Jimmy Garoppolo who hails from Arlington Heights and went on to star at Eastern Illinois University where he would break all of Cowboy great Tony Romo's passing records as a senior is making his home coming this Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Bears at Soldier Field.
Garoppolo is of particular interest to the Bears' General Manager Ryan Pace because last April prior to NFL Draft Pace had the opportunity to address the Bears' biggest need by trading for New England's back up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who the Patriots decided to offer in trade or risking losing him for no compensation to free agency at the end of this season. The ask was thought to be the Bears' coveted number 3 overall pick in the first round. Ultimately Pace decided New England's price was too high and instead shocked the NFL landscape when he aggressively traded up one spot with San Francisco to acquire North Carolina's quarterback Mitch Trubisky. In order to move up one spot San Francisco extracted a king's ransom from the Bears in the form of the Bears' No. 3 overall pick, their third round pick (No. 67 overall), their fourth rounder (N0. 111th overall) and the Bears' 2018 third round pick.
The consensus amongst fans and NFL pundits alike was the Bears' over paid for an unproven talent in Trubisky who coming into the NFL only started 13 college games, but all would be forgotten if Trubisky proved to be an elusive franchise QB. After starting 7 games for the Bears this year Trubisky's results have been underwhelming at best. Trubisky has completing just over 50% of his passing while piling up 1,135 passing yards good for only 4 TD against 4 interceptions with a pedestrian QBR ranking of 70.8.
Making matters worse for Pace and the Bears is Trubisky's subpar performance is magnified by his fellow rookie QB DeShaun Watson who before a season ending injury was validating his college coach Dabo Swinny's claim that Watson was football's equivelant to Michael Jordan.
Watson over 7 games amassed 1,699 yards while throwing for 19 TD with 8 picks and a QBR ranking of 103 putting him in elite status. Making matters worse for Pace is Watson was not selected until the 12th pick of the first round causing the Bears faithful to question why Pace had to mortgage so much draft currency in trading up just one spot for Trubisky.
After the San Francisco 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo at the trade deadline this year for only a second round pick 49ers' rookie GM John Lynch was boarding getting flaged for piling on the Bears. San Francisco comes into Sunday's game with a team that ranks near the bottom in total defense so if Trubisky again continues to struggle Pace will face numerous questions justifying the pick. The only thing worse for Pace will be if Trubisky struggles while Garoppolo manages to carve up the Bears. This will result in Coach Fox not being the only Bear executive worrying about his future with the Bears.
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