The Chicago Bears have sat idly by and seen the pool of free-agent quarterbacks dwindle as the hours pass. Fans will look back in appreciation if all this patience ends in, say, Russell Wilson striding into town with his unlimited positivity. They'll look back in horror if there's some last-minute deal to bring an also-ran or retread in to keep the team's ceiling at the same level it was with Mitch Trubisky. That unique sense of dread mixed with panic moved closer to the throat this morning for anyone in Chicago watching Get Up, as Mike Tannenbaum laid out some rather stark remaining options.
Go to Europe and talk Andrew Luck into returning to the NFL or trade for Sam Darnold.
So that's where we are. Those are the best-case options for Chicago at this point. Yeesh.
Now, if lightning strikes Andrew Luck and he suddenly misses the richness of NFL life, well then, that's probably a miracle worth celebrating even if the former Pro Bowler never regains his form. Odds are he doesn't pick up the phone and if he does he mumbles something about how much he likes Jack Doyle.
As for Darnold, I'm with Tannenbaum in it not being an unpalatable route, though it's certain to be ill-received until he proves the locals wrong. The larger point here is that the Bears have been searching for a franchise quarterback for decades and have failed to lock one up during an unprecedented offseason. Failure to do so and ending up with a bargain-basement variety would be felt as a massive missed opportunity and a painful extension of sorrow in spot that's already sore.
There is simply no way to spin this process as going well if Luck and Darnold are the two paths forward here. That cannot be a situation the organization envisioned jumping headfirst into. This cannot be the path forward for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy if they want to keep their jobs.
Hang on tight, Bears fans. Things getting weird may be inevitable at this point.