While some teams around the NFL like the division-rival New England Patriots have been out signing every big-name free agent to hit the market this offseason, the Buffalo Bills have been laying low and making impact signings and keeping their own players. One of the most recent additions was the former second overall draft choice, Mitchell Trubisky.
Fans around the NFL have been questioning the signing and pointing to Trubisky’s numbers during his time in the NFL, and rightfully so. He is widely considered to be one the biggest busts in recent memory. In all fairness to him, he was selected much higher than he should have been and the expectations were far too high.
For the second overall pick, however, 64 touchdowns, 37 interceptions, and a record of 29-21 isn’t going to cut it. Despite being named to the Pro Bowl after the 2018 season and taking home the first-ever Nickelodeon Valuable Player, clearly the most important award in all of sports that wasn’t at all meant to be a meme, things haven’t gone well for Trubisky thus far.
But through all of the downtimes with the Chicago Bears, Trubisky has managed to have his moments where he looked like he could finally turn that corner. Other than the Pro Bowl 2018 season, Trubisky started nine games for the Bears in 2020 going 6-3 with a two to one touchdown to interception ratio. These numbers probably aren’t starting quarterback calibre, but that’s not the role he will play in Buffalo.
The Bills quarterback room should now be set. Josh Allen will obviously be leading the charge as long as he is healthy, Trubisky will spend the season in the backup role, and Jake Fromm will need to battle to prove that he is worth having some kind of role for the 2021 season.
“The Bills are giving QB Mitch Trubisky a 1-year deal worth $2.5M, source said,” said Ian Rapoport in a Tweet. “He’ll back up Josh Allen and hit the market a year from now.”
For some context about how that dollar value compares to what the Bills previously had in Matt Barkley, they were paying him $2,000,000 per season. Barkley never saw big playing time with the Bills, and while he was beloved by a portion of the fan base, he wasn’t a player you would be able to trust to start a handful of important games. That is something Brandon Beane clearly agrees with.
It’s certainly an upgrade, but Beane doesn’t expect Trubisky to be with the Bills for long, so it might be a bit of a band-aid for a position that would need adjusting again in one year's time.
“We don’t expect him to be here long term,” Beane said. “This is a kind of a one-year (deal), probably (was) not in his plans when he was drafted where he was. But we hope it’s a great reset for him.”
“We were a game away from the Super Bowl and injures happen, and this guy has won 29 games, 50 starts,” Beane said. “He’s got a good resume even though he’s a younger player. We know how Josh plays. Josh is not scared to try and lower his pads or take a hit and if Josh was out a few games or something like that, we want to make sure we have the best player we can. It’s like any other position for depth. Whether it’s a backup tackle, a backup defensive lineman, whatever, you’ve got your starters, and you’ve got your depth players. We just think Mitchell will come in here and is excited to join in the mix, assuming he’s the backup or whatever, if Josh goes down, with his experience he would be able to keep the ship afloat until Josh got back in the lineup.”
If you wouldn’t believe it when the fans said it, you should trust that Beane knows what he is doing. This is the same coaching staff who took Josh Allen from meme to MVP contender in one off-season. Right now, there is no reason to believe that Trubisky could obtain that level of success, but being in the Bills' environment and working with Allen could help him take the next step of becoming a competent NFL quarterback.
It’s not often that you have such a low-risk high-reward signing like this. If Trubisky can’t turn things around and improve on his game, you can simply let him walk and look into the backup position again next offseason, but if he can improve, he might help you in the event Allen can’t play.