Could Trubisky be the Heir to Tom Brady?
By: Cody Molla
This upcoming offseason is sure to be full of headlines surrounding the quarterback position. There are many signal callers whose futures remain unknown and there seems to be lots of shuffling of the deck ahead. The first domino has officially fallen with the recent Goff and Stafford trade. One of the future dominos in line is Mitchell Trubisky.
Mitch Trubisky was the second overall pick in the 2017 draft and it’s been well documented who the Bears drafted him over in the recent seasons. Even with these criticisms in 50 games started Trubisky has a 29-21 record with two playoff appearances, both losses.
In 2020, Trubisky started nine games with a record of 6-3. Despite starting the season 2-0, Trubisky was benched. He returned in Week 12 as a starter and won three games in the final month to get the Bears into the playoffs. The playoff loss against the Saints wasn’t very impressive but if it was his final game as a Chicago Bear his final pass went as a Touchdown to Jimmy Graham.
At the end of the year press conference, head coach Matt Nagy expressed disappointment in the quarterback play over the season, and most of it was focused on Trubisky. The relationship between the two sides appears to be at a low point and a divorce between the two is likely.
The Bears declined the fifth year option on Trubiskys contract last May. With Nagy and the front office returning next year, Trubisky is in line for a new home. Here are some potential landing spots for the former Tar Heel as he heads into his fifth season.
The Cowboys are in need of a quarterback whether it’s Dak Prescott’s backup or Dak Prescott’s replacement. Andy Dalton’s status is uncertain as he is a free agent. We know Prescott suffered a season ending injury early in the season and his return timeline is around the beginning of next season. The problem is Dak is not signed and with Jerry Jones past in handing out contracts a cheap option is always needed.
Trubisky fits that mold. A cheap option for one to two years to either start or backup for the Dallas Cowboys would fit both sides.
We saw Mitch Trubiksy succeed with the Bears late in the season with a strong run game present. The Dallas Cowboys certainly have that aspect on offense. Zeke Elliot has proven his game over the recent years as a strong runner. Last year was a down year but a lot of that can be in part to losing Dak and losing many offensive linemen to injury. Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins all missed time last year.
Another way Mitch fits the Cowboys offensive scheme is using his own legs. Over four-season Trubisky has eclipsed 1000 career rushing yards. His mobility is similar to Prescott, he can extend plays escaping the pocket, get outside the numbers on designed rollouts and make plays around the goal line.
In the passing game going to Dallas would give Trubisky the best overall receiving core he’s had in his career. The trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Ceedee Lamb is among the league’s best. Trubisky had success with a true number one in Allen Robinson. Adding weapons from all receiving spots would certainly boost Trubiskys passing numbers. He would likely set career highs in this offense as a starter.
If Dak and the Cowboys come to an agreement his health would certainly be a question. If Dak is forced to miss a few games to start the year Trubisky could fill that role. He is also able to fill the role of a season long quarterback as well if Prescott is not resigned.
A disappointing finish to the season is an understatement. After an 11-0 start, the Steelers finished 1-5 including a playoff loss to division rival Cleveland Browns. The Steelers roster was Super Bowl contender worthy. Devastating injuries to Devin Bush and Bud Dupree hampered the defense. A lack of run game, drops, and poor throws from Roethlisberger sealed the Steelers’ fate this season.
Big Bens career is certainly winding down and the Steelers don’t appear to have their future quarterback on the roster. With the 24th overall pick in this year’s draft, the top tier quarterbacks will likely be off the board. Acquiring a proven quarterback in the offseason will likely be the solution for the future.
The current options behind Ben include Mason Rudolph, Joshua Dobbs, and recently signed to a futures contract Dwayne Haskins. Rudolph stepped in to start for the injured Roethlisberger last season going 5-3 while missing the playoffs.
Trubisky would be an upgrade over all three of those options. If Ben does return next year, which is yet to be known, Trubisky would likely be in a backup role. Roethlisberger turns 39 in March and is under contract through the 2021 season. According to Spotrac, in 2019 he signed a two-year $68 million deal with a $41.25 million cap hit in 2021 ($22.25 million dead cap).
Trubsiky would join a talented offense with or without the resigning of JuJu Smith-Schuster. A solid offensive line and athletic QB could help this Steelers offense. Bens ability to extend plays like the old days are gone, add in Mitches running ability and the offense gets more depth and versatility.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, Tom Brady is likely the quarterback of the Buccaneers next season. Mitch Trubisky going to the Bucs would be a similar situation to what division rival New Orleans Saints did this past year with Jameis Winston. Bringing in a former starter to be a backup for a veteran who is at the tail end of his career. This would be an insurance policy for if Brady retired or is injured in the future.
Sitting under Brady for a season would let Mitch learn valuable tricks of the trade, give him a year to learn the Arians system, and build comfort and confidence. The Arians system would be beneficial for Mitch as well.
Trubiskys’ best season was 2018. That season was Trubiskys highest average depth per target of his career and average yards per target. Bruce Arians offense the past two years has been among the top of the league in these categories.
This team would also be a good fit as they have a solid run game with Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, and a strong defense. The Bears late-season success with Mitch came from a focus on running the ball, albeit versus weak defenses. Trubisky has shown in his career a solid run game and attacking pass game, combined with his athleticism can lead an offense to success in the NFL.
Denver Broncos– Vic Fangio connection, Drew Lock hasn’t been impressive and the new GM may go a different way.
New England Patriots– Need a quarterback. Similar to Jimmy G, McDaniels can run an offense he is comfortable with. Mobility like Cam.
Where ever Trubisky ends up in 2021 he is sure to bring depth to the quarterback room. I see him going to a fairly well-established team and being a competent backup quarterback for now until he is called upon. He surely can start on a team and bring success to a team. His athleticism and ability to get the ball downfield will interest teams who see some untapped potential in him.