Jimmy Garoppolo

NFL Draft Rumors: Chicago Bears Targeting A Quarterback, But Who And When?

Jay Cutler, Jimmy Garoppolo, or Deshaun Watson? It seems like an age-old question, but who will become the franchise quarterback for the Chicago Bears?

The answer to that question will eventually be revealed by the Bears’ front office, perhaps on the first night of the NFL Draft. In the meantime, there will be a ton of speculation on the direction the Bears may take. Also, expect plenty of NFL draft rumors brewing regarding the Chicago Bears, and what they might do during the next couple of months.

Selecting with the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft all but guarantees that the Chicago Bears will have a fair share of potential difference-makers to choose from. The Bears are a team with several needs and a bevy of holes to fill. Some of those spots will be taken care of prior to the draft.

What has been overlooked about the Chicago Bears’ needs is the fact that NFL free agency takes place first. With a couple of minor moves, the Bears could have nearly $80 million in cap room. That gives the Bears more than enough money to fill some of the roster problems.

Cornerback and safety are two of the Bears’ biggest weaknesses. And while they will likely add a player at each of those positions in the NFL draft, free agency is a great option. But what about at quarterback?

Deshaun Watson
[Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

There is strong chance that the Chicago Bears will not address the quarterback position in free agency. The NFL draft is a different story.

This draft is not rich on passers, but there are a few who the Bears could view as a franchise quarterback. The three who quickly come to mind are Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, North Carolina junior Mitch Trubisky, and Pittsburgh senior Nathan Peterman. Fox Sports’ Mike Flannery offered an interesting perspective on Peterson.

“Depending on which game tape you watch, Peterman either looks like one of the best QBs in the draft or a guy who would be lucky to start in Canada. He didn’t even crack my top ten QB ranking a few months ago, but after reading plenty of hype on Peterman I watched a little more tape and realized what I missed the first time.”

Nathan Peterman will receive a long look from the Bears, who had an early leg up on the competition by working with him at the Senior Bowl. CBS Sports is reporting that the Bears did take a liken to Peterman during the Senior Bowl practices.

Peterman is not the only prospective pro quarterbacks the Bears, Deshaun Watson should garner some heavy consideration.

Watson comes with a pedigree. He is a proven winner, having won the BCS National Championship, and performed well while doing so. In fact, Watson has fared well in every big game he has played thus far. The Bears and other teams have to be impressed with how Watson performed in his two games versus Alabama. Alabama’s defense is regarded as the closest thing to an NFL level unit.

In the case for Mitch Trubisky, he is the highest rated quarterback in the NFL draft.

Would the Chicago Bears look to select Trubisky with the No. 3 pick? His overall inexperience as a college starter makes him a boom or bust pick. That might make the Bears stay away from him.

Along with the options that the NFL draft presents, the Chicago Bears can find a QB on the trade market. The two most recognizable names possibly available for a trade are Jimmy Garoppolo and Tony Romo.

It is unlikely that the Bears trade for Romo with his salary hit. That would leave Garoppolo, who the Bears will have some competition to acquire. Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Cleveland Browns have legitimate interest in trading for the New England Patriots’ backup.

The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 and No. 10 overall picks in the draft. While the Bears would be reluctant to part ways with the No. 3 pick, the Browns may be receptive to offer the Patriots their No. 10 selection. As of now, there are too many needs on the Bears for them to give up their top draft pick. The Browns, on the other hand, has two to play around with.

In the end, look for the Chicago Bears to take a quarterback somewhere in the NFL draft. They might not take a passer at No. 3, but there could be a different story for the Chicago Bears in the second round. If that is the direction the Bears take and Deshaun Watson is still around, look for Watson to become the pick. Chances are great that Nathan Peterman will be available in the second round.

What seems clear is that the Jay Cutler era is unofficially over. This is especially with the Pro Football Talk report that the San Francisco 49ers are interested in the embattled Bears’ quarterback.

[Featurd Image by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]

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