By: Aaron Shariq
Jay Cutler’s time with the Bears is most likely over when the new league year starts on March 9th. The trade market for Cutler will be scarce considering most believe he will be released, which will most likely be the end result.
Either way the Bears will be left, once again, looking for someone to take snaps under center. There are the quick-fix options of players like Tony Romo or Brian Hoyer (who started five games for the team last year.) However, with the team continuing toward the youth movement and trying to build for the future neither one of these quarterbacks make much sense.
With respect to getting younger and looking to the future here are the Bears best options to fill the position this offseason.
3. 2017 Draft
Ryan Pace has said that he loves the idea of drafting a quarterback every year but in his two years as the Bears GM Pace has drafted exactly zero quarterbacks. This years QB draft class is nothing to write home about but there are players that could, if given time, develop into solid quarterbacks. There is no quarterback worth the third overall pick in this years draft and I don’t expect the Bears to reach for one at three.
One promising prospect that could fall to the Bears in the second or even third round of this years draft is Davis Webb. First and foremost, Webb passes the eye test; at 6’5 230lbs Webb should be a hard man to bring down. Webb has a strong pocket presence showing the ability to sidestep the pass rush and avoid taking many sacks.
Webb is my favorite 2nd-3rd round QB because of his ability to make pre-snap reads, an art that has been lost in many collegiate systems. Webb also possesses the arm strength and touch needed to stretch defenses in the NFL. Given a year or two to develop with Coach Fox, Webb could prove to be a solid starting quarterback in the NFL.
2. Tyrod Taylor
After his benching in the Buffalo’s season finale rumors have surfaced that Taylor’s time there may be coming to an end this offseason. If Taylor passes his offseason physical the Bills can release Taylor without owing him any money. If Buffalo decides to go this route, the Bears would be foolish not to pursue Taylor.
At 27 years of age Taylor still has quite a few years left in the tank and has proven to be a very capable starting quarterback. Aside from his ability to throw the football Taylor posses great mobility in and out of the pocket with 1,148 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons. A fanbase that is tired of watching their quarterback throw interceptions will love Taylor who rarely turns the ball over, throwing only six interceptions in his two years as a starter.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo
This option for the Bears is contingent upon whether or not the Patriots are willing to trade the 25 year old signal caller. Garoppolo is a very promising young talent who played very well earlier this year while New England’s hall of fame quarterback, Brady, served his four game suspension. It was a very small sample size but it is only one of many reasons the Bears should be interested in Garoppolo.
Garoppolo’s senior year at Eastern Illinois he threw for 5,050 yards 53 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. Garoppolo was a very promising quarterback coming out of college, (projected 2nd round pick). If he were in this years draft class he would be my answer for option number three.
The gold lining of Garoppolo not being in this years draft class is that he has already had time to develop in an NFL system under one of greatest coaches in NFL history, Bill Belichick. Not only has he had the opportunity to be coached up by Belichick but Garoppolo has spent his entire career in the meeting room with Tom Brady.
Say what you will about Brady and Belichick, but the two of them know how to win. Garoppolo has had the opportunity to learn what preparation is required to sustain a high level of play in the NFL from someone who has done it for 17 years. That experience mixed with Garoppolo’s quick trigger and accuracy could be exactly what the Bears need.
If the price is right, Ryan Pace should absolutely pull the trigger and get Garoppolo fitted for some navy and orange.