Yes, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson are the targets. The Chicago Bears have to place their focus on landing one of those two. However, as anybody who has followed the NFL long enough knows, it’s never a wise idea to bet everything on the pursuit of one player. Smart teams need to have contingency plans in place if their efforts fall through. That means having a shortlist of possible fallback options in case neither becomes a reality.

There are some interesting names that could be options for them. Unfortunately, it looks like one of them could be coming off the table before the offseason officially begins. Longtime NFL journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick played a big part in helping the Miami Dolphins finish 10-6 last season, showing he still had plenty of juice in that right arm of his.

However, it appears the 39-year old is finally running of something else.

A passion for the game. Fitzpatrick is 38-years old. He’s spent his career with eight different organizations dating back to 2005. The guy has been around the league for a long time. It appears the idea of getting up and moving again isn’t appealing anymore. Miami seems set on moving forward with Tua Tagovailoa as their starter. Fitzpatrick will become a free agent. League insider John Clayton is hearing that he could end up retiring instead.

“Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like he’s going to retire. The Broncos did make some contact with him. He’s been with eight teams and played a long time. But it looks like he’s going to be out of the mix.”

While he wouldn’t have been the first option for the Bears if they were forced to abandon the Wilson/Watson pursuits, he would’ve been an interesting name to watch. Somebody capable of being that one-year bridge guy to a potential youngster they could end up drafting this April. Similar to what Miami did with Tagovailoa last season.

What are the Chicago Bears options on the secondary market?

It’s far from ideal at the present moment. The names that stand out as pending free agents whom they could realistically get include Jacob Brissett, Tyrod Taylor, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, and Alex Smith. Not exactly an inspiring lineup. Brissett never shined as a starter. Newton appears far past his prime. Dalton isn’t somebody who does much without a lot of help. Smith knows Matt Nagy well but he’s also damaged goods after that catastrophic leg injury in 2018.

The Chicago Bears would have to hope somebody else ends up getting cut to add some intrigue to the market. One name to watch on that front is Marcus Mariota. The Las Vegas Raiders have reportedly shopped him to other teams due to their ugly salary cap situation. It doesn’t seem like a strong market has materialized. If he’s released, he’d probably be the best option of all those listed.

All of this serves as a reminder of why the Bears are showing such urgency.

They know what awaits them if they fail to last a big-ticket name like Wilson or Watson. That means settling for a consolation option that guarantees them nothing for 2021. Fitzpatrick exiting the picture only makes their jobs that much harder. For all his faults, the guy has a knack for finding ways to win. The locker room would’ve loved him.

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