And yet, the Bears say Mitchell Trubisky is still first in line at quarterback.
The Bears’ confusing offseason continued Friday, when general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy held a conference call with reporters. The hot topic is the quarterback situation and a couple of clear facts are now evident.
There will be a competition between Trubisky and Foles. And Trubisky will be given the first chance to win the job.
Bears giving Mitchell Trubisky first chance to start
Nagy said a lot about having a true competition whenever the team can get back on the practice field, but the biggest revelation was that Trubisky still tops the depth chart.
Nagy: "When we walk out on the first day, whenever it is whether it’s OTAs or whether it’s training camp, Mitch will be going first in the huddle.”— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2020
The entire situation will be awkward. Teams don’t trade a mid-round pick and pay $21 million if they’re secure with their starting quarterback. Trubisky took a big step back last season and has been blamed endlessly for the Bears’ struggles last season.
In the same conference call in which Nagy said Trubisky would be “going first in the huddle,” Pace would not say if the team would pick up the fifth-year option on Trubisky’s rookie contract. The decision needs to be made in May.
Trubisky will be given the opportunity to win the job, but it also seems he’s being set up to fail.
Bears promising a fair competition
Pace talked about Foles being a special person and how his play in big games carried a lot of weight when the Bears decided to trade for him.
If Foles doesn’t win the job before the season opener, every mistake Trubisky makes will lead to calls for him to be benched. The Bears had to know that would happen when they brought Foles in. There will be a quarterback competition, Nagy said, and that will be the entire focus of the offseason.
"I can promise you this, it's going to be extremely fair. It's going to be competitive it in a good way. It's going to be a healthy competitiveness."— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2020
Competition can be good. It can also be an enormous distraction when it happens at the quarterback position. The Bears seem to be sending mixed messages already. They made a significant investment in Foles, but say Trubisky is still ahead of him. They are saying Trubisky is first in line while not committing to Trubisky’s fifth-year option. They’re setting up an offseason of speculation and overreaction to every practice rep and preseason lineup decision.
In a perfect world, Trubisky would play so well he will establish himself as the team’s quarterback for the present and future. All eyes will be on the competition.
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