Mitchell Trubisky may have engineered a late-season turnaround to make the playoffs and also posted a passer rating nearly as good as in 2018, but apparently it means little for his future.
If you believe a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, this could be the case. Without citing a source, Rapoport said before Sunday's playoff game that Trubisky is unlikely to return to the Chicago Bears unless they make a long playoff run.
Trubisky has no contract for next year because the team declined his fifth-year option in May, and while he has won starts down the stretch he has continued making mistakes in the red zone at an alarming rate.
What Trubisky hasn't done is show he can beat good or even above average teams.
The only playoff team he had a significant role in beating was Seattle in 2018. The Bears beat Carolina in his rookie year but that was the game when the Bears won 17-3 because Eddie Jackson returned a fumble and an interception for 75-yard touchdowns. They beat the Rams in 2018 15-6 but Trubisky threw three interceptions and they won because the defense picked off Jared Goff four times.
This season the only playoff team the Bears beat was Tampa Bay, and Nick Foles played quarterback.
Trubisky being allowed to walk would surprise no one but the real mystery would be how the team plans to solve the quarterback problem.
They could go with Foles, and assume he plays better with a better offense around him as well as more knowledge of the attack.
Foles still has two years left on his contract and they would be eating money on his deal if they let him go before the end of the 2021 season. However, they would only be absorbing $3.6 million if they cut him after June 1 next year according to Overthecap.com.
They could look at free agency, where it will be mostly retreads and backups unless Dak Prescott is allowed to leave by Dallas.
The draft could offer options but the Bears will select far enough back in the first round to miss out on the top quarterbacks.
There is always the trade route, and Houston's Deshaun Watson has reportedly been voicing disgust with his franchise the past week. Perhaps they could pursue a trade if they're willing to part with more first-round picks, as they did with Khalil Mack. Carson Wentz might be available, as well.
Then there is the possibility quarterbacks under contract currently could become available.
Alex Smith and Bears coach Matt Nagy worked closely together in Kansas City and Washington could have tremendous cap savings by letting Smith go, especially after June 1. Smith helped Washington do enough to win the NFC East and their future would appear to be with younger quarterbacks or draft picks.
A pairing of Smith and a draft pick in Chicago to learn next season could be a viable option.
The same could be true with Foles and a rookie quarterback, if they were certain their running game could be accomplished without as many plays from under center or minus the threat of a quarterback run and bootlegs as they are now doing.