The Chicago Bears lost to the New Orleans Saints at home on Sunday. It was a very disappointing way to come off the bye week, and the issue is clear-- Mitch Trubisky, when asked to take the ball and win the game, simply cannot do so. He threw 54 times and could muster only 251 yards on 34 completions. The Saints defense isn't a joke, and choosing to run the ball only seven times is certainly a questionable coaching decision by Matt Nagy.
But watching Trubisky struggle to do just about anything has raised questions about the Bears and if/how they should upgrade their quarterback position to take advantage of their elite defense. Whether or not they should is a separate discussion. But if they do, is there a realistic target for the Bears to upgrade at QB and make a Super Bowl run?
When looking around the league, there are relatively few options. Veteran QBs on under-achieving teams (like Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers) have been floated as potential solutions, but the trade required to upgrade that much would be very costly. The Falcons have no succession plan in place for Ryan yet, and for all the issues with their team this year, he isn't really one of them. Rivers makes a bit more sense, given his age and the fact that Los Angeles finds a new way to lose each week, but the Chargers would refuse to give him up for anything less than a treasure chests of picks and players. Besides admitting this season is a wash, trading Rivers would wipe away any semblance of goodwill they have left with their fans, and the PR look would be quite poor, even for the Chargers.
The QB situations in Carolina and New Orleans could provide a solution. Kyle Allen and Teddy Bridgewater haven't blown anyone away with their performances in relief of each franchise's respective starter, but they proved they can get the job done, at the very least. While it would be quite optimistic to hope Cam Newton appears on the trade market, it's well within the realm of possibility that the Panthers or Saints decide to capitalize on the value of their backups and agree to a trade for a Day 2 draft pick.
Looking at all the options, the most realistic scenario in my mind is a Nick Foles trade. The Jaguars haven't been dominating by any means, but after another win on Sunday, Gardner Minshew has, at the very least, proves he belongs in the NFL, even if he has a lot of improving to do. More importantly, Foles is guaranteed $50 million, while Minshew is guaranteed all of $190,000. Jacksonville has every reason to offload Foles and roll forward with Minshew. Chicago makes for an obvious trade partner. That amount of money is tough to swallow, and it's no sure thing Foles doesn't turn into Mike Glennon 2.0. But as far as availability and potential price, along with upside, Foles is the only answer.
While we're all quick to crucify Trubisky because he was drafted before Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, he's still only 25 and currently tops out as a league-average quarterback. It's not like the Bears are trotting out a combination of Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick every week. It's not that dire, and how much of an upgrade Foles would really represent is up for discussion. They'll almost certainly decide to stick with the 2017 first-rounder. But if they don't, Foles represents the best possible scenario-- bringing him in wouldn't be extremely costly, and if he plays at even 75 percent of the level he did during his Super Bowl run, the Bears have a chance against anyone.