Ranking veteran QB options for Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears - Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Chicago Bears search for a new quarterback, why not list every option available?

The Chicago Bears are going to add a quarterback this offseason. It can be argued that drafting a quarterback is the more realistic option, especially with Nick Foles already on the roster. Still, it is possible that another veteran is added.

So, why not work through every team in the NFL and reasonably assess the chances that they are the next quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

AFC East: Sam Darnold, Jarrett Stidham, Ryan Fitzpatrick

Buffalo Bills 

Josh Allen is the only significant quarterback and he is not available. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy passed on Jake Fromm multiple times, and Matt Barkley is a FA who could be third string.

New York Jets

Sam Darnold is the most likely AFC East quarterback to be moved to the Chicago Bears. Darnold would only have a $9 million cap hit, but he has not shown to be a clear upgrade from Mitch Trubisky in the NFL. Joe Flacco would be redundant to Nick Foles.

Miami Dolphins

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a free agent to consider. Tua may be on the move, but only if someone such as DeShaun Watson is coming back.

New England Patriots

There is a mystery to him, but the Patriots do not think much of Jarrett Stidham, as they continued to ride with Cam Newton through his issues. Stidham has struggled in limited play as well. He is unlikely as he is nowhere near the answer, though. Still, Cam Newton is even less likely, as the Bears passed on him last offseason and he did not answer any questions from then.

AFC North: None

The Ravens cut RG3, solidifying Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley, and the injured Trace McSorley as their room. The Steelers may see Ben Roethlisberger retire, so they will not be parting with Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins or Joshua Dobbs, not that the Bears would be too interested. Case Keenum is signed as Baker Mayfield’s backup and Kevin Stefanski has a good relationship with Keenum similar to Matt Nagy and Nick Foles. Lastly, the Bengals have proven that Ryan Finley is not an NFL quarterback, so they will likely sign Brandon Allen. This leaves nobody at all.

AFC South: Gardner Minshew, Jacoby Brissett, DeShaun Watson

Tennessee Titans 

Ryan Tannehill has led his team to the playoffs in two straight years and was just extended. DeShone Kizer and Logan Woodside are boring backups.

Jacksonville Jaguars

We are three divisions and not many names impress more than Gardner Minshew. He is cheap for two more years and is clearly on his way out. He does not bring much physically, but gets the ball out quick and can distribute in a Matt Nagy offense.

Indianapolis Colts

Considering the Colts signed Jacob Eason, Brissett may be moving on. He does not seem to be their answer. Still, he is a quality backup but is arguably not an upgrade from Nick Foles. His price tag would be his most compelling aspect and signing him maybe a smokescreen to trade up for a quarterback.

Houston Texans

Everyone will want DeShaun Watson, but for a long list of reasons, it Is unlikely to happen. The trade haul, the salary, the fit with the GM, It can be a long shot, and the Bears should call, but they have to have other plans. Beyond that, AJ McCarron is all Houston has.

AFC West: Marcus Mariota, Drew Lock

Las Vegas Raiders

Everyone will wonder why Derek Carr is not on the list. Every year we bring up rumors about Carr to Chicago and the Raiders never move him. Last year was one of his best seasons, so he is not moving.

On the other hand, Mariota would save the Raiders $10 million to move on from, and he showed in limited time that a healthy version of himself has some play.

Denver Broncos

I almost did not even list Drew Lock, but because there is a new GM, it is at least on the table. Still, the Broncos do not have clear paths to an upgrade either, and are looking at this list thinking Lock is looking good. Heck, the Bears may have to call about Jeff Driskel or Brett Rypien to at least improve the number three if they draft a QB.

Los Angelas Chargers

Tyrod Taylor is a free agent, but it is hard to see him as anything more than a Nick Foles stop-gap who is helping a rookie. They have Easton Stick and Justin Herbert in the room.

