In news that’s not really news, the Bears reportedly deciding they will not be exercising the 5th year option on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The trade for Nick Foles at the end of March had already kind of confirmed this news was coming so Bears nation will hardly be in shock.
With Nick Foles signing a restructured contract upon completion of the trade, the Bears did technically have some wiggle room to exercise the option on Trubisky, but it would have made no sense. The team is tied to Foles for a minimum of two years owing to his dead-cap number, and it makes no sense to tie up such a large portion of your cap in two quarterbacks.
With high expectations heading into the 2019 season, Mitchell Trubisky regressed in his third year, seeing his TD percentage drop by 2 points and his accuracy drop by 3 points. Teams also held him in check as an outlet rusher, allowing him a career-low 193 yards at just 4.0 yards-per-carry.
Mitchell Trubisky is on thin ice
While Matt Nagy has said there will be a quarterback competition in 2020, it seems likely that Mitchell Trubisky will have to win the job back from Foles. With the staff already familiar with what both men have to offer, having worked with Foles in previous years, and Trubisky in 2019, the trade is a stinging indictment of Trubisky’s work in 2019.
Declining the option, worth in the region of $24 million, means that Trubisky will be a free agent next spring. While that may not seem like a bad thing after last season it is worth noting Nick Foles has never played a full 16 game slate. If Trubisky were to win the battle out of camp or replace an injured or underperforming Foles, he could make this decision a very costly one for the Bears.
A one-year college starter, Mitchell Trubisky was always going to struggle some to adjust to the NFL. One year college starters don’t have a great track record of adjusting to the pro game, so Trubisky still has some growth to go when you consider he has still started in less combined games in college and pro than the likes of Baker Mayfield.
While that’s the potential downside it does give the Bears two very motivated quarterbacks heading into the 2020 season which can only be a good thing.