Mitch Trubisky looks to build on rookie season as Bears starter

Mitchell Trubusky had an up-and-down rookie season, but the Bears are confident he is the answer at quarterback. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

With free agency approaching (March 14), we’re analyzing the quarterback position on the Chicago Bears:

2018 cap hits of top returnees:

Mitchell Trubisky: $6,598,281

Mike Glennon (will be released): $16 million

Pending free agents: Mark Sanchez

Key stat: Trubisky had a so-so rookie season. The former second overall pick completed 196 of 330 pass attempts (59.4 percent) for 2,193 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions after taking over in Week 5. Glennon bombed in four starts, turning the ball over eight times before Chicago pulled the plug. Sanchez did not attempt a single regular-season pass in 2017.

Money matters: The Bears signed Trubisky to a four-year contract (plus an option year) worth $29,032,436 guaranteed over the life of the deal. As long as Trubisky becomes a true franchise quarterback -- as general manager Ryan Pace predicted -- the Bears are in good shape at the position from a financial standpoint. Chicago whiffed badly on Glennon last year in free agency. Glennon’s one and only season in Chicago will end up costing the Bears $18.5 million.

Big picture: The verdict is still out on Trubisky. The Bears believe Trubisky can thrive with better weapons, coaching and playcalling. However, Chicago won’t know for sure what it has in Trubisky until after the 2018 season. That’s just the reality of the situation. But there is no quarterback controversy in Chicago. Trubisky is the unquestioned starter entering his second season. Glennon was a complete misevaluation. The fact that the Bears missed so badly on a quarterback -- the most important position in football -- is alarming, to say the least.

The game plan: The Bears have to find at least one new quarterback in the offseason. Perhaps the club attempts to re-sign Sanchez, who did an admirable job mentoring Trubisky, but Glennon was scheduled to make way too much money ($12.5 million base salary) to serve as the backup. Plus, Glennon didn't seem like a good fit in new Bears head coach Matt Nagy’s offense, a system that is expected to accentuate Trubisky’s athleticism. Glennon (6-foot-6) is a more methodical pocket passer. The Bears will address quarterback in either free agency or the draft.