Although the Chicago Bears are reluctant to officially close the book on the Mitchell Trubisky Era, it’s clear that the franchise needs a real starting quarterback.
This week, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport spoke out about the three most realistic options Chicago has to upgrade at passer.
All three involve some amount of risk, but each one would significantly improve the offense.
Alex Smith, whose time with the Washington Football Team officially came to an end this offseason.
From NFL Now: The Washington Football Team is expected to release QB Alex Smith and he still wants to play. If that holds, the #Bears would be one of the teams that makes sense… pic.twitter.com/JVcGyZX9SB
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021
“You want to talk about a potential, potential place he could land?” Rapoport said. “Obviously, you’re going to have teams interested if he wants to play. I would keep an eye on the Chicago Bears, simply because of Matt Nagy, his role there as the head coach and a former coach for Alex Smith in Kansas City. They still need a quarterback, and it would make some sense.”
Nagy coached Smith for five years when both were with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013-2017.
This past season Smith played in eight games and led Washington to a 5-1 mark He completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The reigning Comeback Player of the Year would immediately lend some credibility and swagger to a Bears offense in desperate need of it.
If not Smith, the Bears have two other viable options.
During an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Rapoport floated two targets: Marcus Mariota of the Las Vegas Raiders and Sam Darnold of the New York Jets.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 2, 2021
“I would say Marcus Mariota, if he gets cut, possible,” he said. “Sam Darnold would be another interesting one. If the Jets trade Sam Darnold, someone is going to trade for him, and the Bears would make a lot of sense. I think it would set up a huge make or break type of season for both of those parties.”
A big red flag is currently scaring a lot of potential suitors away from Mariota, but him getting cut by the Raiders would ostensibly make adding him less of a risk.
As far as Darnold goes, despite what ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter has proclaimed, there is at least one other squad chomping at the bits to steal him away from the New York Jets. Although he would be a great pick-up for Chicago, it remains to be seen whether the team has the trade capital necessary to make something happen on that front.
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— Game 7 (@game7__) February 25, 2021
Beyond Smith, Mariota and Darnold, a far more unrealistic option that has been floated in recent weeks is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
While Wilson is objectively unhappy in his current situation, if he does get traded, there is one very clear landing spot for him – and it isn’t the Bears.
By all accounts, it seems like Chicago is moving on from Trubisky. Who the front office will ultimately opt to replace him with remains to be seen.