Colin Kaepernick One Option Among Many for Bears

Colin Kaepernick would be cheaper and easier to get, but many other quarterbacks could be available, such as Eli Manning or Case Keenum before Tuesday's trade deadline if the Bears wanted to immediately replace Mitchell Trubisky. But is that even wise?
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The idea of a Bears trade occurring to immediately replace Mitchell Trubisky is so far-fetched in every way it sounds like it came out of a supermarket tabloid or Jordan Peele movie.

Numerous factors must line up in exact order to make such a deal possible, and right now none seem apparent.

The Bears are talking about how they need to see more from Mitchell Trubisky and there is apparently a clock ticking now somewhere in the minds of Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace, but rest assured the clock doesn't strike 12 Tuesday at 3 p.m.

That's the NFL trade deadline.

Probably the biggest factor weighing against bringing in any quarterback mid-season is the lack of preparation time within the offense. They won't know enough about running the attack to make it work to any extent until it's too late to make a run.

Considering the Bears already are 3-4, time wouldn't just be of the essence – it's pretty much already gone.

Rocket Science

This isn't just any offense they'd be trying to master at mid-season. Matt Nagy admitted at Monday's postmortem press conference that this is a very complicated attack.

"Well there's a lot of different concepts within it," Nagy said. "So concepts and adjustments within the concepts, so whether it's based off of coverages or whether it's based off of personnel and different things. But it does take a little bit of time for these guys."

Don't write the idea off entirely, however.

"And you look at some of these players for instance that coach (Andy) Reid has had back in Philadelphia with Donovan McNabb and the other guys that he's had," Nagy continued. "Some have had instant success. Some have. They've come in for whatever reason and done well and others it's taken a little bit of time.

"Alex Smith in Kansas City, here's a guy that went from being the No. 1 pick in the draft, bunch of different coordinators, had a city that was ready for change. So he came to us and that was awesome because we got a guy that had experience."

Smith's experience in the offense is exactly why the Bears would be likely to believe they can still wait on Trubisky's development.

"And so the biggest thing is I just think his advantage, Alex's, was that he was in a bunch of different offenses so he had a lot more experience and time," Nagy said. "Mitch is what, he's in his third, 2 1/2 years, and so one offense is completely different than the first year he was here. So you can't really compare that.

"And then you take his college experience, high school experience, etc., it can be challenging."

Of Trubisky, Nagy added "It's where we're at and we're just going to stay positive

Current Possibilities

The next factor is available players – talent at a reasonable price. There are a few of those, but it's marginal for various reasons.

When it comes to those available, Eli Manning is one experienced passer who could bridge a gap, and his experience would make it more likely he could pick up the offense faster.

However, his age would eliminate one aspect of the read-option in Nagy's RPO attack because his running looks like what most call walking. Trubisky isn't taking advantage now of this part of the offence now, anyway, especially since he's decided he is now Mitchell Trubisky, Pocket Passer. The money and age probably prevent this kind of move for Manning at this point in the season.

Jameis Winston has been rumored to be on the outs but the Bucs aren't going to send him away at this point when he's starting and they at least still have a chance at a wild card.

The Panthers seem unlikely to trade Cam Newton after their wonder boy, Kyle Allen, got shellacked by the 49ers.

The only players in the group who make any sense are Marcus Mariota and Case Keenum. The Bears already saw Keenum's faults when they buried him under a rush and forced three interceptions. Thanks but no thanks.

Mariota? The Bears see him every day in Trubisky. So it might be a good fit.

They have similar games. Trubisky overall might be a more shifty runner but Mariota a more accurate passer. 

Even then, the Titans are like the Saints are with Teddy Bridgewater. They need a backup with experience because they're not too far from the playoff hunt. Why trade a player who could help in a title drive? 

Mariota would be worth pursuing next year as competition for Trubisky, as would a handful of these other players. But remember, the point here is finding players for immediate help, not next year. Next year there's always the draft and free agency or trades might bring in players.

Maybe Smith makes a comeback and the Redskins don't want to take a chance on him and send him back to his old coach in Chicago. Who knows?

Colin Kaepernick

The Colin Kaepernick fans always beat the drum for their guy and if he was half the talent they seem to think then the Bears would be foolish not to look, even with the obvious baggage he is going to bring.

One thing working for Kaepernick is he wouldn't cost anything in terms of draft picks in a trade, although his history of salary demands says he'd be asking for too much money.

If the Bears are all about bringing in a guy who's been away from the game so long that he's collected cobwebs, just go talk Peyton Manning out of retirement. At least he was good at one time. Kaepernick was only good for a very, very brief time. He wasn't good in the final four years he played, and he played only six.

Kaepernick is going to turn 32 this week, a product spokesman, social activist and former football player. He hasn't played since 2016. When he played from 2013-16 he completed more than 60 percent of his passes only once. That was 60.5%. That kind of inaccuracy won't cut it in the NFL today. His career accuracy was an extremely mediocre 59.8%.

People complain about Trubisky's inaccuracy, but at least he's completed 63.7% for his career and 64.6% this season. Kaepernick's last four seasons: 59.2%, 59.0%, 60.5% and 58.4%.

Kaepernick took 116 sacks his last three seasons and 52 his final full season, which is a good way to end up in the hospital. Obviously he had poor blocking, but he is supposed to be mobile.  

The Bears saw this first hand in 2016 when he faced the defensive coordinator of his Super Bowl team, Vic Fangio. The Bears mixed up and disguised coverages and confused Kaepernick to such a degree that he was out of the game by halftime with five sacks. That's four more sacks than passes completed. His line on that day: 1-for-5 for 4 yards.

Kaepernick's passer rating his final three seasons was 85.9. Trubisky's career rating is 86.4 in less than three years, and at least Trubisky is young and has time to improve.

The point of bringing in Kaepernick would be to improve, but they'd be bringing in someone with similar or slightly worse stats. The same could be said for Marcus Mariota, but he's younger.

And remember, those stats were as good as Kaepernick was three years ago, not after spending this time post-football collecting Nike checks. 

Bottom Line

The Bears made their bed with Trubisky and giving him less than two seasons under Nagy to prove what he can do would be unwise, if not unfair.

There really are plenty of examples of quarterbacks who went on to become far better than they initially were. Steve Young was one classic case.

It's too late in 2019 to expect any acquisition to succeed right away with Nagy's complicated offense, so any upgrade or competition the Bears might seek for Trubisky should just be delayed until he plays out this season.

Playing quarterback isn't always a steady climb of great success or even steady incremental improvement. 

Sometimes bonding with teammates through tough times and coming out the other side with them does something to a quarterback as well as the team.

Considering how remote the chance is of improving anything mid-season in the trade market, the Bears owe it to their initial thoughts on Trubisky to give him the chance to work through the difficult times.

Twitter@BearsOnMaven