Kansas City Chiefs

Chad Henne sealed his job as Pat Mahomes backup after his huge run on Sunday. LVR

NFC East: Kyle Allen, Jalen Hurts

Dallas Cowboys

Andy Dalton is a free agent, but the Bears passed on him for Nick Foles, and there is nothing in the past year that should change how they feel. The Cowboys also have Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNuci, and Cooper Rush who may be better than Tyler Bray, but pass nonetheless.


Kyle Allen has performed well in limited chances both with Carolina and Washington. His relationship Ron Rivera has to have him as a viable option to return. However, Taylor Heinecke is not on the list because he is restricted, and Washington may have found a backup.

Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz appears to be attached to Howie Roseman and the team wants to fix him and not move on. That puts Jalen Hurts in a weird spot. He played okay, but had rookie issues. You would think if every option is on the table the Bears may have an interest, but they just drafted Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson over him a few months ago, so they must not value him too highly.

New York Giants 

Daniel Jones is the starter, and while Colt McCoy is a free agent, he does nothing for Chicago.

NFC North: Matt Stafford, Kirk Cousins 

We know that the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks are not coming, what about Cousins or Stafford. The issue to start is that while both are always in rumors, you never actually see real traction. They are in the Derek Carr zone of not nearly as realistic as your fan base thinks.

Still, the Lions and Vikings could save money trading Stafford, and Cousins. We know that Stafford will be moved,but we know that a lot of teams are ahead of the inter-division rivals if the Lions are shopping him. The Bears need to at least call their division rivals, although less likely than other options.

NFC South: None

When you really break things down, they are not getting anything done. You would love Matt Ryan, but the Falcons do not save money if they trade him before June 1st. The Bears cannot wait until June 1st with another questionable offseason to find out about Matt Ryan.

Ryan Griffin and Blaine Gabbert are free agents in Tampa Bay and we will move on. Will Grier and PJ Walker are signed and may be available, but no thanks.

Teddy Bridgewater does not save the Panthers enough to move on, and just spurned the Bears last offseason. The Bears did the same for Jameis Winston, who signed for a low offer in New Orleans. It is clear Winston has no interest in Chicago, and vice versa.

NFC West: Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff

Arizona and Seattle 

Kyler Murray and Chris Streveler are locked into Arizona. This leaves Brett Hundley who needs to be mentioned due to third-string ability. In Seattle, Geno Smith is a free agent and offers the same. Russell Wilson is fun, but is less likely than DeShaun Watson and has a serious dead cap hit.

Los Angelas Rams

Sean McVay and Jared Goff have a fractured relationship. The team can save $12 million by trading him. The issue is, how do the Bears think they get better by adding a California kid who struggles in cold weather? He is on the list due to how the Rams want to unload him, but why would Ryan Pace want him? Wouldn’t they want a cheap rookie over his huge salary?

San Fransisco 49ers

Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard are free agents, but neither can win with Kyle Shanahan. What upside is there. Josh Rosen is on the practice squad but will step into one of their roles.

This leaves Jimmy Garoppolo. He had a bad year, and injuries headlined it. Kyle Shanahan said he is committed to the quarterback he went to the Super Bowl with, but you never know. The 49ers could save $24 million moving on, which is serious money. Of course, the question becomes how can the Bears take that money on? Still, this is the end of the list, and there are not many names with a better chance.

List of realistic names:

Sam Darnold, Jarrett Stidham, Ryan Fitzpatrick, DeShaun Watson Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Matt Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Kyle Allen, Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Drew Lock, Gardner Minshew, Jacoby Brissett

Ranking by availability/interest 

14. Jarrett Stidham 

13. Kirk Cousins

12. Jared Goff

11. Jalen Hurts 

10. Drew Lock 

9. DeShaun Watson

8. Matthew Stafford

7. Jacoby Brissett 

6. Ryan Fitzpatrick 

5. Kyle Allen 

4. Sam Darnold 

3. Gardner Minshew 

2.  Jimmy Garoppolo

1. Marcus Mariota

When you look at this list, look at the price tags, and look at the potential value that they bring, you really start to get the idea that the Chicago Bears will be drafting a quarterback.