For the first time there is more than rumor and speculation out on the Bears trading Carson Wentz as ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday reported official interest from the Bears.
It's been floated, bandied about, whispered and wimpered over for several days.
Now the real worrying can begin.
The ESPN report about their interest and numerous reports earlier about the Colts pursuing Wentz leaves pretty clear the options for where Wentz can land.
Last season's NFL-high 15 interceptions causes concern, and Wentz's passer rating of 72.8 was nearly on a level playing field with the career rating of Rex Grossman (71.4).
However, this is a quarterback who for three years and 40 games ranked among the league's best with a 98.3 passer rating, 81 TDs to 21 interceptions and wins over plenty of better teams such as Green Bay in 2019.
The concern is not so much over Wentz's ability. He's been good, but not Deshaun Watson good.
The actual reason to clench teeth, wring hands, bite nails and wince is what the Bears are willing to give for his level of talent.
The last thing anyone wants to see is the Bears taken for draft picks when Wentz is not exactly Watson.
At this point, the Bears would look like at least even money to pull off this trade. The ESPN report about their interest and numerous reports earlier about the Colts pursuing Wentz leaves pretty clear the options for where Wentz can land.
The Bears have first-round pick one better than the Colts to offer at No. 20 overall. The Colts are in another conference, which is a plus for the trading team.
Flip a coin?
Here are four reasons why Bears fans are trembling this weekend as everyone waits to hear next week if a trade was made and who lucked out and won or lost.
1. History says the Bears will get fleeced
If ever anyone had probable cause to suspect a franchise and general manager would give away far too much for a quarterback, it's Bears fans.
They've had to live for years with the Rick Mirer and Jay Cutler trades. They curled up in embarrassment over the way GM Ryan Pace got taken by San Francisco's John Lynch so he could select Mitchell Trubisky while passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
Even last year, it was only a fourth-round pick surrendered for Nick Foles, but still, was this the Foles who hoisted the Lombardi Trophy or some kind of evil doppelganger? Foles' play actually made Chicagoans happy over Trubisky's return
So if Pace is trading for a quarterback, Bears fans can't be blamed if their conditioned response is stop, drop and cover.
What's too much to offer?
How about a pair of first-round picks, a backup quarterback and a third-round pick for Wentz and a fifth-round pick?
If it sounds familar it's the terms of the Cutler trade, and it would be easy to point at what Cutler had achieved and also what Wentz has done and say the Bears would need to offer more for Wentz. He has done more than Cutler had when they made that trade
And if you concluded that you need to offer more, then your name is Jerry Angelo.
This would be be overpaying for a passer who hasn't really been in a playoff game and has a passer rating barely above Trubisky's. He's got other baggage, as well.
2. Wentz and Cutler Syndrome
Everyone remembers how Cutler left Denver for Chicago in a trade engineered after he threw a snit fit over coach Josh McDaniels saying he wanted to acquire Matt Cassel. Now you've got Wentz, who was said to be upset over his benching last year by the Eagles. Wentz has been said in Philadelphia to be too thin-skinned when it comes to being coached.
It should give Bears fans plenty of feelings of deja vu.
Is this a leader of a team or someone who will come up with a crippling knee injury in the first half of the NFC championship, then get spotted climbing the steps to a popular restaurant later in the day for dinner.
3. No Line Building
There are plenty of teams in the NFL looking for quarterbacks.
Why is it only the Bears and Colts are mentioned as serious contenders for a deal?
Too many unlikely circumstances surround the possibility of acquiring Watson or Derek Carr, so Wentz could easily be the most talented of the quarterbacks left who could be available for any team via trade.
Yet there is no big rush by the rest of the league to reel him in, and this has to scare you. In fact, there was one report saying the demand has been two first-rounders and it's chasing away teams.
What do they know that the Bears don't?
The Colts need a quarterback, it's true. Jim Irsay isn't calling press conferences at season's end to say how confident he is in Chris Ballard and Frank Reich because they're going to collaborate to find a new quarterback and win games, and then leave their futures hanging in the wind by saying they have to do better than 8-8.
This did happen in Chicago with board chairman George McCaskey and CEO Ted Phillips. They've put all the pressure on Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace to produce this year.
Especially for Pace, a desperate situation might call for desperate measures.
Pressure like this can only cause Pace to do something really bad, like overreaching to make a poor trade for a quarterback barely better than the one he had on the roster last year.