Chicago Bears News: Pace sends clear message on Trubisky

Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Chicago Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace met with the media today and made, perhaps his most definitive statement about Mitch Trubisky.

Following the end of the season, the Chicago Bears appeared firmly behind Mitchell Trubisky as their starter for the 2020 season. However, they were not prepared to commit to his fifth-year option at that time. Tuesday was the first opportunity since their end of the year press conference to hear from Ryan Pace, the Bears’ general manager. In his remarks, he made, what could be the most definitive statement about Mitch yet.

There appears to be a fundamental disconnect between what Ryan Pace is saying and what the Bears are actually doing. Despite having nearly two months to digest the season, and consider whether to give Mitch his fifth-year option, they are still not prepared to make that decision. Let that sink in for a moment. They have exactly one quarterback on the roster. He happens to be the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, whom the general manager traded up for because he absolutely had to have this guy. And yet, he’s still undecided whether he wants to give him his fifth-year option.

If you’re having trouble reconciling their staunch commitment to Mitch with their actions, you are certainly not alone. So why might they not be willing to commit to a fifth year?

The most obvious explanation is they don’t believe in Mitch. Despite what they’ve said, nothing would demonstrate their supposed “commitment” to Mitch like a fifth-year option. The fact that they haven’t speaks volumes. But it’s more than that. Not only did Pace state he’s not prepared to make that decision now, but that he would make that decision in May.

Hmmmm — what’s the significance of May? Could it perhaps be that it is after both free agency and the NFL Draft, and the time when Pace will know whether he has a more viable option on the roster? Likely.

Well, you may be thinking this is just how Pace operates, and his preference is to wait until the last minute to make these decisions. If so, how do you explain the fact that Pace told reporters they were picking up Leonard Floyd’s fifth-year option in January 2019? The explanation is quite simple — he was confident in Floyd’s future, but not Trubisky’s.

Another possible explanation for their unwillingness to commit could be the uncertainty around the new collective bargaining agreement. However, there are two issues with that logic. First, Pace said himself today that the collective bargaining agreement will have no impact on the decision. Second, the rules for awarding fifth-year options to the 2017 draft class will not be impacted by the new collective bargaining agreement.

Consequently, if they picked up the option it would be at a cost of about $24 million. The fact that they’re not willing to commit that much money to Mitch says a lot. What says even more, though, is that the option is not guaranteed except for injury. So even if they picked up his option, they could always rescind it, absent injury. This makes their unwillingness to do so even more puzzling.

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Many fans might be unhappy with what they’ll perceive as a lack of real information from Pace, but rather than hanging on every word, focus on the actions — they’ll tell you a lot more.