GM Ryan Pace: Bears 'Believe' in Mitch Trubisky After Declining Contract Option

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis. Th Bears have declined their fifth-year option for Trubisky for the 2021 season, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday, May 2, 2020. The move is hardly a surprise considering the way Trubisky struggled in his third season since the Bears drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said Thursday the organization hasn't lost faith in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky despite declining the fifth-year option in his rookie contract for the 2021 NFL season. 

Pace discussed the situation during an appearance on WSCR Radio (via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times).

"We've always had the approach that we're honest and we're truthful with our players and our staff, and we move on and we get to work," he said. "... Mitch gets it. Everyone's competing. Everyone's focused on better results. That's the entire team. That starts with me and everybody. We believe in Mitch—that doesn't change."

Trubisky looked like a star on the rise in 2018, his second NFL season, after a rocky rookie campaign. He completed 66.6 percent of his throws for 3,223 yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions across 14 games. He added 421 rushing yards and three scores on the ground.

The University of North Carolina product ranked third in ESPN's Total QBR (71.0) that year, and his success raised expectations for the Bears heading into 2019.

He couldn't build off his breakout season, though, recording just 17 passing touchdowns in 15 games en route to ranking 34th in passer rating (83.0) and 28th in Total QBR (39.5).

"I haven't played the way I wanted to play in a lot of these games, and that's frustrating," Trubisky told reporters in December. "You try to look at some of the positives, but I just continue to stay hard on myself and know that I've got to be better."

His lackluster play led the Bears front office to acquire veteran Nick Foles in a March trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They'll compete for the starting job during training camp and the preseason.

Oddsmakers have installed Foles as the heavy favorite (-320; bet $320 to win $100) to win that competition.

Trubisky, the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, has flashed the ability to become a franchise quarterback, but if he's unable to beat out Foles, the Super Bowl LII MVP who's otherwise been mostly mediocre throughout his career, then 2020 will likely mark the end of his time in Chicago.

Pace, the Bears GM since 2015, doesn't sound ready to totally give up on one of the most prominent draft picks of his tenure, though.