September 28, 2022


Hub Arkush: How is trading for Dalton a risk worth taking for Bears?

In nine seasons, Dalton has shown nothing to suggest he's better than Trubisky

There is at least one thing Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy could do about their quarterback situation to make things even worse, and that would be to bring in a veteran backup, only to learn their new hope is even worse than Trubisky was.

Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Philip Rivers would all obviously be an upgrade over Trubisky.

But Brees is staying in New Orleans, and even should Brady or Rivers look favorably upon Chicago, the Bears just don’t have the cap space to compete for them and still fill out their roster with a team that can compete.

Teddy Bridgewater earned himself a payday with his five starts in relief of Brees this year in New Orleans, winning all five and playing one of the best games of his career at Soldier Field.

But why would Bridgewater accept anything less than a multi-year deal at starters money, and the Bears can’t bid on Bridgewater to be their starter without flipping 180 degrees from everything they’ve said about Trubisky since the end of last season.

Does anyone really see that happening?

It is possible they could get Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston to accept a one-year prove-it deal in a somewhat more manageable $8-10 million cap range, but Winston has a 28-42 record in 29 more starts than Trubisky, a 61.3 % career completion percentage, an average of 17.6 picks per season and he is nowhere near the athlete Trubisky is.

Mariota is more intriguing with a record of 29-32, slightly more accurate than Winston completing 62.9% of his passes over his career – although Trubisky is the most accurate of the three, at 63.4 completion percentage for his career — and a much more comparable athlete to Trubisky.

Case Keenum is probably the best fit for the Bears among their free agent options if they’re willing to settle on a short-term fix, although if you take a closer look at what Matt Moore did in relief of Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City this year, the Bears could take a chance there too.

If Pace and Nagy are going the free agent route, of the guys likely to be legitimate options, it seems Mariota is the only one really worth gambling on for the future, and Keenum is the only one they might be able to argue could be a clear upgrade.

Some would like to see the Bears trade for a veteran QB, and there have been rumors out of the Combine in Indianapolis the Bears have chummed the waters in Cincinnati, fishing for Andy Dalton.

Everyone knows Nagy and his new assistants have real history with Nick Foles, and it appears Derek Carr could be available for the right price.

But the problem no one is addressing when looking in this direction is, reports are the Bengals and Raiders would want at least a third-round pick and quite possibly a two for Dalton and/or Carr, and the Bears are already without picks in the first and third rounds and very much in need of starters at tight end, right guard, inside linebacker and safety and significant upgrades at left tackle and more speed at receiver.

At least there is real evidence Foles or Carr could be upgrades.

But when it comes to Dalton, why is everyone ignoring the fact in nine seasons he’s shown nothing to suggest he’s better than Trubisky?

Exactly one of his nine seasons has been as good as Trubisky’s 2018 campaign, and it’s a bit comical bringing up his three Pro Bowls. All were as an alternate, the first with 20 TDs, 13 INTs and a 80.4 passer rating, the second in 2014 with 19 TDs, 17 INTs and an 83.5 rating and then in 2016 with just 18 TDs but at least he got his picks down to eight and rating up to 91.8.

You want Dalton? What if the Bears give up picks they can’t afford, take on his $17 million cap hit and he gets here and is the same guy he was last year — an awful quarterback on the worst team in the league?

Based on what you know, how is that a risk worth taking?

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush is the Senior Bears Analyst for Shaw Local News Network and