The Bears will decline quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's fifth-year option for the 2021 season, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Chicago reached the decision ahead of Monday's deadline. If the Bears picked up his option, they would have paid Trubisky $24.8 million. However, the team still could have avoided paying him if it released him by March 2021.
Trubisky, a former No. 2 overall draft pick, would certainly have wanted the Bears to exercise his option, a step that typically comes before teams sign players to long-term extensions. However, Trubisky's days as Chicago's starting quarterback could be numbered either way. The Bears traded for Jaguars QB Nick Foles this spring.
Pelissero reports the Bears have "liked Trubisky's attitude since the Nick Foles trade," but that both quarterbacks will compete for the starting job.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace has taken plenty of heat over the past three years for his decision to draft Trubisky ahead of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Houston's Deshaun Watson in 2017. Both Kansas City and the Texans picked up the fifth-year options of their quarterbacks earlier this week.
In three seasons, Trubisky has thrown for 8,554 yards, 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. The Bears have reached the playoffs once with him but fell to the Eagles in the 2018 NFC Wild Card Game.
Last season, Trubisky dislocated his non-throwing shoulder and suffered a labrum tear in Week 4 but only missed one game. He underwent surgery in January to repair the tear and is expected to be medically cleared soon. He will earn $4.423 million next season