While some have argued that this is a bad year to need a quarterback, I strongly disagree. Over the last few weeks, I have spent countless hours watching and breaking down all of the popular veteran options the Bears may turn to in hopes of fixing their quarterback position this off-season. Below you will find a ranking of those players, not just in terms of talent but with cost and long-term viability figured in.
9. Mike Glennon
Some are reporting that Glennon is going to get big money to start somewhere. I’m not sure I believe that. He’s not accurate, mobile or particularly smart with the ball. He was Josh McCown’s backup.
8. Matt Barkley
It’s long been forgotten but Barkley did a lot of good things with the Bears last year. He just can’t keep throwing interceptions at the rate that he has throughout his career. I can’t help but wonder what a full off-season with this offense and coaching staff could do for him. He shouldn’t be brought back as a starter, but there are a lot of teams with worse backups.
7. A.J. McCarron
Maybe the biggest problem with McCarron is the cost. The Bears would have to give up a draft pick and then sign him to a new contract. This is fine if he’s a good, starting-caliber quarterback. I just don’t think McCarron is.
6. Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick had a better 2016 season than most people realize but he’s still not a particularly gifted passer. Oh, and I really don’t want to have another quarterback who divides the fan base.
5. Brian Hoyer
A team could do a lot worse than Hoyer and the Bears realize that. Forgetting everything else for a second, there just aren’t many quarterbacks who could throw for 300 yards without an interception in four straight weeks. He won’t win games for you, but he won’t lose them.
4. Jay Cutler
There’s no way around it, Cutler had a bad 2016 season. But have we all really forgotten 2015 when Ryan Pace talked about building around Cutler? His age and injuries mean he’s not going to be the long-term option, but I’m convinced he’s going to rebound and have a great 2017 season. I’m also convinced that Pace wants to find his guy.
3. Tony Romo
He’s older than Cutler and has had more significant injuries recently but if Romo can still play — and that is a HUGE IF — he’s still the only player on this list who has been in consideration for an MVP award. The risk for Cutler and Romo is the same. The reward for Romo is an MVP-caliber quarterback.
2. Tyrod Taylor
Taylor is probably the safest option. We have two years telling us he can make plays while taking care of the ball. He’ll turn 28 before next season starts, but should have plenty of football left in him. The question is if he’s capable of more and we won’t know the answer until he’s asked to do it.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo
Since profiling Garoppolo at the end of January, I’ve watched a lot more of him. College games. Preseason games. You name it and I’ve watched it. And there’s just something about him. Something that I can’t really explain. He just looks the part. He’ll cost probably two draft picks and a good chunk of change, although I think his contract will be cheaper than Taylor’s. But you can never pay too much for a franchise quarterback. He’s a gamble, but out of all the veteran options, I think he has the best chance of becoming a franchise-changing acquisition.