The one things you can say with absolute certainty about the Chicago Bears’ offseason is that it was an active one. Everything else is up for interpretation … unless you’re willing to be patient and wait to see how things actually play out.
An offseason in which the Bears overhauled their quarterback room, revamped their secondary, retooled their group of pass catchers, and added depth pieces at every position has come with poor reviews, positive projections, wishful thinking, and mixed feelings. Alas, grades will continue to pour in until games of consequence kick off.
To that end, Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report is handing out offseason grades for NFL teams, and … it doesn’t look good for the Bears. Davenport gave the Bears a ‘D’ grade, citing the Bears’ “botched” quarterback situation (the signing of Mike Glennon and move to trade up and draft Mitch Trubisky).
This isn’t much of a surprise, as the Bears’ draft maneuvering for Trubisky was arguably the most polarizing thing any team did on draft weekend – with most pundits leaning toward the move being more bad than good. Still, the Bears have struggled to fill the quarterback position and decided to take a fresh approach that could pay major dividends in the future. Criticism of drafting Trubisky and signing Glennon would be more fair if it was a short-term solution for a contending team. Trusting an offense with questionable tackle plus a mix of unproven and rebounding receivers to a rookie or a player who hasn’t started a game since 2014 would be less than ideal.
However, the Bears aren’t built to contend right now. Especially not on the offensive side on the ball. So you can easily make an argument that signing a short-term plug-and-play quarterback, while also drafting a potential long-term solution would be good for a team in the position the Bears currently find themselves. Yet, Davenport hedges in his conclusion, as he believes the trade will look less egregious if Trubisky pans out.
Maybe some offseason grades should be ruled incomplete, or drawn up in a different manner. Replacing below-average starters in the defensive secondary and drafting a quarterback in the first round who will redshirt behind a veteran on what amounts to a one-year pact seems like a good offseason. Not great, especially considering how the team whiffed on all of the high-profile free agents they sought to sign … but passable.
In the end, it will be awhile until the offseason can be properly graded, because Trubisky’s impact won’t be felt until he gets consistent reps and the team upgrades some of the talent around him.
To be fair, it wasn’t all bad for the Bears. Davenport compliments the Bears’ ability to plug holes in what he described to be a “leaky” secondary. Quintin Demps, Prince Amukamara, and Marcus Cooper each project to be starters in 2017 and upgrades from the players each replaced from the 2016 team. Unfortunately, it that wasn’t enough to drag the team to a passing grade. Only Trubisky living up to his draft spot could do that.