OPINION: Mitch Trubisky should be Bills' backup quarterback

The Bears' starting quarterback will be a free agent in March

With Matt Barkley's contract expiring, backup quarterback is one of the more interesting positions to see what the Buffalo Bills will do this offseason.

Jake Fromm and Davis Webb are in-house candidates to be Josh Allen's backup, or they could just re-sign Barkley. That's no fun.

In a series of ideas I have for the Bills at backup quarterback, Mitch Trubisky is first up.

The Chicago Bears did not pickup Trubisky's fifth-year option last year, so he will be an unrestricted free agent in March. What the Bears plan to do under center remains to be seen, but there's a good chance it doesn't involve the former second overall pick from four years ago.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported on Jan. 10 that Trubisky would need to go on a deep playoff run to be the Bears' future at quarterback. He scored three points before a garbage time touchdown in a Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints.

A quarterback that the Bills were reportedly infatuated with in the pre-draft process in 2017 is likely going to be on the open market, and I don't see him getting a starting job anywhere.

In a world where Sam Darnold and Jameis Winston will likely struggle to find starting gigs, is Trubisky going to land one?

If he has to settle for a backup role, the Bills make plenty of sense, and Trubisky makes plenty of sense for the Bills.

What I'd like to see in the Bills' next backup is a guy that fits as many of Allen's traits as possible, without having to automatically declare the season over if Allen were to ever go down.

Trubisky gives the Bills one big upgrade over Barkley - mobility.

The Bills like to use Allen in designed run packages. They obviously throw all of that out the window with Barkley. Trubisky was not the rushing threat in Chicago that Allen is in Buffalo, but he gave them enough to have designed quarterback run plays of their own.

Since entering the league in 2017, the only quarterbacks with more rushing yards than Trubisky are Kyler Murray, Allen, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Lamar Jackson.

Where Trubisky doesn't fit, which is common among backup quarterbacks in the league, is pushing the ball down the field. If Allen were to get injured, a Trubisky-led Bills offense would, no doubt, be focused on passes inside of 15 yards.

Underneath routes to Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley, screens to Devin Singletary, and finding any way to get the ball in the hands of playmakers without taking chances downfield. That's a Trubisky offense. It's not ideal, but it could work.

With a lesser fleet of weapons in Chicago, Trubisky managed a record of 29-21, including two playoff appearances. At the very least, he could keep the ship afloat while waiting for Allen to return.

One hiccup that could come about with Trubisky is money. Being a young backup quarterback that was once a high draft pick, some may feel he still has upside that commands more dollars than a Barkley.

A comparable, in this scenario, is Marcus Mariota with the Las Vegas Raiders. Mariota was a failed second overall pick, just like Trubisky, that landed a backup job with the Raiders. It was a two-year deal for $17.6 million with a team option in the second year.

If Allen signs a mega-extension this offseason, his cap figure for 2021 shouldn't change. Allen will come in at a $6.9 million cap hit next season, meaning the Bills can at least afford to pay Trubisky a Mariota-like salary for one year.

There's a growing trend in the league of making that sort of investment in backup quarterback. It makes sense, as they are one injury away from being the most important player on their team.

Mariota in Vegas, Teddy Bridgewater and Jameis Winston in New Orleans, Andy Dalton with the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles drafting Jalen Hurts in the second round. There are plenty of examples of teams going big behind their franchise quarterback.

Trubisky is not my favorite idea to be Allen's backup, but he checks a lot of the boxes you want for that role. Most importantly, he checks the "holding down the fort" box that not many QB2's in the NFL check.

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