Bears Have 'Open Competition' At Quarterback

Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles will battle for the starting job.

Chris Emma
April 03, 2020 - 10:23 am
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(670 The Score) The Bears are set for a quarterback battle between incumbent starter Mitchell Trubisky and recently acquired veteran Nick Foles.

The team is preparing for an "open competition" at quarterback, general manager Ryan Pace said in a teleconference Friday morning, though the structure of that remains unclear without assurances of when on-field practices can begin as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Whenever the Bears begin practicing, Trubisky will enter as the team's first-string quarterback in the initial set of reps, coach Matt Nagy said. Past that, the plan is for equal reps with similar personnel on offense and defense to measure the two.

"Mitch is really embracing it," Pace said.

 "All he wants to do is be the best quarterback he can be for the Chicago Bears. Nick, same thing."

Foles, 31, was acquired by the Bears from the Jaguars in March in exchange for a compensatory fourth-round pick. He was brought in to compete with Trubisky for the starting spot. The eight-year NFL veteran Foles has started 48 career games, completing 61.9 percent of his passes for 11,901 yards, 71 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. He was Super Bowl LII MVP after leading the Eagles to a championship in February 2018.

After their acquisition of Foles became official earlier this week, the Bears restructured his contract so that it carries an $8-million cap hit in 2020. Foles can earn up to $6 million more in incentives, and every dollar earned there turns into extra base salary for the following year.

"This is a kid that's been through a lot of situations," Nagy said of Foles. "He's a Super Bowl MVP. He's been through pressure moments. He understands a lot of the things that we're looking for."

The Bears drafted Trubisky No. 2 overall in 2017. He has started 41 games over his three NFL seasons, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 8,554 yards, 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. The Bears are 23-18 in Trubisky's starts.

Entering his fourth NFL season, Trubisky currently has one year left on his rookie deal. The Bears have until early May to decide on his fifth-year option. When asked Friday, Pace declined to comment on Trubisky's fifth-year option.

With the sports world on pause during the coronavirus outbreak, teams are bracing for an entire offseason program without on-field activity. The NFL remains hopeful it can begin training camp on time, a league official said earlier this week.

The Bears are planning to conduct meetings virtually during their altered offseason. Once the team is capable of beginning on-field activities, the quarterback battle will begin.

"We have no idea as to when things will move forward and what we'll be able to do in regards to OTAs and training camp," Nagy said.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.