Chicago Bears: Quarterback battle breakdown, 2017 edition

The Chicago Bears made bold moves to acquire both the top veteran quarterback and top rookie signal caller — but only one will start.

NFL minicamps have opened. OTAs and training camps are getting underway. We are officially out of the offseason and into the preseason. With that, it is time to speculate wildly on everything from depth charts to position battles to standings to signings.

We started in Cleveland, with the Browns battle at quarterback. Next up is the unique quarterback battle of the Chicago Bears. The top veteran free agent quarterback and the top rookie signal caller are both Bears. Only one will start. Chicago Bears quarterback battle breakdown.

Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss the Chicago Bears in today’s NFL Sports Debate.

Chicago Bears QB Contenders

Mike Glennon
Mitch Trubisky
Mark Sanchez

Details

Todd Salem: I didn’t remember that Chicago signed Mark Sanchez this offseason…not that it matters all that much. Sanchez, though he has technically had the most success and has the most experience of any of these guys, will not factor into the quarterback battle.

Instead, it comes down to Glennon versus Trubisky. Glennon is the guy the Bears signed to a big free-agent contract for 2017. Trubisky is the guy the Bears traded up and acquired in the NFL Draft. Both cost a fortune to acquire in their own way.

People are high on Glennon, believing he is a quality player who has never been given an adequate chance to show it. People are also high on Trubisky, believing he held the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this draft class.

Dan Salem: The Mark Sanchez signing flew so far under the radar that I forgot he was even available. Sanchez is an excellent backup, with a lot of experience to impart on Trubisky after riding the very same rookie quarterback wave. The main difference is that Trubisky will not be leading his football team to the conference championship game.

I find it particularly troubling that Chicago went all-in on not one, but two quarterbacks this offseason. They outbid everyone for Glennon, then outbid themselves for Trubisky. Talk about a hot seat for the Bears coaches and front office. There are so many ways this situation can backfire in their faces. We fans win with all but two scenarios. If the Bears are actually good, that’s no fun for anyone outside of Chicago. If the Bears do what everyone expects and no one gets hurt, that too is pretty darn boring.

Selection

Todd Salem: When it comes to which player will start Week 1, there isn’t much debate. It is going to be Glennon, barring injury. And if he’s hurt, it will probably be Sanchez. I don’t see Trubisky being ready Week 1. When debating who will garner the most starts overall, though, beliefs are split, and I don’t understand why.

Isn’t this the most straightforward quarterback situation you can have? Chicago has the veteran for 2017 and the very raw rookie who needs a year to sit. Glennon should start nearly every game this season; Trubisky should start none. There is a straw man argument developing that says there will be lots of pressure to get Trubisky on the field as soon as possible. I’m not buying it, even if the Bears aren’t very good.

The guy barely started in college. This isn’t even equal to the Rams’ situation from last year, where Jared Goff was sitting behind the anemic play of Case Keenum. Goff had started for three years in college and threw for over 12,000 yards. He wasn’t ready for the NFL, but Trubisky isn’t ready for an entirely different reason. He hasn’t played quarterback enough.

Dan Salem: You aren’t wrong. The smart play is to sit Trubisky for the entire season, letting him learn on the sidelines and in practice. Chicago is going to struggle for wins, so why get him beat up on the field.

The New York Jets redshirted their second round quarterback last season, but no one knows if it was a good decision. Everyone was questioning whether they did it because the player was a flop, or because they wanted him to learn. The Jets got roasted for the decision, yet they set a precedent which will no longer seem so wrong. The Bears can safely sit Trubisky with significantly less backlash.

That being said, Chicago is not going to sit Trubisky all season and here’s why. Have the Bears done anything that makes sense in terms of their quarterback this offseason? Why overpay for Glennon if you are planning to draft a rookie quarterback? It doesn’t matter who your veteran is, if your team is going to stink and you are sitting your rookie regardless.

Save some money. Let Mark Sanchez start. Seriously, what’s the difference? Why trade up one spot in the draft? Unless the Bears had insider information telling them another team was going to trade with San Francisco, this move stinks of a miscalculation.

Because I believe in people generally doing what’s best, I agree that Glennon will start Week 1 for the Bears. But unless the Chicago brass has similarly steel balls as those in the Jets front office, I expect Trubisky to take over by Week 12 and start the final quarter of the season.

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