The Minnesota Vikings – and about 29 other NFL franchises – have a concrete plan at the quarterback position for 2021. Unless the Vikings act on the plethora of Kirk Cousins trade rumors (unlikely), Minnesota will effectuate Year Four of the Cousins experiment.
Aaron Rodgers likely isn’t leaving Green Bay – not after his MVP season of 2020. Although, Rodgers was rather dejected after the Packers lost – again – in the NFC Championship last month. Green Bay has lost four consecutive NFC title games (if that can be believed). Rodgers’ vocal disappointment after the Buccaneers loss was to be expected, but then the 37-year-old spiraled into the “maybe I won’t even be here” type of verbiage often utilized by Brett Favre in the 2000s.
Jared Goff will lead the Detroit Lions next season. That just sounds weird. Detroit divorced Matthew Stafford in favor of Goff, the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. In the process, the Lions accrued gobs of draft capital plus Goff – a serviceable thrower of the football.
Who’s left in the NFC North? The Chicago Bears.
Mitchell Trubisky will start free-agent tours next month and figures to sign on as some team’s QB2. While it would not be stunning for the Bears to finagle a deal that returns Trubisky to Illinois, a Bears-Trubisky continuance is unlikely. Head coach Matt Nagy must “win now” to cool down the temperate of his buttocks. Trubisky inspires no pathway to that butt stuff 2021 requisite.
Between the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears, one of these franchises has a real chance to start Sam Darnold at quarterback in Week 1 of 2021. Why? Because most football heads theorize that BYU’s Zack Wilson will wear a New York Jets helmet next season.
Nick Foles or Bust? Probably Not
Do you think that Nick Foles is the future of the Chicago Bears? No. Could he lead the Bears to around eight or nine wins in his peak form? Probably. Are the Bears interested in that? Negatory.
Foles is the only viable starting quarterback solution currently on Chicago’s roster. It will not stay that way. And if it does, it will be glorious for the Vikings. A Bears team led by Foles will not be formidable on the whole, but they could wiggle a win away from Minnesota [probably at Soldier Field].
Chicago must do something at QB1. At the moment, they are one of the only NFL teams using a mother’s “we’ll see” at quarterback.
When the Bears decide to address the most important position on the football field, it will either be a rookie from the upcoming draft or through a trade with another team. Each mock draft that is released sending Zack Wilson to the Jets – makes Darnold to somewhere-else a reality.
The Bears have no plan more exciting than Foles, so Darnold-to-the-Bears is plausible.
Jets Don’t Need Two Young QBs
ESPN’s Field Yates has endorsed the notion of Darnold-to-Chicago:
“The Chicago Bears were actually the last team I filled in for this exercise, and I gave them Sam Darnold. They need to make a quarterback move. Darnold needs a change of scenery in a major way. He’s just 23 years old. Perhaps Matt Nagy believes he can be the player many thought he would be when he came out of USC.”
This conversation came to life because the Jets won’t need two starting-caliber quarterbacks – especially young ones. It would be unjust to make Darnold sit on the bench, infringing on his potential development.
Choosing Wilson over Darnold fundamentally mandates that Darnold is traveling to another franchise. Chicago is quarterback-starved. Darnold would receive a fair-shake to continue his maturation in the Windy City.
Darnold Already Deserves Life-After-Jets
To the surprise of no one, the Jets have been stinky since Darnold’s arrival. And folks cannot determine if Darnold’s lack of success is due to his personal shortcomings or those structurally orchestrated by the lowly Jets as an organization.
Chicago would indubitably provide a change of scenery, creating an avenue for a geographical cure that some athletes require. There is no guarantee that the Bears and Darnold will mesh, but an audition of the 23-year-old is significantly more ambitious than a Nick Foles redux.
Too, a change of address for Darnold is merited. New York employed Adam Gase for two-thirds of Darnold’s career. Gase’s win-loss record with the Jets was 9-23 (.281).
A trade to the Bears would allow Darnold to demonstrate his capability with a team led by defense – something the Jets were not.
Or maybe Darnold simply isn’t any good? That verdict will be rendered when he departs the Jets.