Bears Sign Quarterback Trevor Siemian, Foles Trade May Be Close

Five-year veteran Trevor Siemian is heading to Chicago. The Bears signed the quarterback to a two-year deal, presumably to back up second-year starter Justin Fields. Teams don’t generally give two-year deals to practice squad players, so the move could signal that Chicago may be close to trading Nick Foles.

Though he doesn’t have the pedigree that Foles does, Siemian is a good, low-key signing because he allows OC Luke Getsy to gameplan the same for QB1 and QB2. Foles’ value in the market will be based on need and demand. With this year’s quarterback carousel complete, expect GM Ryan Poles to net a sixth or seventh-round pick in exchange for the veteran. If he can net a pick in the fourth or fifth round instead, consider today’s move more than significant.

Specific terms for the deal have not been made available just yet. Before agreeing to terms with the Bears, Siemian met with the Raiders on Thursday. The journeyman will be joining a Chicago depth chart that also features Ryan Willis.

The Bears will be Siemian’s sixth professional team. After graduating from Northwestern in 2015, the Broncos drafted him in the seventh round, and he was Denver’s starter during his second and third years, compiling a record of 13-11. He then went to the Vikings (2018), Jets (2019), and the Titans (2020) before the 30-year-old signed with Saints late in the 2020 season.

After taking the reins in 2021 when Saints’ top quarterback Jameis Winston tore his ACL against the Buccaneers, New Orleans went 0-4 in Siemian’s four starts. Siemian completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 1,154 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only three interceptions as a starter. He did lead the Saints to victories after Winston’s injury and then again in Week 17 over the Falcons after Taysom Hill left the season finale with ligament damage to his foot.

Over his five-year career, Siemian has completed 58.9% of his passes for 6,843 yards with 41 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.

At 6-3 and 220 pounds, Seimian has good size and above-average athleticism. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.94 during his pro day in 2015 at Northwestern, at which time he was still recovering from a knee injury. He doesn’t have a rocket arm but he is skilled at throwing a deep ball, though he will sometimes underthrow receivers with elite speed. His biggest fault is failure to zip sideline throws, which tends to lead to defensive backs jumping the route.

With a 60 percent career completion rate, Siemian displays good accuracy on his back-shoulder throws and can make anticipatory throws on timing routes. He does struggle at times to make tight-window throws, especially in the red zone, but he’s been above average on over-the-shoulder throws to pass-catchers on corner endzone routes. That said, he underperforms the league average when pressured, often bailing, though he is adept at getting the ball out of bounds, which is why his interception rate is so low. He also has been stripped of the ball nine times in 24 career starts so there is some concern there.

The Bears’ new quarterback is a good game manager with a keen ability to throw effectively when changing his arm angle to avoid pass rushers. He had 14 battled balls in his first season as a starter in Denver but reduced that to three the following season. He’s also good in a moving pocket or when he needs to step up to avoid a sack.

As far as intangibles, the Broncos had enough faith in Siemian to replace Peyton Manning after the Hall of Famer retired following the 2015 season. He’s been praised for his unflappable temperament and competitiveness, with teammates saying he was always in command of the offense and showed good leadership. As I said, this is another good, low-key signing by Poles, that will be even better if he nets a decent draft pick for Poles.


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