The Bears are bucking a trend with their rookie QB situation

There is still just under a month to go until the 2024 NFL Draft officially gets underway, but it’s already abundantly clear that the Chicago Bears will be spending their No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback, presumably Caleb Williams. That was reinforced a couple of weeks ago when they traded Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers, leaving them with Tyson Bagent and Brett Rypien as the only two quarterbacks on the roster. Between them, they have started just nine games with 311 passing attempts in their careers.

Despite Rypien’s familiarity with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and Bagent’s serviceable debut last year, neither player is a threat to start over Williams or whoever the Bears wind up drafting. More than likely, Chicago will turn the reins over to the rookie signal caller almost immediately and forgo putting an experienced veteran ahead of him on the depth chart heading into training camp and the regular season.

Starting a rookie quarterback immediately is more common in the NFL over the last 15 years or so, but the Bears haven’t followed suit with their recent first-round quarterbacks. In fact, based on data from Pro Football Reference, this will be the first time in team history that a first-round rookie quarterback will start in Week 1, barring a surprise. The only time a rookie quarterback began the season as a starter was Kyle Orton back in 2005 and that was due to injury.

The “start him or sit him” debate has been around for a long time and the Bears have chosen the latter every single time. Here are some of the most recent examples of the Bears prioritizing veteran players instead of rookies and how each situation turned out.

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Title: The Bears are bucking a trend with their rookie QB situation
Author: Brendan Sugrue

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