Thursday, January 21, 2021

Bears acquire Nick Foles

After a year of immense under-performance at the quarterback position, the Bears have addressed the issue with a trade for Nick Foles. The deal with the Jaguars sees the Bears sending a fourth-round pick the other way. The pick is the 140th overall that the Bears received as a compensatory pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL draft.

Originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL draft, Foles is best known for leading the Eagles on their 2017 Super Bowl run after starter Carson Wentz was injured. Foles won the Super Bowl MVP on his way to a 28/43-373-3-1 line and a 1 yard TD reception.

The rest of Nick Foles’ career has been somewhat of a rollercoaster, going 26-22 as a starter. With the Jaguars in 2019, he was 0-4 in a season disrupted by a broken left clavicle and Minshew Mania. The Jags, having signed Foles to a 4-year $88-million contract in free agents decided to move on from the veteran after just one season.

Does Nick Foles start straight away

The acquisition has to raise serious doubts about the future of incumbent quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Having led the Bears to a 12-4 record and the playoffs in 2018, last season saw a major regression scoring just 280 points and finishing 8-8. It seems unlikely the Bears would shell out this kind of money if they did not intend on Nick Foles being the starter going forward.

Foles has a lot of familiarity with the Bears staff having previously worked with Matt Nagy, Bill Lazor, and John DeFilippo. DeFilippo was the Eagles quarterback coach on that 2017 Super Bowl run so will be intimately familiar with the skills that Nick Foles brings to the table.

Foles has rattled around a few NFL teams, St Louis (4-7), Kansas City (1-0), Philly (21-11), and Jacksonville (0-4). His body of work shows a consistently accurate quarterback who likely doesn’t stretch the field enough. With an average air-yards per attempt of just 0.5 yards higher than Trubisky’s, he may not be any more explosive but he will likely reduce the turnovers some.

Mitchell Trubisky looks set for the exit after the Nick Foles trade © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mitchell Trubisky looks set for the exit after the Nick Foles trade © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As for Trubisky, his future with the Bears seems much less likely. With a fifth-year team option coming due soon we will likely receive confirmation that the Bears are less than sold on the three-year starter. With a career record of 23-18, 8,554 yards and 48 touchdowns to 29 interceptions, Trubisky has been solid.

He has, however, proven that he can’t put the team on his back and carry them. It seems slightly premature to cut bait of a young quarterback after just three years. Having traded up to take Trubisky second overall in the 2017 draft, a one-year player at North Carolina, moving on from him now would seem reckless.

With Nick Foles in the building however, it seems like the Trubisky era is over. However, Foles has never started an entire season’s worth of games, with his most being 11 games in 2015, so Trubisky needs to be ready to go if needed.

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