Last offseason when the Chicago Bears publically stated their intentions to bring in competition for Mitchell Trubisky, fans were clamoring for the team to go out and sign Cam Newton. Coming off a nagging shoulder injury from the 2019 season, teams were understandably skeptical and without being able to get the proper physicals in (due to COVID), many teams like the Bears passed on Cam.
He ended up signing with the Patriots while the Chicago Bears set their sights on Nick Foles and Ryan Pace was absolutely destroyed. After all, he did pass on a former MVP, career starter, and dual-threat quarterback in favor of Foles.
Unfortunately, the Cam Newton experiment failed in New England as he got cut today (per ESPN) – indicating that the Bears were smart to pass on him in favor of other veteran options such as Nick Foles.
However, while Foles might have been the “better” quarterback last season, the ease with which the Patriots got out of Cam Newton’s deal compared to how much the Chicago Bears are currently struggling to move Foles is yet another reminder of how bad the trade for Nick Foles was.
Nick Foles is on the Chicago Bears due to his contract – not because of his play.
This is a reality that the Chicago Bears created for themselves by trading for Nick Foles instead of targeting other veteran free agents that would have had easier contracts to maneuver. They traded the 140th overall selection in the 2020 NFL draft and signed Nick Foles to a 3 year/24 million dollar contract (Spotrac) that no club wants to take on right now.
This begs the question, was Nick Foles’ play so much greater than Cam Newton’s to justify the cost of a draft pick plus a multi-year contract? Cam Newton cost 1.75 million dollars last season and signed a 1 year/5.1 million dollars (3.5M guaranteed) this offseason (Spotrac). The answer, put simply, is: no.
Now, with the emergence of Mac Jones, the Patriots were able to easily cut Cam Newton with next to no ramifications financially. However, for the Bears, this is only a reminder that the team not only traded a draft pick that could have been used to bolster the offensive line or secondary but then signed Foles to a multi-year deal only to bring in Andy Dalton one year later.
Ultimately, it’s no secret that Ryan Pace has been both awful and aggressive at addressing the quarterback position during his time as the Chicago Bears general manager. While I have been a supporter of his, I can acknowledge his shortcomings, and the acquisition of Nick Foles ranks as arguably his second-worst move as Bears GM – one that we were once again reminded of in light of the Cam Newton release.