The 2019 Titans advanced to the AFC championship game largely because of a quarterback addition they made in the offseason. The Bears appear to have a similar blueprint in mind.
After three seasons of uneven play from Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears are expected to bring in competition. This year’s Combine has produced a “strong sense” Chicago will add a veteran quarterback to push the former No. 2 overall pick, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.
Bears GM Ryan Pace has said Trubisky will be the starter entering this season, but like Marcus Mariota last year, he could face a veteran to keep the job. The Bears remain uncertain on Trubisky’s fifth-year option as well.
The team has been linked to Andy Dalton, who remains close to new Bears OC Bill Lazor. The latter was Dalton’s coordinator from 2017-18 and his position coach in 2016, and the longtime Cincinnati starter “loved” playing for him. Expected to draft Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall, the Bengals are willing to work with Dalton on a trade.
This year’s free agency class includes some of the biggest names to ever hit the open market. Tom Brady and Philip Rivers are unattached. The Bears have not been connected to either, but Chicago has fielded one of the NFL’s better defenses for years now. That would appeal to a championship-seeking quarterback. Ryan Tannehill and Jameis Winston also are free agents-to-be, though they are franchise tag possibilities in Tennessee and Tampa.
Other potential UFA options include Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum. Although Matt Rhule said he wanted to retain Cam Newton, a new regime inheriting an injury-prone quarterback in a contract year points to the 2015 MVP being available for the right offer as well. The Bears’ lack of a first-round pick limits their trade options, with their second- and third-rounders then becoming more critical improvement avenues. However, with Khalil Mack set for his age-29 season and Akiem Hicks turning 31 in 2020, this Bears defensive nucleus is running short on time.
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