The Chicago Bears have a chance to fix their 2017 NFL Draft mistake.
For the last four years, Chicago Bears fans have primarily argued over one thing — quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. More specifically, that conversation has centered around trading up to select Trubisky while passing on Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, each of whom look like they are on their way to the Hall of Fame.
Well, it appears general manager Ryan Pace may have an opportunity to right his wrong, and fix the colossal error he made when he passed on two generational talents in favor of a quarterback whose fifth-year option was declined, and whose success is dependent on cutting the field in half with one or two reads against terrible defenses.
While that might seem harsh, it should serve as a reminder of exactly how big of a mistake Pace made, and why he should be motivated to make it right.
According to a recent report, he may get the chance as Watson is mulling the possibility of requesting a trade. This report follows a recently deleted tweet from Watson in which he made a statement to the effect of “the more things change the more they stay the same” which was widely interpreted as a reaction to the news that the Texans were going to hire Nick Caserio as their general manager, which would further empower Jack Easterby.
If true, and he requests a trade, Pace must do whatever he can (within reason obviously) to make this trade. While Pace has long been criticized for trading away picks, he did so for an unknown quarterback with one year of starting experience in college. If you have a chance to obtain a proven franchise quarterback, you willingly part with those picks again.
Fans may point to the situation in Houston as a cautionary tale, since they have performed poorly this year even with Watson, due to a lack of talent around him. Those fans will caution that trading away picks will preclude the Bears from building around Watson in the same way the Texans failed.
However, the Bears have pieces on their defense they could trade for picks. Considering how much they are paying the defense, and the way in which they have underperformed this year, perhaps it’s time to rebalance the roster and reallocate some of that spending to the offense. Furthermore, the team has accumulated quite a few compensatory picks recently, that can be used to fill out the roster. Finally, if the Bears lose Champ Kelly, who appears likely to be hired away as another team’s general manager, they will receive two additional third-round compensatory picks.
In other words, trading away future picks for a proven franchise quarterback does not have to be the death-knell it is being made out to be if you make smart decisions with the resources you have. With that in mind, it is imperative Pace makes a move to bring Watson to Chicago and all will be forgiven.