Ryan Pace Kept All of His Promises to the Bears Except One


Ryan Pace did his job. He took over a heaping pile of garbage that was the Chicago Bears roster in 2015. Then through long nights, herculean effort, and more than a few bold moves he managed to reconstruct it almost from scratch into one of the more formidable depth charts in the NFL. The Bears once again have an elite defense. They possess a sturdy offensive line and a strong array of young playmakers at wide receiver and running back.

He was a man of his word in almost every respect. Except one. When he first took over, Pace told the media and by extension the fans that his mission was to try adding a young quarterback every year. This for the purpose of locking down a position that has been a chronic weakness of the franchise for decades. The idea is simple. Keep adding arms until one of them emerges as a legitimate player.

“I think it’s a good idea to add a quarterback every year…It’s a critical position. Because of that you can take a swing every year at it. Increase your odds.”

For all his maneuvering during the NFL draft and undrafted free agency, he hasn’t followed through on that. To date, the Bears have drafted just one quarterback in five offseasons. That, of course, being Mitch Trubisky. He’s also only signed two undrafted free agents in Shane Carden and Dalyn Williams. That was back in 2015 and 2016. Since then he has made do with a steady stream of veteran castoffs from other teams. Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray being the latest.

Ryan Pace is in an exclusive class at the moment

Pace is certainly going against the grain in this regard. Since 2015, the Bears have drafted one quarterback. Based on the results around the league, most teams have selected at least two. Many of those who did one or fewer like Atlanta, Carolina, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Seattle did so because they already have franchise passers. However, others like Miami and Tampa Bay have taken the same route as Chicago.

Is it a coincidence they find themselves among the worst teams in the league at the moment?
  • Arizona – 2
  • Atlanta – 0 (Matt Ryan)
  • Baltimore – 2
  • Buffalo – 3
  • Carolina – 1 (Cam Newton)
  • Cincinnati – 2
  • Cleveland – 3
  • Dallas – 2
  • Denver – 4
  • Detroit – 2
  • Green Bay – 1 (Aaron Rodgers)
  • Houston – 1 (Deshaun Watson)
  • Indianapolis – 0 (Andrew Luck)
  • Jacksonville – 3
  • Kansas City Chiefs – 2
  • Los Angeles – 1 (Philip Rivers)
  • Los Angeles – 2
  • Miami – 1
  • Minnesota – 0
  • New England – 3
  • New Orleans – 1 (Drew Brees)
  • New York Giants – 3
  • New York Jets – 3
  • Oakland – 1 (Derek Carr)
  • Philadelphia – 2
  • Pittsburgh – 2
  • San Francisco – 2
  • Seattle – 1 (Russell Wilson)
  • Tampa Bay – 1
  • Tennessee – 2
  • Washington – 2

Most of the QB problems for teams are solved by 1st round picks, but there is a benefit to taking swings even in the later rounds. Dallas scored Dak Prescott in the 4th in 2016. It appears Jacksonville may have hit the lottery with Gardner Minshew in the 6th this year. New England grabbed Jacoby Brissett in the 3rd round and he’s developing into a quality starter for Indianapolis. The saying goes, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

It’s uncertain if Pace has simply been gun shy about taking the position or if he is so focused on other areas of the roster that he just can’t be bothered. He remains firmly behind Trubisky, which is no surprise. Still, it’s hard to imagine the GM can continue to avoid quarterback going into 2020. Whether it’s Trubisky or the backup spots, fresh blood is needed. Until that position is solved, he has no excuse to neglect it.

Otherwise, he’ll end up like every other GM in the past 30 years. Lamenting a great roster wasted on quarterbacks unequal to the task.