Opinion: Russell Wilson Is Probably Not Coming to Chicago but We Found the QB That Should
13 min read

Opinion: Russell Wilson Is Probably Not Coming to Chicago but We Found the QB That Should

You may be thinking, “Oh look...another trade rumors article…skip...” That’d be a mistake.
Opinion: Russell Wilson Is Probably Not Coming to Chicago but We Found the QB That Should

Listen, I get it. No matter your favorite sport, the offseason can feel empty. In every offseason there's a point where any fanbase, addicts really, begin to hunt for any and all whispers of a rumor and scour for any and all morsels and tidbits of information they can muster in a desperate search for action. Action, ACTION, ACTION! Action of any kind. And the media is all too happy to indulge their vice.

That's okay, I'm a fan, too, and I’m a sucker for the gossip as much as any other. Sports are big business, after all, and it's the reason why every major sports league in this country is trying to use things like trade gossip to bridge that offseason gap and turn themselves into a year-round spectacle. I always find myself smirking and rolling my eyes when the general public reaches the point in an offseason where the trade rumors really start to fly but I also admit I find myself teasing friends and playing along with the atmosphere.

No matter how absurd or random the information the rumor stems from, there's always a contingent that believes everything 100% and allows themselves to run wild with the possibilities.

"I heard from a pretty solid source that [PLAYER X] wants to come to {FAVORITE TEAM]…nevermind the source is really a friend of a friend of the janitor at [PLAYER X]'s favorite lunch spot who was looking over his shoulder and saw [PLAYER X] reading a DM from some girl on a social media app I haven't heard of yet telling him where she wants to eat when he takes her on a date when he visits [FAVORITE TEAM]'s city…WHAT IF [FAVORITE TEAM] gets [PLAYER X] bro?!"

I admit, it's fun.

Which brings me to the latest offseason super-drama involving the Chicago Bears and Russell Wilson.

Last week, seemingly out of nowhere, the rumors started swirling that Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks wanted to be traded and that the Chicago Bears was one of his preferred destinations.

Naturally, the places in the heart of Chicago sports social media exploded with whatever memes qualify as the 2021 version of a Sally Field Academy Award acceptance speech. Naturally, the front office was ambushed with follow-up questions and demands to know what, specifically, they were going to do with this newfound information that is most certainly 100% guaranteed to be true and that could not possibly mean anything less than a guaranteed Super Bowl victory.



Now, I'm not going to pretend I didn't have some choice words and spicy opinions about Ryan Pace during his years with the Bears. Back when we were allowed to go to bars and socialize with other people, I'm not going to pretend I didn't deliver a drunken soliloquy or ten to any and all assembled barflies who would listen to my Sunday afternoon sermons, nor am I going to pretend there is not more of my postgame poetry to come.

But I'm always ready to proselytize…

Don’t get me wrong, while I wouldn't dare criticize something like Ryan Pace’s impressive, nay intimidating, hair genetics (I mean, the man's hairline was either a gift from God or he's been on some form of Minoxidil since he was 12) but, the quality of his future coifs and his unfortunate loss of potential earnings from all that bottomless O'Hare billboard endorsement money aside, I've been critical of many of his moves if not his immovable hairline.

That said, if there's one thing Ryan Pace has proved to me over the years it's that, good or bad, whether he's trading up to draft an inexperienced quarterback or trading for a Mack truck, Ryan Pace is not shy about making the big move.

Sure, I could spend a few paragraphs with obscure statistics arguing why, if Russell Wilson were truly available and truly wanted to come to Chicago, Ryan Pace would need to at least make the phone call and find out the price, but I find trade rumor articles to be a bit silly and there's no real fun in them for me. I don't know, maybe it's a testament to the quality of player Russell Wilson is or the well-known struggles of the Chicago Bears to find a quarterback for…erm…most of its existence as an organization…but Pace knows. He doesn't need that lecture from yet another someone like me. And every Bears fan with half a brain should understand and know why, if Russell Wilson is truly available and truly wants to come to Chicago, Pace needs to make that call and every Bears fan should know why Wilson would be welcomed and appreciated and hugged with open arms for wanting to be the quarterback of the Chicago Bears. None of you need that lecture from yet another someone like me, either.

