We assumed the Russell Wilson trade saga was over..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 25, 2021
Barring a blockbuster QB trade, it’s unlikely much will happen around the Bears – with the exception of the schedule release – before the NFL Draft. So here are some links.
Putting all your hopes into Andy Dalton isn’t the best spot. But it certainly isn’t the worst.
At this point, we know what Dalton is, which is good and bad. He can go through progressions and make easy plays. He won’t beat teams with his athleticism or his arm, but he also won’t beat his own team by regularly throwing interceptions in the end zone like both of the Bears quarterbacks did last year. Dalton is securely in the lower-third of starting quarterbacks. That’s not good enough. But it’s the best the Bears could do for now.
The other options weren’t all that appealing. Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick have made careers out of wowing teams with great plays, but ultimately turning the ball over too much to make a difference. The best Winston could do with a Super Bowl-ready roster was go 7-9.
Dalton is similar to Nick Foles in that they’re both limited, but their limitations are different. Foles throws a better deep ball. Dalton is better on intermediate routes and moves better. Foles’ immobility proved especially problematic last year, as he played with a decimated OL for most of his time, and he just couldn’t handle any amount of pressure.
Perhaps the biggest reason the Bears signed Dalton is because if there’s one thing Foles has proven in his NFL career, it’s that he can’t stay healthy.
So, Dalton it is.
OKyle Fuller is a cap casualty as the Bears release the All-Pro cornerback
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) March 18, 2021
This is one of the more bizarre off-seasons in Bears history.
It began with a year-end presser that sent Chicago sports radio into a tizzy and made the word “collaboration” a punchline. (The reaction to this presser was quintessential Chicago media. I’ve never heard so much unwarranted weeping into handkerchiefs.)
It then became about two star quarterbacks on the market: Deshaun Watson and Russell Willson. The excitement around the former has been muted by his evil organization’s reluctance to answer their landlines and the lawsuits now developing around the quarterback. (If you don’t think Watson’s legal troubles originate inside the Texans, you’re not paying attention. These are bad people.)
The excitement around the latter came to a crashing halt on Tuesday, with the Seahawks balking at a deal that had been negotiated for weeks and Andy Dalton signing in Chicago.
But is the Wilson deal dead? Adam Schefter sure doesn’t think so and any conversation about how the Bears need to approach quarterback between now and opening day starts with that question.
“I don’t think it’s done, no. I don’t think I’m ready to say Russell Wilson is a Seahawk, will be a Seahawk.”pic.twitter.com/cI3r6vUCK3
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 17, 2021
Until the Seahawks and Wilson make a public commitment to each other and the 2021 season, such a commitment does not exist. What we know:
The Bears should keep calling, and keep increasing their offer, until that commitment is made or until the weekend of the draft. At the same time, the team should not lose sight of Watson.
Andy Dalton isn’t any good.
He’s pitched a quarterback rating over 90 twice is his entire NFL career.
He doesn’t throw enough touchdown passes. He throws too many interceptions.
He’s a more-than-capable backup in the league and probably could fill a role like that for years to come. But the Bears are giving him $10 million. (And they hope more!) That’s not what you pay a backup. That’s what you pay a quarterback you’ve identified as your starter of choice.
Ryan Pace and the club made a valiant attempt to acquire Russell Wilson, offering what Ian Rapoport referred to as “a lot” for one of the game’s best players. As someone close to the organization said to me, “Pace and the Seahawks were speaking almost daily for a month.” In the end Seattle decided they were not ready to rebuild. Pete Carroll decided not to relinquish his most lethal weapon because, quite frankly, he’s getting too old for this shit.
So the Bears, with an old white statue of a quarterback currently on the roster at double-digit millions, decided to add another. One has to assume Nick Foles will not be on this roster come September but based on how this leadership has handled the quarterback position, how can one assume anything?
Instead all attention will now turn the draft next month where the GM who has done nothing but get the quarterback spot wrong will get another opportunity.
Oh, and say the Bears trade up for Trey Lance. Does anyone think Lance is gonna play a down as a rookie? What would this mean for Pace/Nagy? Would they still have pressure to win in 2021 after being responsible for choosing for the QB for 2022 and beyond?
This is a bleak moment for the franchise.
Angela’s Ashes bleak.
Never have the Bears faithful on social media seemed so unanimously convinced the coming season was hopeless. The organization’s fatal flaw in 2019 and 2020 was the quarterback position. Today, it’s impossible to argue they’ve improved it.