CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Following a disappointing four years with the Chicago Bears, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is heading to Buffalo, after agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the Bills.
Trubisky pick will back up Bills Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen.READ MORE: Family Escapes House Fire In Brighton Park
We’ve agreed to terms with QB Mitchell Trubisky on a one-year contract! #BillsMafia
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) March 18, 2021
A Pro Bowler himself in 2018, Trubisky was 29-21 overall in the regular season in Chicago as a starter, but was 0-2 in the playoffs, and regressed after his promising sophomore season in 2018, never living up to the promise that prompted the Bears to trade up one slot in the 2017 NFL Draft to take him at No. 2 overall, over perennial pro bowlers Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. The Bears gave up four draft picks in trade with San Francisco in order to trade up to select Trubisky out of North Carolina.
In 51 regular-season games (50 starts), Trubisky completed 64% of his throws for 10,609 yards with 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. He had a winning record in three of his four seasons in Chicago, including an 11-3 regular season record in 2018. That season, Trubisky threw for a career-high 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns.
But in 2019, Trubisky regressed, going 8-7 as a starter, with a 63.2% completion percentage, 3,138 yards, and only 17 touchdowns.
Despite the Bears’ 3-0 start last season, Trubisky’s continued decline in play, and was benched for backup Nick Foles in Week 3 against the Falcons, after throwing a costly third-quarter interception. But after Foles suffered an injury in Week 10, Trubisky returned to the starting lineup with six games left in the regular season. After losing his first two starts, Trubisky helped the Bears win three consecutive games en route to a wild-card berth. During the winning streak, Trubisky threw six touchdowns against just two interceptions while completing nearly 71% of his passes, although all three games came against teams with losing records, and ranked among the worst defenses in the league. His best game was against the Vikings in Week 15, when he helped lead the visiting Bears to a 33-27 victory.
Trubisky’s final game as the Bears’ starter took place in the 2020 wild-card round. Facing the heavily-favorited Saints in New Orleans, Trubisky went 19 of 29 for 199 yards with one touchdown in the Bears’ 21-9 loss. The loss stretched the Bears’ postseason winless streak to a full decade, as Chicago has not won a playoff game since advancing to the 2010 NFC Championship Game.READ MORE: Protesters Pack Logan Square Over Police Shooting Of Adam Toledo
Trubisky’s days in Chicago appeared to numbered after the Bears opted not to exercise the fifth-year option on his rookie contract before the 2020 season, and his performance during the year did nothing to show he had developed into the franchise quarterback they had hoped. As the free agency period began this week, the Bears signed veteran Andy Dalton after attempts to trade for Watson or Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson came up short.
While the Bears continue to search for their long-term solution at quarterback, Trubisky will look to resurrect his career in Buffalo for a team that has legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
In Buffalo, Trubisky gets what general manager Brandon Beane called a fresh start and an opportunity to re-establish himself.
“This is a reset for him,” Beane said. “We don’t expect this to be a long-term thing. Hopefully, in a year he’ll get a chance to go back and land a nice contract and a starting job.”
Trubisky replaces veteran Matt Barkley, who was not re-signed after spending the past two-plus seasons as Allen’s backup.
Beane noted the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Trubisky has similar strong-armed and mobile attributes as Allen, who is coming off a breakout season. The third-year starter set numerous single-season passing and scoring records in leading Buffalo to a 13-3 mark.
Trubisky has topped 3,000 yards passing twice, with his best season coming in 2018, when he completed 289 of 434 attempts for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.
Overall, he’s completed 64% of his attempts for 10,609 yards and 64 touchdowns with 37 interceptions.
The Bills won their first AFC East title in 25 years, and also made their deepest playoff run by reaching the AFC championship game for the first time since the 1993 season. Buffalo’s season ended with a loss to Kansas City.
Beane also announced the team reached an agreement to re-sign backup running back Taiwan Jones, who spent much of last season playing on special teams.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Rising Temperatures Through The Weekend But Snow Possible Next Week
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)