ricky Williams-to-Saints level transaction.

Can the Bears land Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson?

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If the Bears are truly going after either of these quarterbacks, it seems as though Russell Wilson would be the safer option.

The Seattle Seahawks have dropped some troubling hints in the past few weeks that their fruitful relationship with Wilson may be over. Most glaringly, they omitted any mention of their quarterback from their annual letter to season ticket holders. If the Seahawks are fielding offers for Wilson, the Bears may have the most to offer Seattle.

The Houston Texans, on the other hand, have shown no sign that they will let go of Deshaun Watson anytime soon. Even though he is willing to sit out the 2021 season and forfeit millions of dollars by doing so, the Texans have not entertained any trade offers.

If the Bears strike out on both of these, the alternatives aren’t much better. These include the Jets’ Sam Darnold and the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo. Of course, these might still be better than returning to a quarterback who already knows that his team was willing to bet their entire future just to move on from him.

Is Mitchell Trubisky even that bad?

Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky
Mitchell Trubisky of the Chicago Bears looks to throw a pass against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game on January 10, 2021 | Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In his X-year reign as the starter for the Chicago Bears, Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t been as awful as most of his detractors would have you believe. He’s even had some memorable performances to his name. Against the Texans in December, he went 24-of-33 for 267 yards and led Chicago to a blowout win. For that one game, he showed the qualities which led the Bears to draft him over Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Overall, however, if there was one word to describe Mitchell Trubisky’s tenure, it would be “meh”. There’s a reason that Matt Nagy repeatedly benched him to give the Bears’ offense a spark; Trubisky often seemed incapable of providing one. In 2020, he gained 10.3 yards per completion, well below the league average of 11.1. This shows his unwillingness to take risks with the ball, even when he absolutely needs to.

But hey, at least he won the Nickelodeon NVP award! That has to count for something, right?

Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.