The trade by Denver for Teddy Bridgewater seems like yet another brick in the road leading to a Bears trade up in Round 1 to select one of the quarterbacks.
When Denver is badly in need of an adequate passer and obtains a starter from Carolina, and Carolina has already traded to get Sam Darnold to start, then the route to a quarterback seems pretty direct for the Bears if they move up.
A quarterback not taken by the Falcons at No. 4 could easily slide into the second 10 or later.
If Mac Jones goes No. 3, perhaps it's Trey Lance and Justin Fields sliding to a place closer to No. 20. In that case, the Bears really could move up to get them at a relatively low cost.
Well, perception is not reality in every case and this is one of them.
The Broncos could easily remain in the quarterback hunt after acquiring Bridgewater because he doesn't ensure they have an actual quarterback on the roster.
Carolina sure didn't think much of Bridgewater. The Panthers sent him out of town for a sixth-round pick after he had a career-best 69.1% completions and a 92.1 passer rating. He even averaged a very healthy 7.6 yards an attempt.
However, Bridgewater fails on other fronts. He was one of those quarterbacks the Bears could have pursued, as well. And they made the right decision in signing Andy Dalton, instead.
Bridgewater doesn't put the ball in the end zone. It's plain and simple. He gets it all over the field, but his entire career has been this way.
Last year Bridgewater started 15 games and threw 15 touchdown passes to 11 interceptions. Dalton threw 14 and he started only nine games.
Bridgewater had Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson for targets but could only get it into the end zone 15 times. That's shameful with the speed he had in that receiver corps.
His 3.0 TD percentage was bad, and it's not an isolated instance. He's been this way throughout his career. He has a 3.6 career TD percentage.
Dalton's is a respectable 4.6%. Even Nick Foles (4.0) has even been better.
Before bashing Bridgewater for 15 TD passes too much, consider it was his career high. He'd never thrown that many. Even in his first two years, while with Minnesota quarterbacking a playoff team, he never went over 14 TD passes. He has only 53 TD passes in 59 games. Dalton has 218 in 144 games.
There's more going on here at quarterback besides Denver.
Carolina just lost its backup, so anticipate the quarterback position becomes a Panthers priority in either Round 1 or 2.
Sure, they just traded for Darnold, but no one can be certain this means he succeeds as their starter after the way he struggled so much with the Jets.
The Panthers need an alternative in case Darnold really is no better than he showed under Adam Gase. Taking a quarterback at No. 8 wouldn't be a stupid move for them.
Ultimately, if the Bears are to get one of the top five quarterbacks, they are going to need to be aggressive and assume both the Broncos and Panthers are using their picks for one. They'd have to trade up to No. 6 with Miami and the cost for such a move could get excessive.
There will be quarterbacks available after Round 1, even if it's not preferable. What the Bears have to do is gauge the difference between the fifth passer in Round 1 and next-best, possibly Davis Mills. Then, determine whether they'd simply be better off using that first-round pick for another need and not giving up anything in order to draft Mills.
It's good being aggressive but only for a player really coveted by the franchise. Ultimately, there are limits to what any team can reasonably pay to acquire the fourth- or fifth-best quarterback in a draft.