The Bears are seemingly casting a wide net and while who they add is still up in the air, it seems clear they are targeting a middle-tier veteran quarterback to push Mitchell Trubisky. They’ve been connected to both the Jaguars’ Nick Foles and the Bengals’ Andy Dalton, and earlier today we heard they’ve had talks with free agent Teddy Bridgewater.
But while they’ve had exploratory discussions with Bridgewater, Chicago is “focused” on landing either Foles or Dalton, a source told Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Unsurprisingly, Werder passes along that the organization wants Trubisky to have to compete for the starting job. He also notes that both Foles and Dalton have either played for Bears head coach Matt Nagy or a member of his staff.
Nagy was an assistant in Philadelphia under Andy Reid during Foles’ rookie season with the Eagles, and then was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City when Foles spent 2016 with the Chiefs. Chicago just hired Bill Lazor to be their new offensive coordinator this offseason, who has extensive ties to Dalton. Lazor was the Bengals’ quarterbacks coach in 2016, and their offensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018.
It looks like the Jaguars are leaning toward going with Gardner Minshew as their starter, and as such would like to move Foles and get rid of his hefty contract. However we’ve also heard that the Jags aren’t desperate to move Foles, and want real compensation in return. The Bengals are widely assumed to be taking a quarterback first overall in next month’s draft, and don’t really have much need for Dalton any more. Dalton is due a very reasonable $17.5MM in the final year of his contract, which has led to plenty of trade speculation.
Both Dalton and Foles would make for very expensive backups, and while the Bears are posturing as if they just want to push Trubisky, it’s likely whoever they trade for would be a heavy favorite to start. According to Werder, it sounds like Chicago is intent on acquiring one of those two.
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