Nick Foles still a candidate to be Bears’ starting quarterback

The Bears would love to make a splash this offseason by trading for a franchise quarterback like Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson. But if they can’t pull that off, the fallback option may be sticking with the quarterback they have: Nick Foles.

Foles remains under contract to the Bears at an affordable salary cap number of $6.7 million in 2021. Foles’ dead cap number would be higher than that, so there’s no salary cap incentive for the Bears to get rid of him. Mitchell Trubisky becomes a free agent on March 17 and is not expected to be back in Chicago, but there’s every reason to believe Foles will remain on the roster.

As noted by the Chicago Sun-Times, Bears General Manager Ryan Pace has sounded positive when talking about Foles this offseason.

“I respect the way he handled a lot of adversity this year, not just for himself in the quarterback room,” Pace said. “He was a leader in the room as a starter or as a backup. And . . . when he was playing, there were some things that, in fairness to him, the offensive line was a little unsettled and the run game wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be.”

Pace knows his job is on the line if the Bears don’t improve in 2021, and it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t want to upgrade at quarterback this offseason. But upgrading at quarterback can be easier said than done, and the Bears may survey the scene and find that they can’t get anyone better than Foles.