The Chicago Bears have just one quarterback under contract for the 2021 season in backup Nick Foles, and even he isn't guaranteed to be back. It's no surprise, then, that general manager Ryan Pace confirmed Tuesday that Chicago's search for a new signal-caller will be far and wide. Asked ahead of free agency what lies ahead at QB, Pace told reporters that literally "everything is on the table," from retaining Foles or former first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky, to getting aggressive in the draft or trade market.
"Everything is on the table in regards to the quarterback situation," he said. "That includes players on our roster, players in free agency, trade, the draft or a combination of all of those. We have a plan in place, and now it's about executing that plan."
Pressed on the subject later in his conference, Pace doubled down on the openness of the Bears' search.
"Obviously it's a critical position for us," he said. "Every single thing is on the table. We know the importance of it. We know that's a priority."
Trubisky, who started most of the Bears' games in 2020, has long been synonymous with Pace, who traded up to draft the North Carolina QB second overall in 2017. But after a so-so finish that included a blowout playoff loss in a contract year, he's widely expected to test free agency. Foles, meanwhile, had similarly middling results in seven starts after arriving from the Jaguars last offseason in exchange for a fourth-round pick, and while he's due $6.6 million in 2021, he could be a trade candidate for a team eyeing backup help.
The Bears have been linked to just about every other veteran QB perceived to be available this offseason, including Texans star Deshaun Watson -- who infamously remained on the board when Chicago drafted Trubisky. They pick 20th overall in the 2021 draft.