Tyler Bray an Insurance Policy Bears Haven't Used

Bears counting on Bray as third quarterback again and the last CBA allows teams to put two experienced players on ther practice squ
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Bears general manager Ryan Pace had to explain after the draft why he went another year without drafting a quarterback, someone to learn under Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles.

"That's how the board fell but we do have confidence in our quarterbacks, you know? From Mitch to Nick and to Tyler Bray, we have confidence in our quarterbacks and we're looking forward to that," Pace said.

Foles and Trubisky, fine, but with new quarterbacks coming into the NFL every year and Bray being around since 2013 without throwing more than one pass, it's reasonable to assume he'd have a difficult time holding off a challenge from a viable candidate.

Bray is headed into his third season with the Bears and under the rules put forth in the new CBA he will be eligible to return for a third year as their third quarterback without taking up an actual roster spot.

The new CBA does not stipulate a limit to the number of seasons a player can be on a practice squad, just limits for players with acrued seasons. Bray didn't even get an acrued season in 2013 when he was on the Kansas City Chiefs' 53-man roster because he wasn't active on game days.

Teams are basically being allowed to stash veterans on practice squads under the new CBA, although the pay is definitely not what veterans would want. Two players are allowed with unlimited accrued seasons on the practice squad; this increases to four players in 2022.

So Bray would be allowed on a practice squad.

Bray was active on game day last year after Trubisky suffered an injured shoulder but only for a game. A similar type of thing happened the previous year.

Since coming into the NFL in 2013, Bray has thrown one incomplete pass and hasn't gone on a field since that 2017 regular-season finale. His first career play in 2017 resulted in a botched handoff and defensive touchdown off a fumble return.

Still, he was promising enough in 2013 coming out of preseason as an undrafted free agent that Andy Reid kept him on the 53-man roster instead of cutting him and putting him on the practice squad. He was also on the roster in 2016 despite suffering a chipped vertebrae in preseason, and in 2017. Bray just was inactive and never accrued seasons without being active.

However, Bray has become a sort of preseason mainstay for the Bears.

Bray completed 53 of 86 for 608 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in 2018 preseason. In 2019, he completed 60 of 937 for 652 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

He didn't get as many opportunities to play in preseason in Kansas City between his arrival in 2013 and departure after 2017. Injuries got in the way, as well as other quarterbacks who needed playing time.

Bray went on injured reserve with knee and ankle injuries suffered in preseason 2014, then missed the 2015 season on the non-football injury l st with a torn ACL suffered in a pickup basketball game in January, right after the 2014 season. He suffered a chipped vertebrae bone in his spine in the 2016 preseason, but did get in some preseason action anyway.

Over the course of his Bears and Chiefs career, Bray is 183 of 308 for 2,173 yards with 10 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in preseasons. His career preseason passer rating is 82.35.

A team can do worse than a player with seven years experience within an offensive system, who has been on a 53-man roster in the past.

It's not enough work performance to project Bray will even appear in a game this season, or that he would be preferable to a young player with upside who could develop into a starter.

Tyler Bray at a Glance

Tennessee QB

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 223

Key Numbers: In 2018, Bray led the NFL in preseason in attempts (97), completions (60) and yardage (652).

Roster Chances: 1 on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the most.

2020 Projection: Cut victim, practice squad.

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