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It turns out, NFL general managers aren’t the greatest at math. When the quarterback sweepstakes started a few weeks ago and the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions swapped Jared Goff for Matt Stafford, the QB floodgates were about to open. Seventeen teams wanted a new QB while at least as many QBs wanted a new team.
In a quarterback sweepstakes like we’ve never seen, everyone in the NFL is going to get a top 10 quarterback. Which brings us to question No. 1 for the league’s general managers on the quarterback derby test:
Question No. 1
How many quarterbacks in the NFL are among the 10 best QBs?
B. 25 or so
D. Sid Luckman
That’s right! It’s C. Ten! NFL GMs mostly would’ve guessed A. But sadly, not everyone is going to get a good quarterback. There aren’t enough to go around.
So Goff now plays for the Lions and Stafford for the Rams, and then lowly Carson Wentz went from Philadelphia to Indianapolis. And here is the simple truth:
We’ve almost already run out of good, frontline top quarterbacks. The QB carousel has stopped. The QB sweepstakes isn’t happening. It was a myth from the start. It was part Ponzi scheme, part shellgame. The early investors (Rams, Lions) got rich quick. But now other investors keep looking under moving shells for a good QB, and there isn’t one under any of them.
And that’s particularly bad news for the team that is always a QB circus act.
The Chicago Bears.
Chicago is dying for a quarterback and has been for the entire lifespan of nearly every Bears fan. And now Ryan Pace, the general manager who banked everything on moving way up in the draft to take Mitch Trubisky a few years ago, has been given the task once again to use his judgment to fill the biggest, never-ending black hole in American sports.
The quarterback position of the Chicago Bears.
Question No. 2
Which quarterback is better than mediocre and can lead the Bears, or any team, to greatness?
A. Marcus Mariota
B. Teddy Bridgewater
C. Sam Darnold
D. Deshaun Watson
That’s a trick question. The answer is F, Sid Luckman, the star quarterback who the Bears haven’t replaced in 70 years. Watson is a star, but he isn’t coming to the Bears under any circumstances
He is basically just a myth to NFL fans desperate to have their own Patrick Mahomes, and to the general managers, such as Pace, who are desperate to make those fans happy.
So maybe Carolina has an outside shot at getting Watson, based on what they can offer the Houston Texans in a trade. But while Watson says he wants out, the Texans don’t seem willing to trade him without a huge haul coming back.
What could the Bears possibly give for Watson that the Texans would want? First off, the Texans would need a quarterback. The Bears could give them Nick Foles, if they could keep a straight face while making that offer. They have some young studs on the defense, such as Roquan Smith, to offer up. But they don’t get a selection in the first round of the draft until No. 20. The Bears don’t have enough to give the Texans for Watson.
Wake up, Bears fans: You’re not getting Deshaun Watson.
Question No. 3
Which franchise-changing quarterback will be available with the 20th pick in the draft?
A. Trevor Lawrence
B. Justin Fields
C. Zach Wilson
D. Trey Lance
E. Mac Jones
F. None of the Above
That’s right. It’s F. The Bears are going to have to trade up to get the bargain-basement first-rounder, Jones of Alabama. And he did run a modern-offense at Alabama this year, but he also can’t move. And an immobile quarterback in the modern NFL is highly risky if he doesn’t have a great offensive line blocking for him.
The Bears have a lousy offensive line.
Question No. 4
Aren’t there any other quarterbacks? Which of the following quarterbacks, rumored available, will be available?
A. Dak Prescott
B. Jimmy Garoppolo
C. Derek Carr
D. None of the above.
I don’t have an answer to that one, but D seems most likely. For some reason, the league’s GMs all think they have to have a superstar at quarterback. So they are looking to get rid of pretty good ones.
But when they start realizing there aren’t any great quarterbacks available, they are likely to hang on to the ones they have. How can the Las Vegas Raiders let Carr go? How can the San Francisco 49ers let Garoppolo go? Isn’t it obvious that the Dallas Cowboys will either agree to a long-term deal with Prescott or stick him with a franchise tag and force him to stay?
The draft will free up a few mediocre quarterbacks, and NFL GMs will start panicking when they start feeling pressure from the fans. NFL teams notoriously pay mediocre QBs in the hope that they’ll be great in another uniform.
Question No. 5
With the Bears as a warning sign to all general managers, what will they be doing this time next year?
A. Looking for a quarterback
B. Looking for a coach
C. Looking for a general manager
D. All of the above