Fans of the Chicago Bears had lofty expectations this offseason. The franchise has been going through the quarterback carousel for what seems like forever, and the organization had aspirations of ending that this offseason by swinging big. And while they did step into the batter’s box and took some hacks, they ultimately struck out. The Bears didn’t get the quarterback of their dreams … they ended up with Andy Dalton and then had to cut Kyle Fuller. But fear not Bears fans, for you can still dream. Here are three quarterbacks the Bears needed to get instead of Andy freaking Dalton.
Amidst growing tensions that had formed between the future Hall of Fame quarterback and the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson didn’t quite demand a trade from the Seahawks this offseason, but strongly pointed in that direction.
What surprised most was that the list of teams Wilson comprised and gave to Seattle as destinations he preferred, for it included the Chicago Bears.
The rumors had begun and all the armchair general managers began concocting trades that they deemed “fair” for both sides that resulted in the Bears landing Wilson.
Chicago, to its credit, exhausted just about every avenue in an attempt to get a trade done. In the end, Seattle just didn’t bite. But given all the factors with Seattle willing to explore the idea of trading Wilson, Russell listing the Bears and Chicago desperately needing stability at the spot, this had a real chance and just fell through the cracks.
It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways: the Bears would be far better off with Russell Wilson even if it meant emptying out chest. Perhaps they should keep trying.
Another quarterback who is fed up with his current situation, Deshaun Watson has taken it a level further than Russell Wilson. While both have a desire to be elsewhere, Watson seemingly plans on flat-out not playing if he isn’t traded by Houston. There’s a chance, and maybe a good one, that Wilson is the starting quarterback for the Seahawks in 2021. The odds of Watson being the starter for the Texans seems incredibly unlikely.
It’s another big name that the Bears could explore taking a swing at after missing out initially on Wilson. At this point, why not? Just because they signed Andy Dalton doesn’t lock them in to not trying to still improve at the position. And let’s face it, it’s not every year that established, top-tier quarterbacks are on the market. This offseason, there are two!
While it’s likely other teams like the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins could come up with better offers because they have more draft capital and better roster pieces to throw into an offer, keep swinging big if you’re Chicago.
It must be noted, though, that the sexual assault allegations currently coming out against Watson could complicate trade scenarios.
Let’s go with a more realistic option here. Winston has already re-signed with the New Orleans Saints, but before doing so, he was an unrestricted free agent able to go anywhere. With this option, Chicago could’ve just signed him instead of needing assets to send in a trade.
The intrigue with Winston over Dalton is pretty simple.
Winston is 27 years old with more untapped potential. There is a belief he can still be a franchise starting quarterback and just needed a change of scenery. He certainly has all the arm talent, but he just never was quite able to piece everything together in Tampa Bay. He may get the chance in New Orleans in 2021.
Andy Dalton is 33 years old, so what you see is what you get at this point. He’s a really good backup quarterback to have, but if he’s your starter … yikes.
Signing Winston would’ve pumped some life into the Bears and the fan base, and maybe it wouldn’t have worked out. But there would’ve been optimism surrounding Winston because of the unknown with his game. With Dalton, they know what they have and expectations are low.
Chicago could’ve gone many different ways in free agency. They could’ve landed a home run in Wilson or Watson, or they could’ve taken a younger quarterback with upside. Instead, they went the route of Andy Dalton. Perhaps they draft a franchise quarterback, but right now, things aren’t looking promising.