Nick Foles Traded To Bears

Mitchell Trubisky over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Can't get over that.

Jim Rome
March 19, 2020 - 10:48 am
Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky

USA Today

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Do you remember when the Chicago Bears were going to win the NFC North last year and compete for a Super Bowl? Do you remember when Mitchell Trubisky was going to break out and make a run at the MVP?

I know that our perception of time has been really warped lately. And that it’s still hard to believe that it was just a week ago today that I was on the air talking about Rudy Gobert testing positive and the NBA suspending play, but there really was a time when Bears fans were talking about winning the division and going to the Super Bowl.

And that time was roughly nine months ago. It feels like ancient history now, but that really happened. After all, they already had an elite defense. Mitchell Trubisky had taken a step forward in 2018 and the only reason why they didn’t win a Super Bowl that year was because of the double doink.

The old double doink. That was the reason Chicago didn’t end the 2018 season with a ring. Never mind that the offense had serious issues in that game and could barely move the ball at home, it was really all about the kicker.

That’s why Matt Nagy reportedly went on that bizarre, obsessive quest for a kicker in the offseason. Because that was supposedly the only piece they were missing.

And turns out all of that was wrong. Turns out it wasn’t just about the kicker. Turns out that trading up to draft Mitchell Trubisky ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes wasn’t actually the best idea ever. And it turns out that not only is Mitchell Trubisky not an MVP candidate, he might not even be a starter.

Because yesterday the Bears traded the 140th pick in the draft to Jacksonville for Nick Foles. And it makes sense. Foles has worked with Nagy and the coaching staff before. Now that he’s renegotiated his salary, that’s pretty good, and when Nick Foles is good, he’s really good.

I’m not saying that Nick Foles is going to lead them to a Super Bowl, but he has done that in the past. And he’s also lost his starting job to rookie who was taken in the sixth round. So you don’t exactly know what you’re getting in Foles.

Is he better than Cam Newton or another option in free agency? It’s hard to say. But the easy, obvious thing to say is that they had to do something.

They couldn’t just run it back the way that it was. 

But the Nick Foles trade isn’t about Nick Foles. Just like overpaying for Mike Glennon wasn’t about Mike Glennon. It’s about Mitchell Trubisky and the fact that he might not have a job pretty soon. That is one of the all-time incredible falls from grace. To go from MVP candidate to potential backup in a matter of months.

Going from the face of the franchise in September to saying this in November:

"Trying to get some of these TVs in the building turned off because you've got too many people talking on TV about us and what they think about us -- what we should do, what we are and what we're not. But they don't really know who we are, or what we're capable of as people, or what we're going through, or what we're thinking. It's just the outside viewers looking in."

And there were a few stops along the way, like when people said it was just a matter of Trubisky’s health, or his footwork, or needing a different coach. Never mind that the one he had had just won coach of the year a few months earlier.

There were plenty of excuses and explanations, and now the team just said, screw it, we need a different quarterback.

Sure, maybe Foles is being brought into push Trubisky and that will bring the best out in Mitchell. That’s a great way to spin it. But either way, it’s a last throw of the dice for GM Ryan Pace.

It’s either get lucky with Foles, get a miracle with Trubisky, or get packing. Because Chicago’s issues aren’t just Trubisky. Ryan Pace has made some genuinely strange moves

Drafting Leonard Floyd with the ninth pick in 2016? Bust. Released on Tuesday.

How about tight end Adam Shaheen out of Ashland College in the second round in 2017? He had nine receptions last season.

Trey Burton? Flop.

And Pace’s solution? Jimmy Graham, who was a major disappointment for a Packers team that was desperate for a second option. There was a time when Jimmy Graham was great and that time was 2014. If Jimmy Graham wasn’t putting up numbers with Aaron Rodgers, what’s he going to do with Mitchell Trubisky?

Anthony Miller, a second round pick in 2018, had 656 yards last season. That’s either his fault or Trubisky’s fault or some combination of the two. But either way, it’s another disaster.

And now it’s about Foles and Trubisky. Now it’s about creating a quarterback controversy to fix your quarterback disaster. Most teams would hate a quarterback controversy, the Bears are practically hoping they get one. Because that would mean that Trubisky has improved to Nick Foles level.

But even then, it’s not a solution. Foles isn’t the quarterback of the future and neither is Trubisky. So this is just kicking the can down the road a little further until they actually get around to righting the wrong that was drafting Trubisky.

But here’s the sad, painful truth for Bears fans: there is no move that can be made that can undo trading up for Mitchell Trubisky when Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes were available. You can never live down the shame of that. Trading Babe Ruth and drafting Sam Bowie can’t believe how terrible that move was.

And trading for Nick Foles certainly won’t make it right. The Bears had to do something. They couldn’t just stand pat with Trubisky and hope things got better. But no credit for admitting your mistakes well after everyone else saw them.

You know what’s better than admitting your mistakes? Not making them in the first place. And not making them time and time again.