In 2017 the Bears traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Mitch Trubisky second overall, ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Just three seasons later, Chicago may be giving up on their first-round quarterback.
According to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, "talks are underway" between free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Bears. Florio adds that this likely won't be a situation similar to last year for Bridgewater where he was signed to be a backup option.
Florio says the contract numbers for the free agent quarterback "suggest that Bridgewater would be installed as the No. 1 option in Chicago."
UPDATE: NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports it's unlikely Bridgewater lands with the Bears.
Not expecting Teddy Bridgewater to land with the #Bears. Other QB options in play there.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 16, 2020
Bridgewater has had an interesting career; a first-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2014, he suffered a devastating knee injury during a team practice in 2016. Bridgewater sat out that season, and played sparingly in 2017. The Vikings declined the fifth-year option on Bridgewater's contract, making him a free agent in 2017.
Bridegwater signed with the Jets, but was traded to the Saints before the start of the regular season, where he played sparingly in 2018. He stayed in New Orleans, signing a 1-year deal to play in 2019, and he ended up starting a stretch of games while Drew Brees sat out with injury. Bridgewater started five games, going 5-0 in that stretch.
According to Spotrac, Bridgewater's market value is $21.5 million, which would rank 16th among all quarterbacks. In other words, that's starter money. If the Bears ended up signing Bridgewater, it'd be ridiculous to pay him that kind of money without making him the starter.
There's also the fact Ryan Pace, GM of the Bears, used to work in the Saints front office for 14 years.
Teddy Bridgewater has many allies in Saints football ops, including head coach Sean Payton. Have to think Bears GM Ryan Pace somehow tapped into those resources with his former team.
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) March 16, 2020
Bears running back Tarik Cohen was live streaming on Twitch when he saw the news. He responded at first saying, "I don't know why y'all think the Bears are going to sign Teddy Bridgewater." He later responded by calling Trubisky his "dog."
Interest in Nick Foles
Former NFL GM Michael Lombardi reports the Bears have interest in Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles.
Hearing from a source Bears trying to get involved with trading for Nick Foles. Bears are all over this QB market.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) March 16, 2020
Not only does this report add a new name in the quarterback mix, but it doubles down on the fact Chicago is indeed looking at other quarterback options. Whether it's Bridgewater, Foles or someone else, expect some sort of new face to arrive in Chicago to give Trubisky some competition.
Interest in Andy Dalton
Source: #Bears are focused on acquiring Andy Dalton or Nick Foles - both veteran quarterbacks who have played for either Matt Nagy or members of coaching staff. There’s a sense in the organization that Mitchell Trubisky should be forced to compete for the starting position.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 16, 2020
What's next for Mitch Trubisky?
It's likely the Bears would just keep Trubisky for this season if they do move forward with Bridgewater. He'd be a reliable backup at an affordable price ($9,327,591 cap hit). He's only under contract through the 2020 season. Chicago has a fifth-year option for 2021 if it wants to exercise it, but that'd be a surprising move if the decided to give Bridgewater starting QB money.
Trubisky has been disappointing since taking over as the Bears starter in 2017. After starting in 15 games in 2019, Trubisky only finished five games with more than one touchdown pass, finishing with 17 total on the season. He had more games (7) with no touchdown passes at all.
He'd likely land somewhere as a backup quarterback option as a 2021 free agent, but unless he shows something else, a signing of Bridgewater could signal the end of Trubisky's starting career.