Written by: John Stocco
Hours ago, reports have surfaced hat former MVP Cam Newton would welcome a trade to the Chicago Bears. As a fan of this organization, I could not be happier. This isn’t just a move that could save the Chicago Bears; it’s a move that could make all the wrongs right. It’s a move that goes deeper than just the stats. The Bears need to take a chance on Cam because there’s an era of Bears football that is on the line, and it could all come to an end sooner than everyone expected if they don’t take the leap of faith.
First and foremost, we have to discuss what this means for Mitch Trubisky. In my opinion it’s almost impossible for me to see the Bears move on from him. Should they? Yes. But here’s where it gets difficult to see that. Bears general manager Ryan Pace went all in on Mitch Trubisky, trading up one spot with the 49ers to secure the pick which was used to select Trubisky over guys like Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson. And while Pace has completely rebuilt this roster and this coaching staff centered around Mitch Trubisky, should the team decide to move on from this guy, he will have to explain to the McCaskey family why he’s moving on after three seasons after changing the landscape of the franchise without getting fired. If Pace can pull that off without getting fired, congratulations you’re the smartest person that has ever worked in football. It just proves that he will stick with Trubisky until it works. The front office, the coaches, and the players love Trubisky as a person; he’s that dude you want to hangout with and have a beer with. Now that’s all well and good, but that shouldn’t stop the Bears from exploring different options at quarterback by bringing in real competition.
The Bears have problems that are not all on the quarterback, but where most of the problems are centered. Last year Matt Nagy was able to hide Trubisky’s flaws by throwing in a lot of gimmick plays, but this year defenses around the NFL figured out those gimmicks and it pushed the Bears back to square one. Matt Nagy had to cut it down to the basics and make things simple for Mitch Trubisky. However, there’s a glaring problem: Trubisky can’t do the simple things. He has a tough time making easy throws, he has a tough time scanning and adjusting to defenses, he’s a one-read quarterback, and he has horrible throwing mechanics that make him look unnatural as a thrower. Could it work out eventually? Maybe, but the Bears don’t have the time to wait on his development. The Bears have a good core group of receivers, running backs, and not to mention, a Super Bowl caliber defense when they’re healthy. Who is that win now quarterback? Cam Newton.
Now getting real here, the Bears have to do their due diligence on Cam’s injury history. The Bears have done a good job of that recently; when the Bears let you go because of an injury, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not even close to the same player you once were. Cameron Meredith is a perfect example of that. When Cam Newton is healthy, he’s easily a top-10 quarterback in football. When you look at Cam’s injury history, however, it sounds like you’re reading the history of an MMA fighter.
2014: Pedal Ankle Ligament Tear Grade 3.
2014: Chest Rib Fracture.
2014: Back Vertebrae Fracture.
2016: Shoulder Torn Rotator Cuff. (Surgery the next year).
2018: Knee Strain Grade 1.
2018: Shoulder (Cam played through it).
2019: Left Foot Injury (Cam played through it).
Cam Newton is 6’5 and weighs roughly 240 pounds. With that big body, playing football through this many injuries behind a bad offensive line and still taking on big hits, I’d say it’s not a shock that we’ve watched a “washed up” Cam Newton the last few years. When you get a healthy Cam Newton, you get a championship caliber quarterback. Look at 2013, where we really saw Cam take that next step he played and started in 16 games: the Panthers went 12-4, Cam threw for 24 TD’s, 13 INT’s, and 3,964 total yards, and was selected to the Pro Bowl. In 2015, Cam Newton won the MVP and led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl. In 2017, Cam’s last healthy season, the Panthers went 11-5. If Cam Newton is healthy, what does he have in Chicago that he didn’t with Carolina? A championship caliber defense? Check. Dependable targets? Check. A running game? Even though the Bears haven’t been able to get that started, I still believe in David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, so check! Cam just needs his health, and if that’s a chance the Bears have to take, why wouldn’t they take it? The Bears must leave no stone unturned because it’s been decades of trying to find answers.
Cam Newton and Matt Nagy are a perfect match. Nagy had to get rid of half of his playbook because Mitch Trubisky can not only comprehend it, he can’t execute it. Cam Newton is a versatile quarterback with speed, athleticism, and arm strength who can execute the head coach’s play calls. Cam isn’t the most accurate passer, but he can make the simple throws to Anthony Miller and Tarik Cohen while also showing off his big arm to one of the best deep threats in the game, Allen Robinson. Cam Newton can also scan a defense and adjust at the line of scrimmage while also opening up the RPO scheme with David Montgomery. Couple that with the unpredictability of Cam Newton’s game, and the Bears would have a balanced offense that can also be unpredictable and keep defenses guessing. The problem right now is that the Bears offense is too predictable because Trubisky is too limited. A Bears offense led by Cam Newton and the pure play calling without the gimmicks by Nagy gives the Bears a legitimate chance at having one of the best offenses in football. With the help of Andy Reid, who was responsible for the resurgence of Alex Smith’s career, why can’t it be the same story for Nagy with Cam Newton? The Bears need to do a few things to help Cam out: revamp the offensive line, and bring in an entire new group of tight ends. Get these areas squared away, and Cam will have everything he needs to succeed in Chicago. If Cam has his health, he has all the tools and the talent around him to find his MVP ways again.
Last and certainly not least, Cam Newton is perfect for the city of Chicago. People outside of Chicago won’t completely understand this, but it’s different here in Chicago. Chicago has two baseball teams that splits the city in half, half of Chicago cares about the Bulls, the other half of Chicago cares about the Blackhawks, but everyone in Chicago comes together and cheers on the Bears. It’s a passionate fan base that is desperate for a Super Bowl, and when you’re a quarterback in the city of Chicago, the pressure of the entire world is on your arm because the Bears have never had a true franchise quarterback. You need to have a special type of personality to thrive in this city. When you’re great, you’re a hero; when you’re failing, you’re a scapegoat. The fans will destroy you for not caring, and the media will rip you apart for not being good enough. Jay Cutler survived the media but because he didn’t care, and the fans hated him more than anyone. Mitch Trubisky has the love from the fans because he cares too much, but is getting destroyed by the media because he’s not good enough. Watch Trubisky whenever you tune into a Bears game. The guy looks like he hasn’t slept in weeks. The weight of the world is on his shoulders and he looks like he’s not big enough for the moment. When it comes to caring, personality, and living up to expectations, Cam Newton is the total package. Cam cares about winning just as much as I or any fan cares about the Bears winning. Cam has the personality to win the city over, he’s intellectual enough to stand up to the media, and he’s good enough to silence the critics.
The Bears have a real chance to make a move that will change their organization for the better, because with all the pieces currently in place for a winning football team, it can’t get much worse if the quarterback position isn’t figured out.