Does Russell Wilson truly want to come to Chicago? Maybe. Would I like to see Russell Wilson be a Chicago Bear? Sure. Of course. Even a recovering cynic like me would like to see what Wilson could do. I can actually see why Wilson would want to come here and I can see why he would want out of Seattle, especially after the Arizona Cardinals were able to bring in J.J. Watt.

I just don't think Russell Wilson is truly available. The math doesn't add up. The suddenness of the information doesn't pass the smell test.

But, since the topic of quarterback is seemingly always on the Chicago Bears fan's mind, and since we do things a little different here at the Chicago Journal, we wouldn't dare leave you with something so pedestrian. Ew. Our trade rumor articles are far more ridiculous.

So you don’t have to, I went searching for exactly who the Chicago Bears need at quarterback. And, you're in luck, I found him. I discovered the one quarterback currently in the league who is the guy. I found the next great quarterback for the Chicago Bears organization.

How did I do this?

Analytics? Pssh. Game theory? Rubbish. Absurdly compensated a private firm of former financial tech options trading programmers to write an algorithm so advanced that it blurs the line between researcher and artificial intelligence? Don’t make me laugh.

I’ve had a long held theory that, for teams and organization caught in a rut or stuck in a vicious cycle of mediocrity, they can not become successful again until they do a deep dive into the Akashic Records, venture into the underworld and confront Hades, slay the dragon and save the damsel within their soul, travel to the depths of their psyche and discover their true sense of self and their identity. Call it serendipity, kismet, providence, fate, destiny, divine intervention, or whatever synonym you wish to choose, it's an ancient piece of the great mystery as inexplicable as the cosmos itself but one that must be done before the organization realizes greatness once more.

My little theory takes some expounding upon and elucidation to properly describe and define, but it's no coincidence that when you think of Yankees baseball success you think of exorbitant payrolls and clean shaven, if not clean living, power pitchere and murderer's rows. It's no coincidence that showtime basketball means purple and gold banners in the rafters. It's no coincidence that the city of Boston simply needs to find and build around generational individual talents like Bill Russell, Larry Bird, or Tom Brady to see continued success for about a decade to a decade and a half. It's no coincidence that the Bears' biggest rivals to the north must find a hall of fame quarterback to win them a championship every 20-30 years. It's no coincidence that the Chicago Cubs spent 108 years lovably losing in friendly futility until they focused on the infield in humble deference to the grace of the sports gods and the timeless poetry found in Tinkers, to Evers, to Chance.

Those are just some quick examples off the top of my head but it's the successful sports teams and organizations that, as they acquire more and more clues toward this identity and those that find more pieces of the puzzle that make them whole and continue to follow these little breadcrumbs and notice the patterns of who they are, success continues to come to them. Surround them in it. Envelope them in it. Make it feel as if they're floating toward the faraway stars being held up only by what can beat be described as the Ancient Greek element aether.

Yes, this little theory works for individuals, families, companies, cities, and even nations, too. And yes, I'm aware I sound like a crazy person. It's okay, I've been called worse.

Does this theory always work? Of course not.

A team or organization can accidentally discover their identity in a variety of ways and they can discover it by searching for it and through taking great risks, they can stumble upon it by random chance, or they can discover it by just plain old dumb luck. How they discover it doesn't particularly matter, but every little piece of their historical success is another clue leading them through time and space in the realization of the self and who they are. It's the prudent and the wise that are prepared and waiting, those who are consistently looking for these little hints, that I've found are often the most successful in any field or industry.

You may counter me with something like, "But Craig, look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year…they just went out and got Tom Brady."

