Chicago Bears Sign or Pass: Eli Manning

Chicago Bears (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Should the Chicago Bears sign Eli Manning, or is there no use in adding the aging veteran?

Eli Manning has said that he still wants to start in the NFL. Things did not end well for him in New York, but the Chicago Bears do not necessarily have an answer at quarterback either. Many fans have pointed to Tom Brady, but is Eli Manning another option at quarterback?


Below is a look at the per-game averages of Mitch Trubisky and Eli Manning over the past two years. Manning has a slightly better completion rate and more yards. He also has fewer interceptions with the same rate of touchdowns.

Manning averaged 7.4 yards per attempt, Trubisky 6.7. Manning averaged 6.14 adjusted net yards per attempt, Trubisky averaged 5.75.

You can point to the offensive line, but the Giants are worse. Most of these stats come with Odell Beckham on the field, so the Giants could arguably have better skill players as well, but Evan Engram has been banged up a lot as well.

You can point to play calling, but the Bears were interested in Pat Shurmur as their OC, you know, the guy who was calling plays for Manning in his last stop. The scheme is not all that different. In fact, the Bears are looking for a player to get the ball out of his hands quick and spread it around, Manning was benched for checking down too often.

Manning could also be to a very cheap deal, while a quarterback like Tom Brady or even Andy Dalton could get serious money on an open market.

Manning is looking for a starting job and likely thinks he has a shot to beat out Trubisky. The Bears can bring in Manning to compete and send a message to Trubisky, but they also would not be committed to him monetarily or beyond this year, so if it does light a fire under Trubisky, they could just roll with him. It could be a good spark and a veteran competitor.


The statistical difference is a wash for the most part. The biggest difference is the rushing production. Trubisky brings a threat with his legs while Manning does not. On top of that Trubisky still presents an upside and a ceiling and potential while Manning provides none of that. Trubisky has arm strength and can create on his own. Manning can dump the ball off and try to stay out of the way.

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Manning is on the downside of his career. Getting a year out of him with similar production as Trubisky puts them in the same spot as they were last year. However, this time they cannot trust another year of Manning.

The Bears either need to roll with Trubisky, or find someone who can replace him for not only this year but moving forward. The only thing adding Manning does is create a media distraction and a quarterback controversy where neither may be able to help win games.