Kellen Mond's release provides glimpse of Bears future originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Things could be a lot worse for the Chicago Bears.
The Minnesota Vikings announced the release of quarterback Kellen Mond on Tuesday. Mond, a former third-round pick out of Texas A&M, was in the same draft class as Bears quarterback Justin Fields. He was expected to be the heir to Kirk Cousins and create a smooth transition from quarterback to quarterback.
No longer. Mond failed to impress in his rookie season and this preseason, forcing the Vikings to look in another direction. The Vikings' regime looks ineffective at the moment. They've now cut three players from the 2021 draft, including linebacker Chazz Surratt (78th overall pick) and defensive end Janarius Robinson (134th overall pick).
Now, the Vikings have to search for another successor to Cousins.
The release is another bump in the road for Minnesota. The last time the Vikings were a significant team in the NFC was 2017 when they went 13-3 in the regular season and lost in the NFC championship game to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Since, the Vikings have drowned in mediocrity and near .500 records, similar to the Bears since 2018.
The Vikings' and Bears' recent histories are comparable. Both have had excellent roster strengths, except at quarterback. Unfortunately for both teams, it's led to few playoff berths and not many wins.
I would be remiss to mention the Vikings' era with Cousins has been far more iconic and memorable. The Vikings had the "Miracle in Minnesota" game coupled with their NFC championship game (Case Keenum era, but still relevant). But, neither has made it to the Super Bowl since they can remember.
But, unlike the Vikings, the Bears seem to have their quarterback in place for the considerable future. Fields has shown visible, evidential development during this year's preseason. He looks sharper and is becoming a reliable playmaker for the offense.
Yes, the Bears are in the midst of a dreadful rebuild and are doomed to be one of the bottom teams in the division and in the league this season. But, counter to the Vikings' current organizational status, the Bears will be a better team than them in as little as the season after the upcoming one.
Cousins' future is unknown every season going forward and his play has never been proven to be playoff-caliber. There's no argument that can prove Fields to be a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback at this instant, but his transgression has been linear and he has more potential than Cousins toward the end of his career.
Bears fans can sulk and convince themselves the team will get more wins than others think. But, let's face it. The team is not built to go deep in the playoffs, or even win games. The new regime is remaining patient with the rebuild.
In a season when there's not much to be excited about, fans can choose to remember they have a potential franchise quarterback in place. In today's NFL, that's invaluable.
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