Nick Foles trade the latest result in troubling line of Bears' poor drafting 


It turns out the price Ryan Pace paid for Mitch Trubisky will be more than the picks he sent to the San Francisco 49ers to move up one spot in 2017's draft. 

We can now add the Bears’ 2020 fourth-round pick to that total, which was going to be the team’s first compensatory selection in over a decade. It also was going to be the Bears' third-highest selection in this year's draft. 

Because instead of hammering out a long-term extension for Trubisky this offseason — as the Chiefs and Texans can do with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, respectively — Pace had to go trade for a quarterback who might take Trubisky’s job. He had to pay a fourth-round pick, plus a good chunk of money, to see if Trubisky can still be the guy. 

While Pace may not admit his mistake with his words in a press conference, trading for Foles is a tacit mea culpa. This isn’t the sort of move the Bears hoped, or expected, to make three years ago. When you have to have a player so badly that you move up one spot to get him, you don’t plan to do what the Bears did with Foles. 

Pace had four consecutive years with at top-10 pick by virtue of his trade to move up two spots in 2016’s draft (that selection was used on Leonard Floyd). So far, Kevin White didn’t have his fifth year option picked up; Floyd did, then had it rescinded after the Bears came to an agreement with Robert Quinn this week. 

And then there’s Trubisky, who still could have his fifth-year option picked up — the Bears have until early May to make a decision there. The NFL’s new rules on fifth-year options (fully guaranteed, but tied to performance) won’t kick in until 2018 first-round picks become eligible, so Trubisky’s fifth-year option will be guaranteed for injury only. 

So it still could be picked up, but that doesn’t mean Trubisky will make it to a fifth year either. There’s a distinct possibility the Bears have three consecutive top-10 picks not make it to Year 5. 

The Bears had to spend to cover for those high-picked whiffs. First it was Allen Robinson to be the No. 1 receiver White was supposed to be. Then it was Quinn to straight up replace Floyd as a productive edge rusher opposite Khalil Mack. Now it’s Foles, for a fourth-round pick and $21 million guaranteed, entering the picture as insurance in case Trubisky’s regression doesn’t reverse itself. 

That’s not good business when it comes to long-term stability, unfortunately. Maybe those moves will result in a legitimate Super Bowl run in 2020 or 2021, which is what it feels like Pace is loading up for (Robinson, of course, has worked out splendidly). 

If that run happens? Sure, this’ll all be worth it. 

But the Bears had plenty of chances to hit on impact players with top picks. Sacrificing a fourth-round pick for Foles, then, is another aftershock stemming from those missed opportunities. 

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