Change is welcome in Chicago after a 3-13 season, its worst in more than 30 years, and a third consecutive last-place finish in the NFC North. And change is what the Bears will get.
The eight-year Jay Cutler era, sprinkled with sparks but drenched in disappointment, ended when the Bears released the quarterback at the start of the 2017 league year — right before they signed Mike Glennon to a 3-year, $45 million deal.
This season was going to be pivotal for coach John Fox and his staff in Chicago regardless of who formed the roster. But general manager Ryan Pace, who like Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is entering his third year with the Bears, gambled his own fate and earned the head-scratcher of the offseason award when he traded a haul of picks to draft Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 overall.
Naturally, given the prestige of the position and an already-chaotic situation, quarterback is where we begin to break down the new-look Bears.
Considering draft picks and guaranteed money, no team in the NFL has more invested at quarterback with less evidence to justify its spending. For both Glennon and Trubisky, "upside" is the word used to validate the employment.
While the veteran is viewed as and paid like a stopgap starter, the Bears would be fools not to at least give the rookie a chance in an open competition for the job this year. Trubisky was drafted so high because the Bears believe he can and will be their longtime starter — no need to delay the inevitable if he proves immediately capable.
The good news for whoever starts at quarterback: A strong running game should take away some of the production burden.