In just four quarters against the Houston Texans Mitchell Trubisky made the Bears off-season a lot more complicated. Having traded up for the one-year North Carolina alum, the Bears seemingly unshackled themselves from him earlier this season by declining his fifth year option.
However, with a QB market that is geared to the younger (cheaper) end, there may not be a tonne of interest in Mitchell’s services. He has hardly excelled as a Bear, but he hasn’t been that bad when you consider his lack of experience.
Mitchell Trubisky may just need time
Now bear with me on this, because it may not be what any of us want to hear. But given his lack of college throws, just 572, Trubisky’s development was well short of the majority of NFL quarterbacks. Was he a reach with the second pick of the 2017 draft? Of course. We can all see that now, but that’s no reason to throw everything away now.
If we compare Mitchell Trubisky’s college throws with recent rookies the contrast is quiet stark
|2017||Mitchell Trubisky||572||2018||Lamar Jackson||1,086|
|2017||Patrick Mahomes||1,349||2019||Daniel Jones||1,275|
|2017||Deshaun Watson||1,207||2019||Dwayne Haskins||590|
|2018||Baker Mayfield||1,497||2020||Joe Burrow||945|
|2018||Sam Darnold||846||2020||Tua Tagovailoa||684|
|2018||Josh Allen||649||2020||Justin Herbert||1,293|
|2018||Josh Rosen||1,170||2021*||Trevor Lawrence||1,054*|
Of first-round picks (and presumptive pick Trevor Lawrence) Trubisky attempted the fewest passes of all of them, and one of only two to attempt less than 600 passes. The other, Dwayne Haskins, already seems to have been binned by the Washington Football Team.
Sitting behind Nick Foles may just have been the chance to learn that he needed. Let’s not forget that other than his rookie campaign where he went 4-8, Trubisky has not had a losing record in any of his last three seasons as Bears starter, going 23-12 for a total record of 27-20.
Obviously Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace are more sold on Nick Foles. A QB that the Bears are now kind of tied to having on the roster next season thanks to his $14.3M dead cap figure. But Nagy and Pace will not be around next season (please God), so what does this mean for Mitchell Trubisky?
“Mitchell Trubisky is fools gold”
Former NFL GM turned pundit Michael Lombardi has been scathing in his criticism of Trubisky over the years, and after this weeks comfortable win over the Texans dubbed him “fool’s gold”.
Now there shouldn’t be any mistaking the fact that Trubisky has had a decent amount of time to prove himself, and there are no illusions that he has not shown himself to be elite. However, he wouldn’t be the first QB to change his trajectory after four so-so years. Drew Brees is the obvious example of this. And no, I’m not saying Trubisky can become Drew Brees.
But if the Bears can secure Trubisky for $2M per year in free agency would he be worth a punt? Or does it contribute to another wasted season of should Foles or Trubisky start?
I haven’t been quiet in my views that Nick Foles was a stupid trade for a QB with limited upside and a consistent history of not being the guy. Including in his last stop at the Jaguars just last season where he flamed out having signed a huge, unjustified in my mind, contract that the Bears are now carrying a large part of.
Should the Foles mistake affect the decision to re-sign Trubisky? In my view Mitchell Trubisky has the higher ceiling so dumping him and keeping Foles is a poor decision. But with QB’s like Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, and possibly Sam Darnold and Carson Went coming available is the status quo really the way forward?
One think for sure is that Mitchell Trubisky has made things much more confusing after his performance against Houston.