Chicago Bears: Why Nagy, not Pace, encouraged Foles trade

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears traded for former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to provide competition to Mitch Trubisky for the starting quarterback job in a make-or-break season. Contrary to what fans may believe, here’s why Matt Nagy was solely behind the move.

The Chicago Bears have said all along that they’ve wanted to improve their quarterback room this offseason, primarily improving the backup position. The organization needed an upgrade to their quarterback depth chart due to the maddening play of Mitch Trubisky in 2019, as well as the lackluster play in “now” former backup, Chase Daniel.

True to the organization’s word, Ryan Pace and company pulled off a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire the services of Nick Foles, a former Super Bowl MVP quarterback who in his career has reached highs that Trubisky can only dream of obtaining at this point in time.

Foles was picked over a cast of other quarterbacks available this offseason in large part because of his familiarity in working recently with Matt Nagy and new quarterbacks coach, John DeFilippo during his previous stops in Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Jacksonville. It also helps that Foles has been a proven winner throughout his career who makes his teammates around him better by gravitating towards his leadership ability, both on and off the field.

While Pace, Nagy, and the entire organization made sure to do their best to convince the public eye that trading for Foles was a collective decision, there’s no doubt that Nagy was the driving force behind it all.

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It’s become no secret that the Nagy-Trubisky partnership has been a rocky one to date. Nagy hasn’t been afraid to voice out his frustration on how Trubisky has yet to master his offensive playbook, let alone be able to read basic defensive schemes. Trubisky hasn’t made life easy on himself by missing wide-open throws while making plenty of erred plays on the field. The type of head-scratching plays that’d make any head coach and fan lose their mind overseeing from a rookie, let along a now four-year player.

Nagy clearly wanted Foles to join the Bears just as much as Pace wanted Trubisky when he famously traded up in the 2017 draft to pick him over both Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Knowing that 2020 is a make-or-break season for the organization, Nagy most definitely talked Pace into trading for Foles, who has proven to be a master of Nagy’s offensive philosophy, while displaying way more arm talent than Daniel, Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, or any other Bears backup quarterback on a Pace regime roster to date.

Except here’s the main point: Nagy didn’t want to bring in Foles just to improve the backup position next season. Nagy wants Foles to be his starter in 2020, rather than Trubisky. Foles can pick up and run various offensive systems light-years better than Trubisky. Furthermore, Foles isn’t afraid to chuck it deep down the field while playing within the system, notable things Mitch struggles to do period with any success.

Knowing his coaching future may be in serious doubt with one more predictably frustrating season from Trubisky under center, Nagy had to knock some common sense into Pace this offseason. Pace’s job is ultimately tied into the success of Trubisky, so of course, he wants nothing more than to see his prized pupil light the world on fire in 2020 while proving all the naysayers wrong about his infamous draft blunder move.

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Knowing Pace, he probably would have been perfectly content resigning backup quarterback Daniel instead of trading for Foles if not for Nagy fighting hard for a major shake-up. Nagy probably was also behind the organization’s decision to bring in DeFilippo to help stabilize the quarterback coaching room, because of his history working with Foles.

Pace can spin it all he wants that this was a collective decision to bring in Foles, while also assuring the public that there will be an open competition for the starting quarterback position. But as Pace nods to that sentiment, there’s no doubt he’s cringing his teeth when looking the other way. Knowing deep down that the trade for Foles only undermines his boldest move made as General Manager, while also taking a deep stab at whatever pride he has left in that gut-wrenched decision.