While true, as I mentioned above, there are many variables constantly at play and I mentioned this theory works on individuals or families or communities just as it does on a sports organization as a whole. Tom Brady's Winning Golden Boy Identity, combined of course with his leadership, determination, and general theory of waging a Great War against time and historical precedent itself, was enough to overcome any previous identity the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization may have had and it was Brady's spiritual emanation that dragged that organization with him. It's a sign of a great leader and a humble willingness of an organization to recognize and follow such a hero sprinkled with magic dust and to do all they can to be a part of that. Plus, as with anything, there are always black swan events.

You get the idea, I'm sure…

So how does this relate to Chicago Bears football? What is their identity? Who is the guy that the Chicago Bears organization should target to center and find themselves and their true sense of purpose? Who is the guy that can help them find their way home again and take their rightful place in the NFL's halls of glory of as a charter member and founding franchise?

The clues are all there, right in front of you. The pieces of the puzzle have been laid out in front of you on the table…

When you think of the Bears identity, what first comes to mind? My guess is defense. The Monsters of the Midway. The '85 Bears had one of the best defenses the league has ever seen and, if you don't believe me, just listen to any sports talk radio station in this town for 20 minutes and someone with the last name that ends with -ski will be happy to remind you. But more, names like Butkus, Singletary, Urlacher, Dent, Hampton, Mongo, George, Atkins, Turner, and the rest contribute to the long lore of defenders that occupy Canton and the tongues of tailgaters outside Soldier Field.

Okay, the Bears have to have a strong defense. We've established that. Check.

Next, while Bears fans haven't witnessed much greatness at quarterback, they have seen some of the greatest runners and most exciting players to play the game. The Galloping Ghost, The Kansas Comet, and the simple but perfect Sweetness. At one time or another, all would be nicknames known in households throughout the land. Though his nickname never took off as the others did, it remains true that, with 100 yards and 11 opposing players running full speed to take his head off in front of him, Devin Hester was one of the most exciting and talented players to step on the field in this century or the last.

Okay, so the Bears simply need to find a legendary, game-changing runner. Shouldn't be a problem, right? Just go do it, duh.

But this is about the quarterback position. As most everyone knows, the quarterback position in the modern NFL is one of the most important positions in all of sports and a team needs a franchise quarterback to inspire and build around for continued success. What could the Chicago Bears franchise possibly need to do at QB in order to satisfy the football gods?

Old timers will immediately imagine Sid Luckman as the model, prototypical Bears quarterback. Sid Luckman and the T-Formation won the Chicago Bears four championships in the 1940s and he's considered one of the best passers of his era. But that era clearly didn't feature as much passing as it does now, as Sid Luckman’s 137 passing touchdowns place him 97th on the all-time list, would attest. For comparison, Patrick Mahomes has 114 passing touchdowns through 3 seasons, and Tom Brady currently leads with 581 passing touchdowns and counting. Hey reader, quick note, did you know that Sid Luckman's Father, Meyer Luckman, was tied up in the Jewish mafia and was sentenced to 20-years-to-life in Sing Sing prison for killing his brother-in-law, Sid's Uncle, while Sid was a freshman at Columbia College?

Wild stuff. That last bit, of course, I don't mean to impart any connotation on Sid Luckman the man, nor do I mean it should indicate a necessity or requirement for any future quarterback to have a similar personal history. I'm just pointing it out for my larger theme.

Still, a younger generation than Luckman's but most definitely old-timers in our present sense would know the Chicago Bears greatest recent success can best be outlined with now infamous song lyrics:

I'm the punky QB known as McMahon
When I hit the turf, I've got no plan
I just throw my body all over the field
I can't dance, but I can throw the pill
I motivate the cats, I like to tease
I play so cool; I aim to please
That's why you all got here on the double
To catch me doin' the Super Bowl Shuffle

While the lyrics to the Super Bowl Shuffle may make songwriters like Bob Dylan, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Smokey Robinson, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, or whoever else you want to name, cringe and shed a tear onto their scattered sheet music, the Super Bowl Shuffle still deserves its place in the Great American Songbook and, more importantly for the purposes of this piece, helps us narrow down our search for the next Chicago Bears quarterback.

