Bears

Bears expected to sign QB Trevor Siemian, per report

The Bears are adding to their quarterback room.

The team is expected to sign free-agent quarterback Trevor Siemian, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It reportedly is a two-year deal.

Siemian, a Northwestern alum, spent the past two seasons as the backup with the New Orleans Saints. He started four games in 2021 after starting quarterback Jameis Winston suffered an ACL tear. The Saints were 0-4 in Siemian’s four starts, but he threw for 1,154 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.

The 30-year-old quarterback will be joining his sixth team since entering the NFL in 2015. The Denver Broncos originally drafted Siemian in the seventh round in 2015. He spent three seasons in Denver, winning the starting quarterback job in 2016 after Peyton Manning’s retirement. He started 14 games that season and 10 more in 2017.

He then played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, the New York Jets in 2019 and briefly with the Tennessee Titans for two weeks in 2020 before the Saints signed him midway through the 2020 season.

Since hitting free agency, Siemian reportedly also visited with the Las Vegas Raiders. He could be a solid backup quarterback for the Bears behind starter Justin Fields.

His signing clouds the situation for current Bears backup quarterback Nick Foles, who is entering the final year of his contract in Chicago. Foles started only one game last year as the third-string quarterback behind both Fields and veteran Andy Dalton.

If the Bears cut or trade Foles now, he will cost more than $7 million against their salary cap in 2022, while saving only $3 million in cap space. Just this past week he received a $4 million bonus for being on the Bears’ active roster, according to his contract info at OverTheCap.com. It would’ve made more financial sense to move him before that roster bonus date, but it’s unclear if the Bears could find a trade partner.

It’s also unclear what the Bears might receive for Foles in a trade. He is an experienced backup, but he’s probably not going to earn a starting job at this point in his career. At best, they’re probably looking at a sixth- or seventh-round draft pick in return, or a pick swap.

It’s entirely possible, too, that the Bears move ahead with Foles as the third-string quarterback. They did it last year. There’s no reason they couldn’t do it again. He is expensive for a third-string quarterback, but once this season is over, his contract is off the books.

The Bears also have a fourth quarterback under contract in Ryan Willis. Willis signed a practice squad deal with the Bears in December and was flexed onto the active roster when Foles started against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 26. Willis signed a futures contract with the team in January.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.