Bears Rumors: Chicago Seeking Veteran QB; Dalton, Mariota, Keenum Linked

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2020

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Even with Mitchell Trubisky expected to remain the starter, the Chicago Bears want to add more options at quarterback this offseason.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the team is looking to add a veteran who likely has "pedigree and extensive starting experience."

That could reportedly include Marcus Mariota and Case Keenum as free agents or Andy Dalton in a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Each has started at least 60 games in his career and began last season as a starter.

Keenum had eight starts with the Washington Redskins, producing a 91.3 quarterback rating with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions before being benched in favor of rookie Dwayne Haskins.

Dalton had been the Bengals' starter for nine seasons but struggled along with the rest of his team last season, throwing 16 touchdown passes in 13 games while going 2-11. Though he survived a brief benching for Ryan Finley, the Bengals will likely move forward this offseason with LSU'sΒ Joe Burrow, who they'll surely draft first overall.

It was a different situation for Mariota in 2019, as the Titans were competitive after his benching in favor of Ryan Tannehill. The former Dolphin took the team to the AFC Championship Game, and Mariota was just 2-4 as a starter with a career-low 171.9 passing yards per game.

He has been disappointing as the 2015 No. 2 overall pick, but he could potentially succeed in a Matt Nagy offense that puts the quarterback on the move while featuring a lot of short passes.

At the very least, this type of addition might help push Trubisky, who is coming off a brutal 2019 after coming in with high expectations. After producing a total QBR of 70.8 in 2018, the number dropped to 40.6 last year for an offense that finished 29th in the league in both points and yards.

The Bears are still sticking with the 2017 No. 2 pick for now, with general manager Ryan Pace affirming his commitment this week.

"We believe in Mitch," Pace said, perΒ Larry MayerΒ of the team's official site. "Mitch knows he needs to be better. We need to be better around him. And that's our goal."

It seems improving around him includes getting a better alternative at quarterback besides Chase Daniel, who filled the backup role the last two years.