Love him or hate him, Jay Cutler holds many of the Chicago Bears passing records. Love him or hate him - and he doesn't give a damn either way - Jay Cutler had an attitude and a playing style that fit some sort of unknown historic mold in which the football gods saw value. It's our opinion that Jay could have been and likely should have been "the guy" but the front office, be it through coaching or player development, could never really figure out how to complete the Jay Cutler puzzle. But, though Jay's moved on to bigger ancient spiritual battles like defending his chickens on his Tennessee ranch, his legacy in Bears history remains…love him or hate him.

So, based on all this totally relevant and not at all ridiculous and insane analysis, who is the Chicago Bears' guy?

I've already told you he's currently in the league, right now. Have you guessed, yet?

I'd love if there were really a scenario where I could see him coming to Chicago, but it's not Russell Wilson. After Ryan Pace passed on Deshaun Watson in the Trubisky draft, I think it'd be impossible for Pace to correct that slight and I doubt Watson would have an interest in being anyone's sloppy seconds. Though Jimmy Garoppolo is a native Illinois boy and a handsome son of a gun that all the Chicago advertising and marketing teams would drool over, I don't see him as the right man to sell us Diana Pearl colored countertops in the future. Dak is now signed to Dallas. Though Fitzpatrick has a formidable attitude he could bring to the role, guys like Fitzpatrick, Rivers, or Ryan are simply a little too old to be what we're looking for. Alex Smith? Great story and I wish him the best, but no thanks. Haskins found his best fit in Pittsburgh and I think Tomlin will be great for him. Cam Newton? Nah. Heinicke or Allen in Washington? I don't see it.

You must have figured it out by now?

The next great Bears quarterback does not have to be the perfect passer, the next great Bears quarterback does not have to be the greatest leader of men, but the next great Bears quarterback needs to fit Chicago and Chicago needs to fit him.

The next great Chicago Bears quarterback needs to be a tavern on every corner. The next great Chicago Bears quarterback needs to be the tongue-in-cheek smirk behind an irrational hatred of ketchup. The next great Chicago Bears quarterback needs to be the aftertaste of the Malört before being washed down with the Old Style.

Know what I mean?

All right, we'll just say it.

Ladies and gentlemen, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears future is…

Flint Garnder Minshew II
Gardner Minshew is the next great Chicago Bears quarterback. It's written in the stars.

If there's one quarterback in the NFL right at this moment that can bring a genuine air of "I don't care what you think about me" attitude, if there's one quarterback in the NFL right at this moment that can not play an act but be the new punky QB, if there's one quarterback in the NFL right at this moment whose father may or may not be insane (but in the good way not the Sid Luckman's father way), it's Flint Gardner Minshew II.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are all but certain to draft Trevor 'Sunshine' Lawrence, one of the most NFL ready college quarterbacks in recent memory. That means the man, the myth, the next Chicago Bears legend, Flint Gardner Minshew II, needs a new home.

It certainly won't take nearly as much to get Minshew as it would take to get Russell Wilson. While I don't dislike him as much as some others, Mitchell Trubisky may need a change of pace and Jacksonville could use a solid backup with a similar style if Trevor Lawrence gets in trouble or injured. And who better to teach his playoff magic and blend it with Minshew Magic than "Big Dick" Nick Foles showing "Jock Strap" the way?

It just...makes...sense.

He's there, Ryan Pace. He's waiting for you. He's waiting for all of us. The football gods are waiting, too. They desperately want to smile upon the Chicago Bears again.

At 24 years old, it's time for Gardner Minshew to realize his destiny. It's time for the Gardner Minshew era to begin in Chicago.

Welp, my work is done here. I feel I've made everything perfectly clear and it needs no further discussion.

Save your job, Ryan Pace. Make the call, not to Seattle, make the call to Jacksonville.

Scratch that. Don't make the call for yourself, Ryan, make the call for us. Make the call for the football gods. Make the call for the soul of the universe.

And sign Allen Robinson while you're at it. I mean...jeez, come on dude, don't be crazy...

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