The Chicago Bears have a quarterback question to answer this offseason. Mitch Trubisky will be a free agent. His recent uptick of productivity in December has proven to be little more than benefitting from a fortuitous schedule. As emphasized by his falls back to earth against Green Bay. Should the team consider keeping him on a short-term deal anyway? If not, they better have some sort of solution in mind. So what about a Tua Tagovailoa Bears trade?
That might sound crazy to many. The Miami Dolphins just got done drafting the former Alabama standout #5 overall in the 2020 draft. Many hailed him as a future franchise quarterback. Somebody with the mobility, intelligence, and leadership skills to lead a team for a decade. Except things have changed over the past month that makes this plan for Miami interesting.
Tagovailoa has struggled and they have another top 5 pick.
In his first six starts, the rookie played very well. He threw for 1,205 yards with nine touchdown passes and just one interception. The past three games have been less than ideal with 600 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. He finished with just 145 yards against New England and 94 against Las Vegas before being benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Things bottomed out against Buffalo where he threw three interceptions.
Now Miami faces a dilemma. Thanks to the Laremy Tunsil trade with Houston, they now own the #3 pick in the 2021 draft. This should assure them a shot at one of the top three quarterbacks in that class whether it’s Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, Justin Fields of Ohio State, or Zach Wilson of BYU. All of whom are getting tons of praise lately. Would the Dolphins take an opportunity to pivot to a new young QB rather than stick with Tagovailoa?
Mike Sando of The Athletic is hearing that’s a real possibility.
“The team that is really intriguing is Miami at 3,” an evaluator said. “I think part of why they played Tua this year was to groom him, but also to evaluate him. It is not a foregone conclusion he’s their guy. If they think there is a franchise guy better than Tua, why wouldn’t you take him at this point? Somebody would come after Tua.”
A Tua Tagovailoa Bears trade carries plenty of intrigue
This actually wouldn’t be the first immediate exit a team has made from a highly-drafted quarterback. Just three years ago the Arizona Cardinals selected Josh Rosen 10th overall. Then they finished with the worst record in the NFL and held the #1 pick in the 2019 draft. Rather than stick with Rosen, they decided to select Kyler Murray from Oklahoma instead. Rosen was eventually traded to Miami for 2nd and 5th round picks.
This is where a Tua Tagovailoa Bears trade idea can make so much sense. The price tag isn’t likely to be high in terms of compensation. Miami won’t be able to demand a 1st round pick given how the rookie performed of late. Chicago could secure him for a 2nd rounder and change. More important is the contract. Tagovailoa carries just a $6.88 million cap hit in 2021. He has three years left on his rookie deal which is highly manageable for a cash-strapped team like the Bears.
He’s only 22-years old. There is still time for him to realize his potential.
It is at least a scenario the Bears should consider. It gets them out of having to spend a 1st round pick on a rookie. It secures them a young arm with upside and an affordable contract. The cost to get him probably won’t be nearly as expensive for others on the trade market like Carson Wentz. If Matt Nagy isn’t up to the challenge, they can find somebody with closer ties to the kid. Perhaps Brian Daboll from Buffalo who coached Tagovailoa at Alabama.
It’s another option for a team that needs them.