Grading the Bears' trade for Nick Foles

Bryan Perez
NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears have their quarterback. Sort of.

The 2020 NFL free agency legal tampering period began with the Bears' rumored interest in Teddy Bridgewater, who opted to sign a multi-year deal with the Carolina Panthers instead. But the interest, by itself, signaled GM Ryan Pace's desire to be aggressive in the quarterback market. And aggressive he was.

Pace agreed to trade the Bears' fourth-round pick - No. 140 overall - to the Jaguars for Nick Foles, whose familiarity with the Bears' coaching staff and his proven record of success in the biggest of games likely moved him to the front of the line of remaining available quarterbacks. Players like Jameis Winston, Cam Newton and Andy Dalton certainly have their appeal, but the decision to target Foles was a calculated one.

The Bears want Mitch Trubisky to succeed. In an ideal world, he'll develop into a franchise quarterback this season and justify his 2017 draft status when he was the second overall pick. But they also want him to compete. And the one quarterback who has the longest resume as a backup (more so than as a starter) in this year's available cluster was Foles. He won't pose an immediate threat to Trubisky (even if he is the better option right now) and Chicago can sell the decision to trade for him as nothing more than competition.

Had they traded for Newton or Dalton, it would've felt more like a move for a starter than a backup with starter's upside.

So, sure, this trade accomplishes that objective. Acquiring Foles won't damage Trubisky's psyche. Instead, it should motivate him. Heck, Gardner Minshew proved last season that Foles can be outplayed, even by a sixth-round pick.

But wasn't this supposed to be an offseason that the Bears added a quarterback who can win games? A quarterback who can actually become a mid-to-long-term answer if Trubisky failed? 

The Bears will be Foles' fifth team in nine seasons. He's started a total of 48 games and owns a 26-22 record. His career completion percentage is just under 62% and he has a 71:35 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Bottom line? He's an average starting quarterback who caught lightning in a bottle in 2018. And good for him; by all accounts, he's a really good dude.

But this team needs more than just a nice guy in the locker room. They need a quarterback who can not only beat out Trubisky in a fair competition but one who can consistently defeat Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins, too.

Foles doesn't feel like the guy who can do it. It isn't 2018 anymore.

GRADE: C-

Grading the Bears' trade for Nick Foles originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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