Chicago Bears keeping quarterback options open, says general manager Ryan Pace
Bears GM Ryan Pace says Allen Robinson want to stay in Chicago: "I know Allen wants to be a Chicago Bear and we want him to be a Chicago Bear, and its a sensitive process that we're kind of in the middle of. And we gotta work through it"
By The Associated Press
Last Updated: 03/03/21 10:36am
General manager Ryan Pace had few answers when it came to the two biggest questions facing the Chicago Bears in the off-season.
He would not rule out anything when it comes to a potential starting quarterback next year, not even a return for Mitchell Trubisky, and admitted the Bears have not decided whether to use the franchise tag on star receiver Allen Robinson.
"Everything's on the table in regard to the quarterback situation," Pace said on Tuesday. "And honestly, that includes players on our current roster. And that includes free agency, a trade, the draft and a combination of all those."
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The Bears seemed to make their feelings clear about Trubisky when they declined their fifth-year option for 2021 on the 2017 No 2 overall draft pick prior to last season. They also acquired Nick Foles from Jacksonville to push their once-prized QB.
Trubisky got benched in a Week 3 comeback win at Atlanta and did not return to the line-up until late November. In between, Foles struggled and suffered a hip and glute injury, but if the Bears have decided whether they will try to re-sign Trubisky, Pace would not say.
"We're not going to lay all that out right now," he said. "Those are all internal discussions we've had. I would say, again, everything is on the table with all the quarterbacks."
Pace has shown a willingness to make bold trades, moving up a spot in a deal with San Francisco to draft Trubisky and acquiring Khalil Mack from the Raiders in 2018.
Some prominent quarterbacks have been traded this off-season, with Matthew Stafford going from Detroit to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and Philadelphia sending Carson Wentz to Indianapolis.
Deshaun Watson, who was available when Pace took Trubisky, wants out of Houston. And the only quarterback the Bears have under contract for next season is Foles, the Super Bowl 52 MVP.
"Right now, were literally in the thick of everything and just so many, What if this? What if that?," coach Matt Nagy said.
"And it's our job to work together to make sure were dotting our is and crossing our ts together."
The Bears made the playoffs for the second time since Nagy was hired in 2018, but they also went 8-8 in the regular season for the second year in a row, before a convincing wild-card loss at New Orleans.
Chicago's offense struggled for most of the season. One of the bright spots was Robinson, who is in for a big payday coming off one of his most productive seasons.
"Hey, we love Allen Robinson," Pace said. "He's a great player for us. We know that. And not just the player but the team-mate, the professional that he is. Again, the franchise tag is an option for us. It doesn't mean we're necessarily going to use that. But we want to keep our good players, and Allen is a good player for us."
Robinson caught a career-high 102 passes. And his 1,250 yards were second only to the 1,400 he had with Jacksonville in his 2015 Pro Bowl season.
"A-Rob knows how much we love him," Nagy said. "A-Rob knows how much that me as a head coach and Ryan as a general manager, the importance that he brings to the city, to the organisation, to his team-mates, to all of us."
Is there more to the hold-up than money?
"No," Pace said. "With a contract there's a number of things that go into it. I know Allen wants to be a Chicago Bear and we want him to be a Chicago Bear, and it's a sensitive process that we're kind of in the middle of. And we gotta work through it."