Bears expected to add veteran QB, sources say

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Previously a college football reporter for
  • University of Florida graduate

Mitch Trubisky is the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback in 2020, but he’ll be pushed.

Multiple league sources expect Chicago to add an established veteran quarterback this offseason, most likely with pedigree and extensive starter’s experience.

The Bears are evaluating options, with the prevailing theme that an upgrade at the backup spot is necessary. Chase Daniel occupied the role the past two years.

The team can try to follow the formula of the Tennessee Titans, who last season signed Ryan Tannehill to a one-year contract as a backup, only to bench Marcus Mariota in favor of the veteran six games into the season. Tannehill led the NFL in passer rating and quarterbacked the Titans to the AFC title game.

Free agents such as Mariota or Washington’s Case Keenum are options, while Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton might be available via trade.

One potential hurdle is cap space. The Bears have $25,197,387 of space entering March, according to ESPN’s Roster Management System, but they can gain more with contract restructures or player releases. Dalton currently holds a $17.7 million cap hit on the Bengals’ books. Cincinnati might be able to eat some of that money to facilitate a deal.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace said at the NFL scouting combine that Trubisky, 25, will be the starter in 2020, but he was noncommittal about picking up Trubisky’s fifth-year option for 2021.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft saw his numbers dip nearly across the board in 2020. He finished 326-of-516 passing (63.2%) for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 83.0 rating in 15 starts. Trubisky also played through an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, which required surgery after the season.

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