5 quarterbacks the Bears could realistically pursue in free agency

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Bryan Perez
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The 2021 NFL free agency period will officially get underway on March 17, with two days of legal tampering kicking off on March 15.

The Chicago Bears are expected to make a significant move at quarterback over the next two months, and free agency will provide them with their first chance at upgrading the game’s most important position.

But if we look at this year’s free-agent quarterback market through a realistic lens, are there any viable options who’d qualify as an upgrade over Nick Foles?

Here are five free-agent quarterbacks that the Bears will have the most realistic chance of signing. You can be the judge as to whether any of them are worth pursuing.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston (age: 27)

The former No. 1 overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft will look to reboot his career after sitting behind Drew Brees with the New Orleans Saints in 2020. The volatile passer threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 2019 in what was one of the most bizarre stat lines in NFL history.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jacoby Brissett (age: 28)

Brissett looked like a capable replacement for Andrew Luck when he stepped into the Indianapolis Colts’ starting lineup in 2019, registering 15 starts and totaling 2,941 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. He was replaced by Phillip Rivers in 2020 and at worst is a quality option to add competition in the quarterback room.

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton (age: 32)

Newton was the guy most Bears fans thought represented a missed opportunity by GM Ryan Pace last offseason, but his performance in New England had those same fans thankful he wasn’t a Bear. Newton’s best days are clearly behind him, but it still feels like he’d be an upgrade over Foles.

[ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post]

Ryan Fitzpatrick (age: 38)

As a one-season rental, the Bears could do a lot worse than Fitzpatrick, who managed to keep Miami Dolphins first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa on the bench a lot longer than most expected. Fitzpatrick started seven games in 2020 (appeared in nine) and threw for 2,091 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrod Taylor (age: 32)

Taylor always seems to find himself at or near the end of any quarterback-needy team’s list of potential offseason targets. It’s a credit to him and what he’s been able to flash as a starter in limited opportunities, but he isn’t a long-term answer and is more of a bridge quarterback who can start a few games until a prized first-rounder is ready to take over. If the Bears sign someone like Taylor, get your popcorn ready. A move up the 2021 NFL draft board is likely coming next.