Brad Biggs has been on the Chicago Bears beat for a long time. So when he writes about what the Bears are angling to do at the quarterback position — the most important position in the game and a position the franchise has failed to fill adequately throughout our lifetimes — it takes on outsized meaning.
With that in mind, Biggs’ latest at the Tribune doesn’t mince words (the bold emphasis is mine):
There is always that one player — the guy who stands out from the rest, who rises to the occasion, blossoms in the moment and lives in memories for years to come.
That player is never a Chicago Bears quarterback.
With 11 games remaining and the timeline unclear for Justin Fields to return from a dislocated right thumb, it’s becoming likely the Bears will be in the market for a quarterback again in the 2024 NFL draft.
His tweet was differently worded, but carried the same impact:
To me, this reads that Biggs is hearing that it is starting to sound like the Chicago Bears will hitch their wagons to a new quarterback savior in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. And that Biggs has already done deep dives into USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye, calling both out in this piece, strongly suggests that change is coming to the quarterback position in 2024. If that stops you in your tracks, just know that you’re not alone. Because that is exactly how I reacted.
Part of it is because there is a “here we go again” aspect of this news. The Bears haven’t always prioritized the quarterback position in drafts. When they have, it hasn’t gone well. Sometimes, it’s an obvious miss due to a front office not being thorough in doing the necessary leg work ahead of the draft. Other times, it is a coaching staff’s (or coaching staffs, as in plural) inability to cater to a player’s skillset and unwillingness to to evolve past their own playbook. It doesn’t mean the Bears should stop taking shots.
But part of it is that if the Bears are taking a hard-line stance, then that would represent a drastic change in the organizational line of thinking that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years.
The Bears going QB in the 2024 NFL Draft would be a different route
Biggs’ news drop makes it seem as if the Bears are drawing a line in the sand and taking a firm stance. That isn’t what I’ve come to expect from a franchise that has taken half-measures when it comes to addressing their quarterback needs at every turn.
For instance, pairing Mitchell Trubisky with Mike Glennon in 2017 and hoping a quarterback who hadn’t started a game since 2014 would play well enough and long enough to give a rookie enough time to develop on the sidelines. Teaming Justin Fields with Andy Dalton was a second verse that was the same as the first. We could write pages on the lack of investments at wide receiver and offensive line that have aided in quarterback shortcomings over the years. But we don’t need to do that at this moment.
In the end, the clock is ticking on JF1 as Chicago’s QB1. Yes, the coaching staffs Fields has played under have done him few favors. No, the front offices who have overseen Fields’ Bears career haven’t truly gone all-in when it comes to quarterback development. And Fields’ latest injury further complicates matters as it keeps the Bears from fully evaluating who he is and what he can be in this pivotal season. Nevertheless, it feels like change is on the horizon. The only question left to be answered is who’s next…