USA Today

Andy Dalton is not only looking for a new NFL home, but one that will make him the starting quarterback. Make no mistake about it, the Chicago Bears want Russell Wilson, as does everyone who supports the team. Rumor has it they will -- if they haven't already begun -- making pitches at the Seattle Seahawks in a long shot attempt at prying away the future Hall of Fame quarterback from the Pacific Northwest and moving him to the Windy City, but they're also looking at contingency plans in the event it doesn't happen, and that blueprint might include Dalton.

The Bears are reportedly interested in possibly adding the veteran QB to their roster, per Mike Garofolo of NFL Network, and the timeline points to it potentially happening soon -- assuming it does at all. 

Having already seen veteran signings like Cam Newton's return to the New England Patriots, the Washington Football Team signing Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston staying put with the New Orleans Saints, the Bears are feeling the pressure to buy QB insurance as the free agency clock rapidly ticks away in the first wave of NFL shopping. The Seahawks don't seem willing to budge on trading Wilson for any offer that doesn't blow the doors off in Seattle, and so it makes sense the Bears would not pin their hopes of winning in 2021 on Nick Foles or any thought of remarrying themselves to a wildly uneven Mitchell Trubisky.

Dalton took the reins as QB1 in Dallas last season following the season-ending injury suffered by Dak Prescott in Week 5, and struggled to perform well on a consistent basis due to protection issues on an injury-ravaged offensive line. 

Not all of his poor play was attributable to that, however, as evidenced most readily in his shortcomings in the must-win regular season finale against the New York Giants. It was all the Cowboys needed to see to know the true value of Prescott, later signing him to a four-year, $160 million deal after having advised Dalton he'd never be the starter in Dallas. And sources tell CBS Sports that while the Cowboys wouldn't turn a cold shoulder to the idea of re-signing Dalton, they've made their peace with the reality of the situation, and are expected to head in a different direction behind Prescott -- barring Dalton changing his mind regarding his demand for playing time.

"At the end of the day, and Andy knows this, this is Dak's football team," said team exec Stephen Jones in early January, via 105.3 The Fan.

And, with that, Dalton knew he'd have to locate greener pastures elsewhere. 

"There's a lot to be decided this offseason," said a dejected Dalton after the Week 17 loss in New York, via the team's website. "This is my first time being a free agent when the new league year starts, so I'll go through the process of everything and weigh all of my options and see what I got. ... I feel like I can play, and I feel like I can help a team win. Hopefully, with the film that I put out this year, people see that and value me in that way. 

"I obviously feel like I still got a lot of good football left, and we'll see how it all plays out."

There's a chance it plays out in Chicago for the three-time Pro Bowler.