Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
“Was the Nick Foles trade a way for Ryan Pace to add a veteran quarterback without admitting Mitch Trubisky is not the guy? — @jhartzmark
“No. How is it not apparent that swapping a fourth-round pick
and guaranteeing Foles a little more than $20 million isn’t a complete
admission that Trubisky is not the guy? If Trubisky were the guy, the Bears would have kept the draft pick and earmarked that money for other needs.
“This isn’t the kind of investment a team makes for a QB2. It’s far and away more than they provided for Chase Daniel to be the clipboard holder the last two seasons. The addition of Foles signals a restructuring of the depth chart at the position that will happen soon. I don’t believe the Bears added Foles to motivate or push Trubisky and I don’t believe he was brought in to be a fallback plan in the event Trubisky is inconsistent at the start of the season. Follow the money and put the pieces together. This move was made to get a starting quarterback for the start of the 2020 season. That’s my takeaway.”
Biggs has been very vocal in his opinion that Foles will be the starting quarterback this September. I’m not so sure for a variety of reasons:
- The follow the money point of view is always one that is always well taken. But Foles really isn’t getting paid starting quarterback money in today’s NFL. Its true that $21 million is a lot to pay for
a quarterback who to the bench. But I think the Bears would gladly pay it if Trubisky actually won the job.
I prefer to think of this philosophy less in terms of money than in terms of investment. Guaranteeing someone s lot of money is most assuredly an investment. But so is drafting and spending three years developing a young quarterback who, if he develops, could stabilize your franchise for 10 years yet.
Trubisky rebounding to have a good year would be far and away the best outcome for the Bears, no matter how unlikely you think the odds are that will happen
- I’ve already made the point that patience may pay off for the Bears when it comes to Trubisky.His history at North Carolina points to the possibility that he’s slow
to develop but that once he figures it out, he could be very good.
There’s no doubt that Trubisky has to do a better job of learning the offense. This is the only way that he will ever get to the point where he can anticipate and respond to movement after the snap. But time may take care of the issue.
- The Bears have a better idea of how to handle Trubisky now than they did last season.Trubisky seems to respond well to pressure, at least on the field. Bringing the team back to put them into field goal range in the playoff loss to the Eagles with minimal time on the clock was the most well-known example but it wasn’t the only time he’s done that. Its happened often enough to where you have to believe it wasn’t a fluke.Everything head coach Matt Nagy touched in 2018 turned to gold, eventually earning him coach of the year honors. But its fair to say the opposite happened in 2019. That starts with the way he handled Trubisky.In the offseason of 2019, the Nagy turned the heat down on Trubisky, actually telling the media that he had to encourage Trubisky to go home and relax in the offseason. He gave Trubisky, along with the entire team, the preseason off.I think its fair to say there will be no more of that this year.
The Bears are turning the heat up on Trubisky by adding Foles and, in my opinion, probably another rookie in the draft. And Nagy has already confirmed that the quarterbacks will be competing in the preseason games.
I think his history on the field suggests that Trubisky might respond. In either case, they clearly aren’t committing the sin of doing the same thing over and over again hoping the result will be different every time.
Last year at this time I can remember the whole NFL predicting
huge things from the Bears offense with Trubisky taking the next step in his development. Just as I thought this was
an overly optimistic point of view then, I find the extreme pessimism exhibited by some of the same members of the media now to be an overreaction.
I’m not saying that Biggs isn’t right and that Foles won’t be beginning the season as the starter. In fact, I think
the odds are reasonably good he will be. The Bears clearly aren’t going to stick with a quarterback who isn’t working out. The position is too important. Certainly the Foles signing
is an acknowledgement of that.
But completely discounting a 25 year old quarterback after a one
year regression doesn’t sound to me like something the Bears will be – or should be – doing. And I certainly don’t think signing Foles indicates that they have.