Bears fans have gotten excited recently for the Russell Wilson trade rumors and rightfully so. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN had some excellent news for Bears fans to relish about.
“I expect the Bears to at least take their shot here,” said Fowler on SportsCenter. “A source told me Russell Wilson likes that they have an emerging offensive line, a good solid offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy, and they have an intriguing market in Chicago.”
Bears fans should be excited about the rumors. They should also be prepared for the Seahawks to do everything in their power to keep their star quarterback from demanding a trade. Russell Wilson is an MVP-caliber quarterback and the Seahawks are not going to take his situation lightly.
If missing out on Wilson were to happen, the Bears would be stuck going through the regular names of free agency. I’m talking about Sam Darnold, Alex Smith, Marcus Mariota, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mitch Trubisky, and Nick Foles.
But I ask you — is that so bad?
Would it be smart for the Chicago Bears to have a losing season in 2021?
The Bears’ strength of schedule is the third most difficult in the NFL. The upcoming Bears’ opponents for the 2021-2022 season had a win percentage of 55.3 percent last year.
“To make matters more complicated, every non-division road game will come against a 2020 playoff team, including the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” according to Nathan Smith of the Chicago Bears.
The Bears have their struggles in the schedule next year as they will be taking on teams from the NFC West and the AFC North next season. We already know trying to win the NFC North would be difficult enough with a strong Bears team. With a mediocre free-agent quarterback, that task would be extremely difficult.
For the sake of hypothetical, let’s say the Bears sign an average/below average quarterback in free agency and the Bears end up with a losing record. Then what happens? First, it’s important to remember that Head Coach Matt Nagy’s contract ends next year. With that, General Manager Ryan Pace clearly got some type of extension because his contract ended this past season.
The rumor is that Pace got a one-year extension to line up with Nagy’s contract. So, per George McCaskey’s vague ultimatum (explained he needs to see improvement next season in post-season media session), Nagy and Pace should be on the chopping block with a losing season.
Bears fans are no stranger to wanting three-year head coach Nagy gone. With a 28-20 total record, two first-round playoff exits, and hosting a serious downfall after being Super Bowl contenders in 2018, it makes sense for them to be on the hot seat.
Pace has made a plethora of poor management moves that have put Nagy in horrible positions. It starts and ends with trading up in the 2017 NFL draft to take Mitch Trubisky instead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Without going any further, you get the point. Now let’s tackle the next domino which is the 2022 NFL Draft.
Are the Chicago Bears going to consider a full-blown rebuild if they are bad in 2021?
Sam Howell is certainly a great start. Try not to get scary flashbacks with taking a quarterback out of North Carolina but Howell had a great sophomore season completing 68.1 percent of passes (15th in the NCAA), 3,586 yards (fourth in the NCAA), 30 touchdowns (sixth in the NCAA), and throwing only seven interceptions. He recorded a 179.1 passer rating which ranked eighth in the country.
Another idea would be Spencer Rattler out of Oklahoma. He had similar numbers to Howell as he recorded a 67.5 percent completion percentage, 3,031 yards, 28 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in his sophomore season.
I won’t go deep into prospects, but you get the idea. Wilson or no Wilson, the future of the Bears could have a positive side with a losing season next year.