There isn’t going to be a waking moment this offseason for Chicago Bears fans without a discussion about the quarterback position. Mitch Trubisky had his chance to lock down the job in 2019. He failed. The season was largely a disaster as the 25-year old seemed unable to elevate his game when the team needed it. Something franchise quarterbacks are expected to do. Now people have begun wondering what his ultimate fate will be. Most agree that it will involve competition in 2020, and one name that keeps coming up is Andy Dalton.
It isn’t hard to make the connection. He’s 32-years old, a three-time Pro Bowler with a solid record of success in Cincinnati. When he’s had the benefit of a decent supporting cast and a good defense, he visited the playoffs regularly. With the Bengals almost guaranteed to take a quarterback #1 overall in the upcoming draft, Dalton’s future there is basically done. It is just a matter of how they will handle his exit.
Some believe a trade is a possibility. If so, it will likely be cheap. Nothing more than a late-round pick. This combined with his affordable $17.7 million cap hit next season makes him a palatable option for a team like Chicago. Even so, there was no reason to think GM Ryan Pace would consider a move like this.
At least that was until the Bears found their new offensive coordinator.
Andy Dalton connection to Bill Lazor is one to watch
It can be easy to read a little too much into every move the Bears make. Still, their hiring of Bill Lazor as their new offensive coordinator is tough to ignore. This because he has significant ties to several veteran quarterbacks who might be available this offseason. Dalton is the most recent. The two worked together for three years from 2016 to 2018. In that time he threw for 10,000 yards in 43 games including 64 touchdowns and 31 interceptions, good for a respectable 89.4 passer rating.
Nobody is saying Dalton is the long-term answer for the Bears. Hardly. He’s more of that two-way weapon they can use. He’ll serve as perfect competition for Trubisky, one who will genuinely push for the starting job. If Trubisky improves and holds him off? Great. If he crumbles, then the Bears have their answer and will be able to use Dalton as a bridge to their next young quarterback. It’s not a bad plan, should this actually be what they have in mind.