The Chicago Bears made a bold move back in 2017 to trade up one spot for Mitch Trubisky. Most would assume that move was GM Ryan Pace going “all in” on his next franchise quarterback. The sheer volume of investments he’s made to the offense since then seem to reinforce that. No receivers remain from that 2017 roster. Only one tight end (Adam Shaheen) and one running back (Tarik Cohen). Both of whom were drafted that same year.
Yet all of these moves which are meant to help Trubisky succeed, also can’t be viewed as clear signs that he is unquestionable the guy for the next 10 years. Let’s be clear. The young quarterback took a big step forward in 2018. He accounted for 27 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions, amassed over 3,600 yards and posted a franchise-record 95.4 passer rating.
Sure it’s not anything crazy compared to top quarterbacks of today but in the context of Chicago’s history, it was huge. That is why optimism is so high for 2019. His array of weapons has grown even deeper since last year and his experience in Matt Nagy’s offense continues to expand.
Still there is a lingering belief that despite the steadfast support, the Bears haven’t gone in on him with both feet yet.
Money factor will determine Mitch Trubisky status in Chicago
As with all things involving a business, it’s money that determines everything. People always talk about investments. There are typically two basic types. Short-term and long-term. Right now, Trubisky is a short term investment. Dan Graziano of ESPN explains that the Bears’ commitment to him is decent but not locked in.
“Contract: Four-year, $29.032 million, fully guaranteed contract signed in July 2017. It includes a $19.72 million signing bonus and a team option for a fifth year in 2021.
The 2019 season is important for Trubisky, as a year from now the Bears will be deciding whether to exercise that 2021 option or begin looking elsewhere for their quarterback of the future. A second season with Matt Nagy as his coach should be helpful to Trubisky’s development, but if he flops, Chicago isn’t committed beyond 2020.”
This is not to say the Bears aren’t willing to pay Trubisky. They’ve shown plenty of willingness to do so, but only when the time is right. They’re not going to jump the gun because of one modestly good year from the quarterback. We’re talking about potentially $30 million a year. That is an exorbitant amount of money.
Frankly, Mitch hasn’t earned it yet. The Bears want to keep their options open. They have an excellent foundation in place with several young weapons on the roster and an innovative offensive coach in Nagy. Calling an audible at quarterback in this sort of situation isn’t unheard of.
Thankfully such a thing is furthest from their minds. Hopefully Trubisky keeps it that way.