Barring a complete 180 by George McCaskey at the eleventh hour, GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy will return for the 2021 season running the Chicago Bears. Needless to say, a lot of people aren’t happy about it. They feel those two have put the team on a downward trend with no clear sign of improvement in the near future.
The defense regressed and is starting to get older. Offensively they remain a major disappointment after scoring just 25 points combined in their final two games of the season. Allen Robinson will likely be a free agent unless they franchise tag him. The offensive line needs work and they don’t have much money at all to spend.
So how did this entire situation come to pass?
According to a source, it all centers around the quarterback position. That has obviously been a great area of frustration for this franchise for years. A plan was presented to McCaskey that pointed the way forward that would finally pull the Bears out of this perpetual nightmare. What is that plan? It isn’t clear but whatever it was, the team chairman liked enough of what he heard to keep the two men in place.
Just looking at the landscape of the situation, it’s not hard to surmise what will likely happen. Mitch Trubisky should not be expected to return. Not unless the Bears feel they have absolutely no other options. Smart money says they will hone in on all the top veterans available. Particularly Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott in hopes of making a big splash.
Ryan Pace struck out last year. Can he finally get it done?
Most people single out his trade for Nick Foles as yet another blunder on his growing resume of bad QB decisions. This is fair. However, one must remember the Bears were later revealed to be connected in talks with Tom Brady and Teddy Bridgewater. Both before the Foles news hit. So they were primary targets for Chicago. When each decided to join other teams, Foles became the next guy.
Landing either Watson or Prescott would be huge, but also expensive. Watson could cost upwards of three 1st round picks to acquire from Houston along with his large contract. That’s presuming the Bears could even convince him to come to Chicago. As for Prescott? All signs point to Dallas doing everything possible to keep him long-term. Again even if he did become available, how could Pace convince him to pick the Bears over other teams?
Outside of those two? It gets a lot trickier.
Sam Darnold might be available out of New York with the Jets likely considering a QB at #2 overall. The same can be said for Matt Ryan in Atlanta with the Falcons picking at #4. Maybe the 49ers making Jimmy Garoppolo available and the Bears want to take that gamble. Barring any of those moves, all eyes would shift to the draft.
Taking a rookie QB in the latter half of the 1st round doesn’t work out too often. There is optimism around this 2021 class. Some of the top prospects are bound to be available when the Bears pick 20th overall. Or Ryan Pace can do what he always does and trade up for one. If Nagy can get that young player to perform well next season? That might save them.