The Chicago Bears had several veteran options they could've targeted in free agency to compete with Mitch Trubisky for the starting quarterback job, but they opted to go the trade route and sent a fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Nick Foles.
The trade is what it is. Foles isn't an exciting addition, but he's at least a competent NFL quarterback who's capable of saving the 2020 season if Trubisky isn't the guy Ryan Pace thought he was.
According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, Foles barely cracked the list of the 10-best players who were traded this offseason.
In a perfect world, competition from Foles will bring out the best in former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky. If Foles wins the starting quarterback job, the Bears will be counting on him to regain the form that led to playoff and Super Bowl success as a backup with the Eagles in 2017 and '18 after floundering in Jacksonville last year. Regardless of who is under center, head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace will need more production from an offense that ranked 25th in passing, 27th in rushing and 29th in scoring if they are to get off the hot seat.
Foles' familiarity with Matt Nagy and the Bears' coaching staff is a big plus for his chances to earn the starting job despite a non-traditional training camp this summer, one that includes no preseason games and a limited number of padded practices. Granted, no one could've predicted how long COVID-19 would impact the sports landscape, but the fact Foles has that level of comfort with the Bears' offense and coaches is a blessing in disguise. Even as a newly acquired player, he'll be able to contribute right away in Week 1 if needed.
Pondering the what-ifs about the Bears' quarterback search this offseason is, at this point, an exercise of diminishing returns. Chicago has a full-blown quarterback competition kicking off in a few days, and no matter who comes out on top, Bears fans will rally behind him (until he gives them a reason not to).
Nick Foles ranked 10th-best player who was traded this offseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago