How many of us remember making Valentines for classmates in grade school? Reserving a bit of extra TLC for that card or cards addressed to a crush, perhaps? It could be as simple as using your best, biggest and brightest stickers for said card(s) or practicing a bit more patience on the penmanship. The messaging and aesthetics truly mattered — or so we certainly thought at the time — yes?
That brief trip down memory lane leads us to the same place as so many of our early offseason travails: the Bears’ QB dilemma. One low-key issue complicating an already-tricky matter is messaging and aesthetics.
The Bears already reaffirmed their affinity for Trubisky in one of two public opportunities (read: obligations) prior to the new league year opening, with the other less than two weeks from now at the scouting combine. However poorly received by fans, the message from Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy that they expect Trubisky to remain the starter, and QB development isn’t linear was delivered in the only logical way at the time, and we can expect to hear similar on the record comments in Indianapolis.
After all, the Bears must maintain whatever little semblance of leverage they may still have regarding Trubisky’s job status while continuing to manage his, we’ll call it not-overly-fortified psyche.
But rest assured with two vacancies alongside him in the QB room, the Bears have and will continue having far different conversations in private regarding their Trubisky contingencies for what could be a make-or-break 2020 campaign for the regime. Those are the conversations we all wish we were privy to but only precious few will be included when they heat up in Indianapolis in two weeks.
Just remember, as our old colleague Greg Gabriel loves to say, “lying season” is now underway. Even if Pace romanticized Trubisky’s old Toyota and fell in love early in the pre-draft process three years ago, he’s adept at concealing his true feelings — and that won’t change as they relate to the biggest decision of the Bears offseason.
But while Pace’s so-called Valentine, or pitch for Mitch figures to receive the most thought, here are a few others for available quarterbacks that the Bears general manager and head coach Matt Nagy may spend a bit of extra time on.
To Andy Dalton, new OC Bill Lazor’s old pupil and officially on the trade market: Your hair is red, Trubisky’s play has us feeling blue, a championship-caliber defense and bona fide shot to win this job early could finally equal postseason win No. 1 for you.
To Nick Foles, with whom three Bears coaches (Nagy, Lazor and QB coach John DeFilippo) previously worked: Absence makes the heart grow fonder Big Nick, and your contract with the Jaguars means our absence from each other lasts at least one more year. If Mitch keeps playing the way he did for the first 2.5 quarters against your Eagles in the 2017 wild-card round, a 2021 reunion would be worth the wait.
To Teddy Bridgewater, backup to Pace BFFs Drew Brees and Sean Payton and a (likely expensive) free agent: You had us at Week 7 when Brees and Kamara were down and you stepped up armed with something called an adaptable offense and physical run game. While Sean may have eyes for Taysom, ours are strictly for you … but would you consider a discount?
To Marcus Mariota, whom Pace reportedly coveted in 2015, now the odd man out with Titans: We’re sorry we had to let Mark Helfrich go, but he had such great things to say about working with you at Oregon. Trubisky has never gone on a run like Ryan Tannehill just did.
To Derek Carr, reportedly not happening nor staying in Vegas: We have your best friend Khalil Mack, we don't have your worst nightmare Jon Gruden and we're working on finding your TE lifeline Darren Waller.
To Nate Sudfeld, a free agent who worked with DeFilippo in Philadelphia and shares an agent with Trubisky: Tell Mitch that you’re meeting with us but have been assured you’re strictly an insurance policy. Just know we love your Indiana tape and signed CFL import Tre Roberson, your former Hoosier teammate, as a recruiting tool.
To Jake Fromm, likely Day 2 draft prospect: We absolutely <3 drafting Georgia players and you’re going to <3 reestablishing that 2018 rapport with your leading Bulldog receiver Riley Ridley.
To Anthony Gordon, Day 2-Day 3 draft prospect: Minshew Magic? Pfft. The magic was his coach, not the quarterback you sat behind at WSU, and DeFilippo is with us now.