For any team looking at their quarterback depth chart right now, wondering how they can improve in 2022, pending free agent Mitchell Trubisky has to at least appear like an intriguing option.
After four rollercoaster seasons in Chicago, three of which were paired with Matt Nagy, who has since been fired and not re-hired elsewhere, nobody really knows what to expect of Trubisky.
Here are the facts.
- Selected No. 2 overall in 2017
- 28 years old at the start of next season
- 29-21 career W-L record as a starter
- Led his team to playoffs in two of his four seasons
- Entering 2022 free agency
Comparing Mitchell Trubisky to other free agent quarterbacks
Alright, so you’re an NFL organization that desperately needs to add to the QB room, yet maybe you feel your team is built to compete right now. This likely means drafting and starting a quarterback to bring you to the playoffs in 2022 is not an option.
- Carolina Panthers
- Denver Broncos
- Indianapolis Colts
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Washington Commanders
All the above teams may feel they fall into that immediate contender category. Not necessarily for a Super Bowl, but at least a playoff spot. In some organizations, they’re beginning to feel the heat, which means another season stuck in mediocrity won’t cut it.
It doesn’t seem feasible that the Bucs would turn to the draft again after selecting Kyle Trask a season ago. Of the teams listed, perhaps the Panthers and Steelers turning to the draft makes the most sense.
In this random scenario, that leaves the Broncos, Colts and Commanders all possibly vying for the services of:
- Jameis Winston
- Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Andy Dalton
- Tyrod Taylor
- Teddy Bridgewater
- Marcus Mariota
- Mitchell Trubisky
Of that list, there are maybe three quarterbacks who could feasibly bring their team to the playoffs next season with the right supporting cast. Of the seven listed, Mariota and Trubisky have the highest potential other than Winston. But he’s still recovering from ACL surgery and is widely expected to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints.
Basically, there’s a scenario where Trubisky lands a contract that pays him market value to be a team’s starting quarterback to begin the 2022 season.
Otherwise, there’s always the possibility Trubisky rejoins coach Daboll in New York, pushing Daniel Jones at every turn.
Buffalo Bills provided perfect learning opportunity for Trubisky
Sure, it’s easy to think back on Mitchell Trubisky’s time with the Chicago Bears as a total disaster, but that wasn’t quite the case. Many forget, Trubisky had a solid season his second year in the league, in which he even received Pro Bowl honors after several other QBs dropped out. Still, his numbers were respectable.
- Mitchell Trubisky stats (2018): 66.6%, 3,223 passing yards, 24 TD, 12 INT
As soon as Trubisky signed with the Buffalo Bills, it appeared to be a dream pairing from a development perspective. It was an interesting career move for Trubisky. He likely had other opportunities in which he could have had an easier path to getting on the field during the 2021-22 season, but he didn’t. Instead, he wanted an inside look at how Josh Allen went from being one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in recent time to a true superstar seemingly over the course of one offseason.
It’s hard not to draw some parallels to the two QBs. While Trubisky will never have the arm cannon Allen has, the athleticism is similar. Trubisky has never been afraid to use his legs to move the chains, and sometimes doesn’t shy away from contact, just like Allen.
From a passing perspective, we’ve already seen Trubisky have some success, but it’s possible his confidence was brought down from the struggles in Chicago. Nagy didn’t appear to help matters.
Now Trubisky has had a full year to get back to square one, correcting any mechanical mistakes he may have fallen into during his struggles. The Bills had a wonderful support staff from Brian Daboll, Ken Dorsey, and obviously even Allen himself to help Trubisky improve.
“Going to Buffalo really opened my eyes,” Trubisky said. “After being in Chicago for four years, there was only one way I knew how to do things. [Being] in Buffalo and [having] a different way of doing things, you learn what’s possible. It helped me get back to instinctual football and using my talents rather than overthinking.”
“When guys are playing free, you can be at your best,” Trubisky said. “I wanted to learn how [the Bills] helped Josh, and I saw that firsthand.”
Mitchell Trubisky on time in Buffalo (H/t to Pro Football Talk)
Reports out of Buffalo have been very positive regarding Trubisky’s time with the Bills. Some players have even touted his abilities, suggesting he’s well on his way to becoming a starter once again.
No one should be surprised if Trubisky emerges from a year in Buffalo as a refined passer, ready to show everyone he deserves to be an NFL starting quarterback. With how many franchises are expected to seek an improvement at the QB position, Trubisky just might be among the best options available.
Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold, or Mitchell Trubisky? Who would you rather have leading your team in 2022? If the first two have to be acquired by spending draft capital, plus come attached with high salaries, why wouldn’t an organization prefer to simply take a chance on signing Trubisky to a one-year prove-it deal? What’s the worst that could happen?
Best case scenario, they uncover a franchise quarterback who’s still just 28 years old. Landing such an asset in free agency would be the steal of the offseason.