Before coming to a deal to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots, the Chicago Bears must ask whether or not the team would be better now and in the future upon completion in the deal. After all, adding Garoppolo is not only about trying to lock down a long-term, franchise quarterback – it’s also about simply trying to improve in 2017, the one remaining season for which Garoppolo is currently under contract.
According to Sportsline.com, by adding Garoppolo, the Bears would do exactly that. And the Bears are the betting favorite to land him, too.
Senior analyst Larry Hartstein writes that the Bears are favored by the betting odds to land New England’s backup quarterback. In fact, the Bears’ odds are currently better the odds the Patriots simply keep Garoppolo. Clearly, the bookmakers put some stock in a recent report indicating that Garoppolo is far and away the Bears’ top target this offseason.
Moreover, according to the site’s projection model, adding Garoppolo to the Bears would immediately make them a better team for 2017. Garoppolo — pegged by Sportsline as an efficient player who would provide “a major upgrade from Jay Cutler and Matt Barkley” — would by himself push the team’s projected win total up by 22 percent (from 5.3 to 6.5 wins), and bump their playoff odds to 11 percent.
So, you’re saying there’s a chance? Excellent.
HOWEVER, because the Bears have so many other deficiencies throughout the roster, adding Garopppolo to the Bears wouldn’t even provide the most significant positive impact compared to the teams in the hunt for his services.
For example, adding Garoppolo to the Denver Broncos would increase that team’s playoff odds from 40 percent to 68 percent, with a 43 percent shot at taking back the AFC West crown from the Kansas City Chiefs. A move to the Houston would nearly double the Texans’ chances as repeating as AFC South champs. The New York Jets (who could be in play to acquire Jay Cutler) would see their playoff odds jump from 4 percent to 18 percent, and see an increase of 30 percent to their projected win total. And if the 49ers (who could also be making a play for Cutler this offseason if they don’t land Garoppolo) want in on this, too, saying goodbye to Colin Kaepernick and bringing in Garoppolo projects to bring a 25 percent leap in the win column.
So, when teams (the Bears included) plan their offseason wish lists, not only should they be asking whether or not betting on Garoppolo’s future is worth more to them than standing pat — because the answer for all the contenders in the Garoppolo Sweepstakes projects to be “yes” at some level— but they should also ask to what extent does this quarterback provide an upgrade. Is a marginal increase in expected wins in 2017 worth mortgaging a future that still needs a stronger foundation? If not, then you get into the calculation on an extension and how many wins can be added in 2018 and beyond.
Expect for these questions to be answered by some team’s general manager at some point this offseason.