Despite some recent transactions, the Chicago Bears made the right choice with Nick Foles.
Don’t worry Chicago Bears fans, it’s human nature. That feeling you have in your gut second-guessing Ryan Pace’s decision to trade for Nick Foles is not out of the ordinary. Have you ever made a big purchase after narrowing down to two choices? Then after making your selection, you come across a review of the product you didn’t choose? Doubt starts to creep into your head and a little voice says “did I make the wrong choice? Do I still have the receipt?”
Well, there will be no “returning” of Foles, but that “buyer’s remorse” has likely been exacerbated by the slew of quarterback transactions to hit the wire over the last few days.
First, there was the report that Jameis Winston signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints for essentially peanuts ($1.1 million). Then, there was the news that the Cincinnati Bengals released Andy Dalton another target some Bears fans had their eyes on. To make matters worse, Cam Newton is still available.
However, despite all of that, Nick Foles was the right choice for Pace. Look, I have criticized Pace for many things but this decision isn’t one of them.
Of course, it’s easy to sit here in May, with the benefit of hindsight and say Pace should have known how the board would unfold. But there are a few things to consider.
First, those who think Dalton or Jameis were the clear frontrunners are neglecting one critical point. There may not even be an offseason in which to prepare due to COVID-19, and if there is, it will be extremely limited. There certainly isn’t going to be enough time to get a new quarterback spun up on Matt Nagy’s offense. Foles held a supreme advantage in that regard, so he likely always held the edge.
Second, the Cincinnati Bengals’ asking price for Dalton was reportedly too high. In retrospect, not having to give up a draft pick for Dalton might have been better value than having to fork over a fourth-rounder for Foles.
However, Pace was likely not willing to take the risk of waiting for Dalton to be released. What if another team agreed to the Bengals’ asking price, and by that time, Foles was off the market, traded to another team? Pace would have been left empty-handed. From that standpoint, it’s hard to fault Pace for taking the bird-in-hand, especially when that bird knows your offense
Finally, while Jameis’ contract is incredibly affordable, it wasn’t that long ago he was reportedly seeking $30 million per year. Who knows whether, at the time the Bears signed Foles, Jameis would have accepted the same deal he ultimately got? Perhaps this deal is a reflection of the quarterback market drying up. In addition, it was highly unlikely the Bears would have signed off on Winston, given his past indiscretions.
As for Cam, he remains unsigned which should send a clear signal that teams are very concerned with his health, and their inability to evaluate him due to COVID-19 is probably why he’s still on the market. Could he be had on a cheap one-year prove-it deal? Maybe. But again, hindsight is 20/20.
When evaluating Foles’ familiarity with the offense, the truncated offseason, and the potential risk associated with allowing the quarterback market to shake out, it seems clear that he was the right decision at the right time.