For the first time since the Bears drafted him in 2017, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky ends the 2020 NFL season without a contract. Through the first four years of his career, Trubisky has had his fair share of ups and downs. After Sunday afternoons loss against the Green Bay Packers, Trubisky posts a winning record of 29-21, with a completion percentage of 63.9% and a 87.3 passer rating.
With numbers like these, the Chicago Bears front office has a tough decision to make. Do they let Mitch walk and move on to a new quarterback? Or, does the team take another shot at Trubisky with the franchise tag and give him one more year to prove himself? Both options make sense for the future of this team, which is why we’re here to talk about the pro’s and con’s of the Bear’s placing the franchise tag on Mitch Trubisky for next season.
The Pro’s of a Mitch Trubisky Franchise Tag
When the Chicago Bears chose to decline Mitch Trubisky’s fifth-year contract option, it didn’t exactly mean he was done with the team. Outside of an unlikely long-term extension, the Chicago Bears also have the option of placing the franchise tag on their current QB. While the franchise tag is an expensive way for teams to keep players without long-term deals in sight, it also gives them the option of having an extra year to evaluate a player and make a decision. And in the case of Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears, this is exactly what the team can do.
One of the biggest pluses for placing the franchise tag on Trubisky is that he and the organization are familiar with each other. Trubisky knows the Chicago Bears offense, and the Chicago Bears know Trubisky’s strengths and weaknesses. Without Mitch next year, the Bears would most likely lean on the talents of Nick Foles, who didn’t lead the teams to many wins this season. And if Nick Foles flames out next year, the team will have to rely on whatever backup is available in a post-Trubisky era. It wouldn’t be the best position to put their team in.
Another major positive of using the franchise tag on Mitch Trubisky is an outcome where Mitch shows off his talent as a long term starter. What would this have to look like in 2021? Well, for starters, Mitch would have to lead this team to a playoff berth and a postseason win. A trip to the NFC Championship game would definitely prove that he has what it takes for the long term. And if there’s any year that Mitch could do it, next year is it. He’ll have plenty of weapons with Allen Robinson, David Montgomery, a second-year Cole Kmet, and the return of Tarik Cohen. If the Bears use the tag on him they can also use their draft picks towards rebuilding their abysmal offensive line, something that would help Mitch as he looks to prove himself.
Some Cons of Franchise Tagging Trubisky
Alongside the positives of using our franchise tag on Trubisky, there are also some negatives. The first con of using the tag on Trubisky is that it eliminates the ability for the Bears to use the tag on other players. Most notably, wide receiver Allen Robinson, who is also due for a new contract at the end of the year. Robinson is arguably a top-10 talent at his position. Throughout his career he has shown his capabilities with below average play from the quarterbacks throwing the ball to him. He will enter free agency next season, and the Chicago Bears will certainly look to keep their top playmaker. To do so, they’ll have to pony up a hefty amount of cash, or use the franchise tag if they don’t use it on Mitch.
Another con of tagging Mitchell Trubisky is the one year delay in moving on to a new quarterback. The Chicago Bears aren’t in the position to draft any of the top quarterback talent in next year’s draft, but they do have other options available to them. First off, they can stick with Nick Foles as their quarterback with the mindset of developing a new signal caller from the later rounds in the draft. Mitch under center would most likely mean that the team doesn’t focus on any new talent. Outside of working towards a new quarterback, the Bears can also look to other quarterbacks who will be available next season. Some of the big names that will be looking for a new team are Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles and Cam Newton of the New England Patriots. Both teams have indicated that they plan to part ways with these two quarterbacks, making them available to the rest of the league. Should the Bears choose to move on from Mitch in 2021, they could go with a new, more experienced QB who has upside and isn’t named Nick Foles.
Whatever this team chooses, our biggest hope as fans is that their decision ends up being the right move. Only time will tell, but the windy city is in desperate need of a long term franchise quarterback.
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