Blog Entry

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

Posted on: November 21, 2011 11:42 am
Cutler, Martz

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Now that Bears coach Lovie Smith has officially confirmed the news that Jay Cutler broke his thumb* while trying to make a tackle after an interception during Chicago’s win against the Chargers on Sunday, we wonder where the Bears offense goes from here.

*You can see video of the play here.

The Bears QB Future
The quick reaction from across the league has been definitive: the Bears are screwed. And it’s hard not to disagree, especially when you consider Caleb Hanie is the new starting quarterback and fifth-round pick Nathan Enderle (if you haven’t heard of him, that’s OK -- he played his college ball at Idaho) is his backup. That could be a recipe for disaster.

Hanie has played a total of seven games in his three-year career, and in the regular season, he’s completed 8 of 14 passes for 66 yards. But his real moment to shine occurred during last year’s NFC championship game (you might remember it because Cutler injured his knee, couldn’t return to the game and got toasted for it by his colleagues on Twitter) when he completed 13 of 20 passes for 153 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in Chicago’s 21-14 loss.

The Bears most likely will have to sign a third quarterback for the roster (or a fourth, assuming they don’t place Cutler on IR, and for now, the Bears don’t have a timetable for his return), and they’ll have to troll the free agent market to do so. Chances are, they won’t get somebody more prepared to play in this offense than Hanie, but an experienced quarterback could add depth and keep Enderle from having to come into the game.

Here is a list of five potential free agents the Bears could target.

BulgerMarc Bulger: This one seems the most obvious, because Bulger worked under Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz when Martz was the head coach in St. Louis. In order for an incoming free agent to have any chance of playing this season for the Bears, he most likely would need to have knowledge of Martz’s style of play. Bulger has that. But Bulger has made it clear he’s not interested in returning to football. He told the Ravens at the beginning of season to give him a call if Joe Flacco suffered an injury, but since then, Bulger has told at least one team that he’s not interested in playing football anymore. Unless Bulger was guaranteed that he would be a backup, the Bears probably should move on.

Chances of this happening: 10 percent

Trent Edwards: After he didn’t make the Raiders squad out of training camp, Edwards actually had a chance to sign with the Dolphins once they lost Chad Henne. But Edwards took one look at that franchise and said thanks, but no thanks (Matt Moore, by the way, is forever grateful). Edwards actually had a decent year as the Bills starter in 2008, but he eventually lost that job to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The problem with Edwards, though, is that he’s not been especially good for the past three years. I mean, if Kyle Boller beats you out of a backup job, that’s not a very good sign.

Chances of this happening: 8 percent
T. Collins struggled in last year's NFC championship game (US Presswire).
Todd Collins: Just because Collins is 40 years old (!) and got yanked for Hanie after Collins briefly replaced Cutler in the NFC championship game last year (as seen in the picture at left) doesn’t mean the Bears shouldn’t look at him anyway. Collins spent a season with Martz, so he should know the offense relatively well. The problem is that Collins has never been anything more than an NFL backup, and if you had to pick between Collins and Enderle, you might be better suited to go with the rookie. But for some reason, I think there’s a chance Chicago could turn back to Collins if things get desperate.

Chances of this happening: 20 percent

Jake Delhomme: If the Bears were looking for a Collins alternative who is four years younger with infinitely more NFL success, they could do worse than Delhomme. That said, Delhomme was a disaster last year in Cleveland and eventually gave way to Colt McCoy. Though there reportedly was interest in him by the Browns and the Dolphins this year, Delhomme isn’t doing much of anything these days (except for sending John Fox congratulatory text messages). Fortunately, the Bears coaching staff would have the ability to watch film from Delhomme’s stay in Cleveland last year. And that should be enough to force the coaches to toss Delhomme’s number in the trash.

Chances of this happening: 5 percent

Brett Favre: Stop it. Just … stop it.

Chances of this happening: 0.5 percent

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Since: Aug 1, 2010
Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:28 am

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

Chicago is in real trouble. With 6 games remaining: Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Seahawks, Packers, and Vikings. One would think they have a shot with at least going 5 -1, especially playing 3 games against the dismal AFC West where only the Broncos are surging. The Chiefs, Seahawks, and Vikings all have QB issues. No one can stop the Packers but with the Bears playing the Packers in the 2nd to last week of the season there is a chance that Rodgers may not play once they wrap up home field advantage. Still the stroll to go 5 -1 or 6 -0 is not going to be easy without a QB with proven winning experience. And what is currently available does not seem too promising. The Bears are 7 - 3 and currently 30th on the waiver wire and are going to put in a claim for Orton. If they manage to land Orton does he really give the Bears a shot at winning? His lackluster first five games with the Broncos this season crippled his chances at securing a decent new contract next season. And based on his season this year with the Broncos does he really have the confidence inside to help the Bears. Acquring Orton may be a disaster, he (Orton) is in precarious situation, and so are the Bears.

Since: Jan 11, 2011
Posted on: November 23, 2011 10:38 am

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

Team beilieves in Haine and so do we fans in Chicago ...........we dont want farve , orton or warner !!

Since: Jun 27, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:30 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

Orlovsky is in Inday, behind Curti Painter. Yikes!

Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:53 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

Think you have it reversed.  Bears are more of an A defensive team and C offensive team.  They are underrated though once again this year but they win with defense and a better than advertised offense.

Since: Jan 23, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:35 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

I heard JaMarcus Russel is available!

Since: May 17, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:26 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?


Since: May 17, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:24 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

One word: FAVRE!

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:03 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

Kurt Warner...  Please come back!
We miss you and you could definitely take the Bears deep into the post season.
You know it!

Since: Dec 20, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:39 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

none of these options are good.  But if I was the Bears and HAD to go after one it would definitely be Marc Bulger.  He already knows Martz.  He's a descent passer etc.  But they would have to offer him good coin for him to bite.  But anyway, Hanie will be good eonugh.  NOT GOOD.  But good enough to squeak by.  Bears will still make the playoffs.  Cutler will be back.  Though not 100%.  Bears will be fine people.  They are one of the most well rounded teams in football.  Maybe the most.  Even the Packers aren't as well rounded as Chicago.  Packers have an A+ offense.  But a D- Defense.  And just an average Special teams.  Chicago has a A- Offense.  B+ defense.  And an A- Special Teams.  With Hanie in there there Offense goes to B- cause they still got Forte.  It'll be fine.  GO BEARS.

Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:11 pm

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

They need a big guy. 6' 4" and up to see over that line. And be able to read his new offense. I wish Dan Orlofsky got a better chance. He has had such bad opportunities. Detroit misfits 0-16. Not much of a shot with Houston. I have seen him play. He has a nice arm and came out of Uconn so he has a brain to read coverage. Anyway. Enough on that. The bears need a new offense. I like Cutler. He is a player. But whichever QB they put in place, the offense shot conform to his playing style not to that of the coaches.

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