People were flabbergasted when the news came down last April. They couldn’t believe the Mitch Trubisky trade when it happened. The Chicago Bears went from #3 overall to #2 in a deal with the San Francisco 49ers to grab the quarterback from North Carolina. In the deal, the Bears gave up their 2017 and 2018 third round picks and a 2017 fourth round pick.
Experts railed against Bears GM Ryan Pace for that deal at the time. They said not only did he way overpay for the move, he also didn’t have to do it at all. Odds heavily favored Trubisky being available at #3. The move made absolutely no sense. As a result 49ers GM John Lynch came off looking like a genius. Most believed he had “fleeced” the Bears in the trade.
Pace didn’t back down from his decision though. He stated that if the Bears were going to become great they couldn’t be afraid to get aggressive. The team as a consensus loved Trubisky and felt he could be their future. So they went after him. Meanwhile, Lynch received universal praise for his draft haul brought on thanks to that trade.
Except maybe people jumped the gun on that.
Mitch Trubisky trade looking better and better with latest news
Most of the praise surrounding that deal by San Francisco centered on their first round exploits. They secured what many felt was one of the top defensive linemen in the class with the #3 pick in Solomon Thomas. Then they doubled down by trading back into the first round at #31 to secure playmaking linebacker Reuben Foster. It was a steal, they all said.
Problem is there was a reason a player with talent like Foster’s fell that far. Both of those problems have since reared their heads in the past year. It started with the health issues as a variety of injuries forced him to miss six games. Now the matter just got ten times worse as news broke that Foster was arrested on domestic violence and possession of an assault rifle charges.
— Robert Salonga (@robertsalonga) February 12, 2018
As I have said since the draft, there were good and real reasons why Foster fell in the draft. Media heaped massive praise on Lynch for move, even as he said he almost picked him much higher.
— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) February 12, 2018
In the past calendar year, #49ers LB Reuben Foster has been kicked out of the combine, failed a drug test (dilute), missed six games with injuries and been arrested twice. Durability concerns weren’t the only reason his immense talent slid in the draft. https://t.co/sFns0QDnvR pic.twitter.com/16n7yFAclh
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 12, 2018
This is a serious situation for Foster. Given the NFL’s stance on domestic violence these days, he could be a world of trouble. Throw in a gun-related charge and he could be looking at jail time. Nevermind the fate of his football career. If that weren’t bad enough, Thomas didn’t do Lynch many favors either. Despite playing in 14 games he managed three sacks total. Not exactly a great first impression for a top five pick.
This is not to say Trubisky is a big hit. He wasn’t in 2017. Instead, this is more about easing the criticism on Pace. Maybe now people might appreciate the calculated logic in his decision. Just because Lynch got more picks didn’t mean he knew what to do with them.