Chicago Bears fans want an answer to the quarterback question. It’s easy to understand why. They’ve been deprived of a legitimate QB so long that they’re basically ready to devote their firstborn children to the cause of finding one. Please let it be known that is a joke. Still, after watching Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz go off the board it has left people wondering when or even if the Bears will make a move.
The longer they wait the more likely they don’t get somebody worthwhile, right? Well, not necessarily. Here’s the thing. The quarterback market is always unpredictable. Contrary to the popular myth, it doesn’t always reward teams who are quickest to the punch. A number of times it’s the teams who stay patient that end up scoring big in the end.
History has its fair share of evidence.
In 2005, Steve McNair went to his third Pro Bowl. It didn’t seem like the Tennessee Titans were ready to move on just yet. That is until they drafted Vince Young in the 1st round. As it became obvious where things were headed, the team traded their star to Baltimore in June for 4th round pick.
Two years later, a similar situation played out. The Green Bay Packers were prepared to finally start the Aaron Rodgers era on the belief Brett Favre was finally ready to retire. When Favre decided to return, it created chaos. Communications broke down and eventually the Packers ended up trading the all-time great to the Jets for a conditional 4th rounder.
This has happened recently too. People were convinced the New England Patriots were going to trade Jimmy Garoppolo during the 2017 offseason with one year left on his contract. They didn’t. Bill Belichick reportedly viewed him as the future and Tom Brady nearing the end of his career. Then Brady had an MVP year. This forced the team’s hand, trading Garoppolo at the NFL deadline in October to San Francisco for a mere 2nd round pick.
There is a chance the Chicago Bears can reap similar rewards
A big reason why centers around the falling of the 2021 salary cap. Several teams have major issues with being way over the cap and having to make tough financial decisions regarding their roster. Two big examples? The Pittsburgh Steelers ($26 million over) and Atlanta Falcons ($20 million over). Both also happen to have prominent veteran quarterbacks who carry massive cap hits in Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan.
There is a genuine buzz out there that Pittsburgh may end up cutting Roethlisberger because of this problem. Atlanta could do the same with a post-June 1st designation. It was interesting that the Steelers signed former 1st round pick Dwayne Haskins a few weeks back. The Falcons also happen to own the 4th overall pick. Prime territory to take a young quarterback.
It isn’t hard to imagine both teams holding off those decisions until necessary.
Also, don’t forget names like Teddy Bridgewater and Alex Smith. Carolina is swarmed by rumors the team is planning a run at Deshaun Watson. They already went after Matthew Stafford. It’s obvious they’re prepared to move on from Bridgewater. As for Smith? His contract has become too expensive for a backup and they don’t seem intent on keeping him the starter despite his impressive comeback. He has strong ties to Matt Nagy.
The Watson situation in Houston also looks like it may take a long time. All the more reason for the Chicago Bears to keep their options open as long as they possibly can. Don’t commit the major resources to that position until they’re certain they can land somebody of substance. Patience can often pay off huge.