It's beginning to feel like there's a better chance the Bears will trade for Mitch Trubisky's eventual training-camp competition instead of signing a quarterback in free agency, especially with the Cincinnati Bengals' willingness to move veteran incumbent Andy Dalton and the Jaguars openly making Nick Foles available at an expected discounted rate.
This is good news for the Bears, who can use their free-agent resources on other positions like tight end and the offensive line. Trading for a player like Dalton or Foles will obviously come along with an existing contract and a starting quarterback salary, but they'll avoid the bidding-war inflation that happens when quarterback-needy teams fight over the limited supply on the open market.
So, will the Bears actually pull the trigger on a trade? According to Sportsline.com, they are one of the top candidates to make a move for Foles. In fact, they have been given the second-best odds to make a trade, behind only the Indianapolis Colts.
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Here's the problem: What will it cost the Bears (in terms of draft picks) to actually pull off a deal?
Neither Foles or Dalton should cost all that much. Their respective trade markets will be mild, at best. As a result, GM Ryan Pace, who should soon be armed with a fourth-round compensatory pick, could flip that extra selection into a veteran quarterback, if he so chooses.
The more logical fit is Dalton, who has a long resume as a starter but is without the miraculous runs (including a Super Bowl victory) that Foles has pulled off over the last few seasons.
Dalton's experience with Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and his consistent (if unspectacular) play on the field over his nine-year career will give Pace the kind of confidence he needs to target him over Foles, who but for those miracle moments hasn't been very good as an NFL starter.
It's not a matter of if the Bears will add a quarterback at this point; it's a matter of who and how. As for the how part? Expect a trade. It just makes too much sense.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.