The Chicago Bears have their QB in Justin Fields for the foreseeable future. What they don’t have, however, is a long-term backup behind him. Currently the Bears have Trevor Siemian, Nathan Peterman, and Tim Boyle in the building as backup QBs to Fields. The only problem? None have the same playstyle as Fields; not even close. Boyle and Peterman aren’t NFL quality but that doesn’t matter as they are third-string. Siemian has proven himself to be a low-end starter and a good backup, but he is a quick game pocket passer; he is not a mobile, long-developing deep shot pocket passer. In other words, in the event of an injury, the Bears have to change their entire scheme in a week to prepare for the next game; it doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things this season, but if the Bears want to be competitive in future years and even in the event of a Fields injury, they’d do good to develop a backup behind him in the same mold, the way the Ravens did with Tyler Huntley behind Lamar Jackson, which kept them competitive last season. And lest we forget how well the Philadelphia Eagles did in 2017 and 2018 with Nick Foles as the backup QB replacing Carson Wentz down the stretch. With that said, let’s bring up some options for the Bears to consider adding to a QB room featuring Justin Fields and Trevor Siemian next season.

Veteran Options (UFA)

PJ Walker, Carolina Panthers

Walker showed off an absolute cannon and mobility when he completed a nearly 70 yard bomb to DJ Moore to tie the game against the Atlanta Falcons. It was the longest tracked throw by NFL’s Next Gen Stats. Walker has probably performed the best of the putrid Carolina Panthers QBs. That said, with a new regime coming in, Carolina will look to completely change up the QB position in 2023, so Walker will likely be available, and would be the cheapest veteran on this list.

Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins

Bridgewater put up a lot of empty calories for Miami while Tua was out, and the Dolphins didn’t win a game with him. That said, he is still a capable game-manager who can do more than Siemian and therefore would not force Luke Getsy to overhaul the offense completely. He went 5-0 with a strong Saints team in 2019. If Ryan Poles builds up the team properly, Bridgewater could recreate that success in a worst-case scenario for the Bears.

Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns

Brissett has played pretty well for the Cleveland Browns as a temporary starter. He might be able to compete for a starting job next season. If not, he will be highly sought-after as a backup. He is not as mobile as Justin Fields, but he is a capable backup who again can do more than Siemian. One thing he does better than Fields as the moment is throw jump-balls, which would benefit a guy like Chase Claypool.

Draft Options (2023)

I will preface this by saying that I have 0 idea where any of these QBs will go in the draft, as after Bryce Young and CJ Stroud it is anyone’s guess. But with the Bears excess of selections, picking a QB late may be a good idea.

Hendon Hooker, Tennessee Volunteers

Hooker has broken out the past couple of seasons and was a heisman candidate this year up until Tennesee dropped out of the playoff race. Unfortunately, Hooker tore his ACL and likely won’t be ready for NFL training camp. He also is already 25, which hurts his draft stock. Those factors combined could drop him to day 3, and if he falls far enough, the Bears could get a fantastic backup for cheap, one who can use his legs very effectively and loves throwing the deep ball.

KJ Jefferson, Arkansas Razorbacks

Jefferson had a breakout 2021, and played decently this year as well, though he dealt with many injuries. He has two years of eligibility remaining, so he may not come out, but if he does, he has great size and is a power runner. He has a lot of tools but still needs to improve on his accuracy.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA Bruins

DTR has a lot of experience; he has been UCLA’s starter for 4 years straight. He has improved every season both as a passer and as a runner. He went toe to toe with USC’s Caleb Williams in their final matchup in the Rose Bowl. He has a ton of potential, even if he is a little undersized and doesn’t have the same arm strength as Justin Fields.

Malik Cunningham, Louisville Cardinals

Cunningham is a poor man’s Lamar Jackson. Great runner, not great accuracy, a little undersized, maybe the only good player on his team. Seeing as the Bears have been implementing a Greg-Roman-like Ravens and 49ers offense, Cunningham fits the bill for a developmental backup.

Michael Penix Jr, Washington Huskies

Penix has a fantastic deep ball just like Hooker. He is a true pocket-passer, as he is not as mobile as he once was due to multiple knee injuries. Still, the hefty lefty has been great all season, and if he goes into the draft, he should be on the Bears list for QBs.

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