The Chicago Bears are officially in the hunt for a quarterback this offseason. The disbursement of the NFL’s best talent at the position has already begun after the Stafford/Goff trade. The question is, who could they get and at what cost?
Deshaun Watson wants out of Houston, and many teams are working up trade offers for the young quarterback. Watson is 25 years old and a three-time pro bowler in the four seasons that he has played. He has an overall record of 28-25 as a quarterback, with half of those losses coming from last season.
Last year, Watson had one of his best statistical seasons despite many obstacles in his way. Some examples of the hardships he faced: 27th ranked defense, sacked 49 times (3rd amongst quarterbacks), and playing without his best receiver (Deandre Hopkins) for the first time in his career.
Yet, Watson led the league in passing yards with 4,823 yards, put up 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a 70% completion percentage. Watson had the second-best passer rating behind Aaron Rodgers on the season. He also ran for 6.4 yards on a league leading 62 scrambles.
What would it cost to get him?
To start, at least 2-3 first-round picks in future NFL drafts. The Texans also want/need young defensive players to support their poor defense and to cover Watson’s contract. That means possibly giving up guys like Kyle Fuller, Roquan Smith, Bilal Nichols, etc.
Should the Bears go after him?
Absolutely. The front office is likely to be aggressive for Watson to save their jobs too. Nagy and Pace are on the fringe of being cleared out, so they will do what they can to get him, especially since they passed on him in the 2017 NFL draft.
Derek Carr, 29, has a 47-63 record as a quarterback in his seven seasons with the Raiders.
Last season, Carr bounced back after having thrown just 40 total touchdowns in the past two seasons combined. Carr threw for 4,103 yards (11th), 27 touchdowns (11th), nine interceptions (19th), and a 67.4% completion percentage (10th). He was also second in game-winning drives (five of them) and 12th in completed air yards, showing his ability to throw deep.
How does he fit with the Bears? Carr has averaged an 80% target rating in the past two seasons, one of the league’s best in that space. Plus, Carr is an excellent quarterback in the pocket and can work well out of the shotgun. He fits the Bears’ system of working from the pocket while being able to escape and throw on the run.
The downside? Carr hardly works in play-action, which is something the Bears ran a lot last season.
What would it cost to acquire him?
Carr’s trade rumors are just that, rumors. But, the Bears would most likely need to offer two first-rounders and defensive help. The Raiders have one of the worst defensive lines in the NFL. The Bears could offer up Bilal Nichols, Eddie Goldman, or Brent Urban.
Should the Bears pursue Carr?
Yes, Carr is seriously underrated and his defense/coaching has caused him trouble for years. However, his play might not be able to get the Bears the deep playoff run the organization wants. The last and only time Carr made the playoffs wasin 2016, and they lost in the first round. Plus, Carr is 29 years old, so he will not be a long-term solution for the position.
Like Carr, Garropolo has speculated trade rumors. The 49ers seem to be one of the front-runners for acquiring Deshaun Watson for a trade, so Jimmy G might be on his way out.
Garropolo’s best season came in 2019 when the 49ers made the Super Bowl. He completed 69.1% of his passes, 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and led them to a 13-3 record.
On the downside of 2019, Garropolo played poorly in many of their wins. Take their win against Washington in the middle of the season – Garropolo threw for 151 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception, and completed 57% of his passes. In the NFC championship game, the 49ers won by 17 points, and Garoppolo only threw the ball eight times.
Another downside to Garoppolo is his injury history. He has only played one full healthy season in his seven seasons in the NFL in 2019.
What is the cost of acquiring Garoppolo?
Not much. A couple of day two draft selections in future drafts and more than likely some rotational players. The 49ers do not need too much roster help either, so they could get away with just draft capital.
Should the Bears pursue him?
No. The Bears do not need a quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo. He was able to coast on a team with the seventh-best defense in 2019 under one of the best coaches, Kyle Shannahan, who nearly brought the 49ers to the playoffs this year with the most injured roster of the season.
Trey Lance, the standout from North Dakota State, will be in the upcoming NFL draft. The young 6’4” 220-pound quarterback has raw talent and loads of potential because of his age and lack of pure coaching from a small-tier school.
In his last season in 2019, Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and never threw an interception all season. Lance is also a runner, rushing 169 times for 1,100 yards, 14 touchdowns, and averaging 6.5 yards per attempt.
Why Trey Lance? Lance is a talented quarterback with a strong arm and tons of mobility. Lance is a pure athlete and has unknown potential in the NFL draft. As a big quarterback, he would be built to take hits with the Bears’ work-in-progress offensive line.
What would he cost?
Lance is projected to go anywhere from picks 10-16 in the NFL draft. The Bears have the 20th overall pick in the draft, so they would most likely have to trade up to secure him. The Bears could offer more picks or a small impact player to get Lance.
Should they go after him?
Definitely. Lance is a strong recruit in a loaded quarterback draft class. He is efficient, mobile, and strong. He would fit the Bears’ offensive needs for a quarterback. His only drawback is being able to make an impact immediately in the NFL for a team that desperately needs to make another run at the playoffs.
Mac Jones is the most recent NCAA Champion of college football from the University of Alabama. He was third in the Heisman voting, losing to Trevor Lawrence and his own teammate, Devonta Smith.
Jones statistically led the NCAA in many passing categories. He threw for 4,500 yards (first), 41 touchdowns (second), completed 77.4% of passes (first), and recorded the best passer efficiency rating of 203.1. Jones was a big part of Alabama’s offense last season.
His downfall comes with the amount of talent that has surrounded him in his college. Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Najeey Harris, and Alex Longwood are a few names that will see the first round of the NFL draft. This has hurt the perception of his ability to play on a bottom tier team in the NFL.
What would be the cost of Mac Jones?
Mac Jones will probably be a later first-round draft pick. The Bears could get Jones with their own 20th pick. Jones’s status in the draft will become clearer as the plans of other teams are unfolded.
Should the Bears go after Mac Jones?
Yes. Another rookie that could have promise in the NFL. Jones had a very successful college career as he showed from his statistics and landing third in Heisman voting.
Priorities come into factor with Jones and Lance in this situation. Most Bears spectators will want to see an offensive lineman come out of the first round in the NFL draft.
Whether or not the Bears would like to do that is up to Ryan Pace. Pace has been notorious for his negligence of team needs in the draft. Take last year’s draft as an example, the Bears drafted Cole Kmet after they signed Jimmy Graham to a large contract.
So, should the Bears take a quarterback in the first round? Probably not. The offensive line needs serious help because they gave up 36 sacks this season, along with the 25th ranked adjusted line yards per attempt (4.16 yards per attempt).
If the Bears were set on taking a quarterback in the draft, they should focus heavily on Lance or Jones to be the next quarterback.