Chicago Bears fans have endured a rollercoaster of emotions most seasons, but perhaps this year more than ever before.
“I had to turn off the TV after the half.”
“My eyes hurt after I saw our third-string quarterback misthrow the ball by 15 yards.”
“What a waste of defense.”
*Insert your disappointed Bears commentary here.*
And yet, despite the upheaval and complaints, there are still countless lifelong and die-hard Bears fans. That takes commitment.
This season, the Bears managed to run through Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles, and even Tyler Bray, who saw his first regular-season action in three seasons with the Bears Nov. 16 in a Monday night loss to the Vikings after Foles exited with a hip injury late in the game. Bray completed 1 of 5 passes for 18 yards—his first completion in an NFL regular-season game since entering the league in 2013 with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee.
Mitchell Trubisky, meanwhile, had an impressive touchdown of victories before the NFL. In high school, he received Ohio’s Mr. Football award after passing for 9,126 yards and 92 touchdowns and rushed for 1,559 career yards and 33 touchdowns throughout his career. Trubisky redshirted his first year at UNC but made an impact as a Ramases in his sophomore and junior years. After a successful junior season, he was named a member of the third-team All-ACC. He decided to forego his senior season and declare for the 2017 NFL draft, opting out of his final year of college eligibility.
The Cleveland Browns reportedly wanted Trubisky as their potential first pick in the draft before the team opted for Texas A&M defensive lineman Myles Garrett. The Bears acted quickly to move up one spot to grab him at No. 2 In July of 2017, Chicago general manager Ryan Pace shared comments on the risk involved in making the shocking trade.
In 2017, Trubisky was drafted from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a 23-year-old in the first-round draft pick, and No. 2 overall in the NFL. He signed a four-year, $29,032,424 contract with the Chicago Bears, including a hefty $19,254,590 signing bonus, and an average annual salary of $7,258,106.
“If we want to be great, you just can’t sit on your hands,” Pace said. “There are times when you’ve got to be aggressive, and when you have conviction on a guy, you can’t sit on your hands. I just don’t want to be average around here; I want to be great. And these are the moves you have to make.”
In 2020, Trubisky earned a base salary of $825,000 and a roster bonus of $3,688,967.
This season, it seemed like the fourth-year quarterback was beginning to (finally) build up momentum when Coach Matt Nagy pulled the plug and started Nick Foles instead.
“More than anything, I was caught off guard,” said Trubisky. “I think at the beginning of the season, I was just starting to build some momentum, and then it kinda felt like a blindside, and then I had to embrace a new role. The first couple days, it sucked being in that [backup] role, but I was trying to just continue to keep perspective and think long term.”
Since Week 3, a series of unfortunate events in quarterback injuries have caused a ruckus in the Bears’ lineup. Now that Foles is injured, Trubisky has a chance at redemption.
So, Bears fans. Has Trubisky been great? Did the Bears waste a first-round draft pick on a failed quarterback? Will Trubisky manage to prove himself?