The Chicago Bears are officially the Bad News Bears of the NFL. Their free-agent signing of quarterback Andy Dalton was hardly a solution to this franchise’s ongoing QB dilemma.
In fact, instead of truly fixing the problem, the Bears simply punted.
And if you’re a Bears fan, you should be panicked that Dalton was brought in to replace Mitch Trubisky. This isn’t an upgrade, or a solution.
The only difference is that the Bears’ problem now has red hair. This just can’t be the backup plan for landing a quarterback.
At first, it appeared as if the Bears meant business and were honestly going to shake up NFL America.
Chicago very publicly maintained that if Russell Wilson were available in Seattle, they wanted the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, who has been very publicly venting his frustrations about his team, his coach, and his offensive line.
But reportedly, the Seahawks told the Bears that Wilson wasn’t available to them at this time.
The only thing worse than signing Dalton to a one-year, $10-million contract is that the Bears will wind up kicking themselves for failing to take advantage of their Top 5 defense. Dalton’s deal makes you believe that this defense, the team’s lone bright spot, will end up being wasted.
Dalton, 33, played in mop-up duty for the Dallas Cowboys last season after Dak Prescott was injured in Week 5 and lost for most of the year.
Dalton, the former Cincinnati Bengals’ starting QB, hardly lit up the scoreboard or made anyone forget about Prescott. In nine starts, the Cowboys were 4-5. In 11 total games, Dalton had 14 TDs and eight interceptions.
In fact, it probably helped Prescott land that huge four-year, $160 million deal with Dallas.
Some NFL analysts are more optimistic about the signing than many fans in Chicago.
“I actually liked the move,” NFL Network analyst Charlie Casserly said Tuesday on Fox Sports Radio’s The Odd Couple. “Maybe Russell Wilson gets traded? I don’t understand why they would trade him. Who knows what’s going to happen with Deshaun Watson.”
Casserly basically said the Bears had simply run out of options. Ryan Fitzpatrick signed with Washington. The Jets are reportedly shopping Sam Darnold for a second-round pick. Jacoby Brissett wasn’t impressive when he was a starter. Joe Flacco is finished.
QB Tyrod Taylor was available before he signed in Houston as a backup.
“I’d rather have Dalton rather than Trubisky,” Casserly said. “Dalton had his best career year with [current Bears offensive coordinator] Bill Lazor. There is no great answer for them.”
Especially the NFC North. The Bears will have a huge mountain to climb. The division’s other three teams all have better quarterbacks than the Bears, including the Green Bay Packers, who have the reigning league MVP in Aaron Rodgers.
And as much as people hated Mitch Trubisky, the Bears were 6-3 when he was under center, and they made the playoffs with an 8-8 record. In 10 games, Trubisky threw 16 TDs and eight picks.
And when the Bears benched Trubisky last season, they quickly found out that Nick Foles just wasn’t the answer either. Foles, though, is the perfect backup QB, and can come out of the bullpen and do a nice job in relief. We saw that in Philadelphia when he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title after taking over for the injured Carson Wentz.
But once you give Foles the job and make it his, things don’t work out. You can give him the keys to the car for a quick run to the store, but if you give him the car outright, he usually winds up crashing it. In nine games, Foles had 10 TDS and eight INTs.
That’s why the Bears are back to square one with their QB situation. Their glaring roster weaknesses remain. Even Casserly, who likes Dalton, admits to that.
“They haven’t solved their problem,” said Casserly. “In my opinion, they got better.”
The Bears didn’t need a stopgap QB. They needed one capable of elevating them toward having a real shot in the postseason. They didn’t get that with Dalton.
Instead, fans got bad news. Sadly, nothing has been fixed in Chicago. They just kicked a can down the road.