Imagining a Scenario: Russell Wilson with the Chicago Bears

Exploring the Hypothetical: Russell Wilson as a Chicago Bear

In a candid conversation with Pablo Torre, NFL analyst Nate Tice unveiled an intriguing revelation about his father, former Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice. He disclosed how his dad had passionately advocated for the team to select quarterback Russell Wilson in the 2012 NFL Draft. This revelation has sparked contemplation about what could have transpired:

Chicago’s Prolonged Pursuit of Russell Wilson

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time this topic has surfaced. In 2014, University of Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez revealed that Mike Tice was fervently pushing for the Bears to draft Russell Wilson as the successor to Jay Cutler. In 2020, Nate Tice, Mike’s son, echoed the same sentiment on the Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns podcast. Fast forward to 2021, the Bears, now under a different leadership, made a serious attempt to trade for Russell Wilson, albeit without success. Perhaps, in retrospect, the Bears are in a better position because of it.

In the 18 games since his trade to the Broncos last season, here are Wilson’s statistics:

  • Completion Percentage: 61.3%
  • Passing Yards: 4,315
  • Touchdowns: 22
  • Interceptions: 13
  • Passer Rating: 87.1

While these are impressive figures compared to the Bears’ recent quarterback performances, they do not quite match up to Russell Wilson’s prime years. During the period from 2012-2021, here are his stats per 17 games:

  • Completion Percentage: 65%
  • Passing Yards: 3,987
  • Touchdowns: 31
  • Interceptions: 9
  • Passer Rating: 101.8

Essentially, it seems that the Denver Broncos invested heavily in draft capital and salary for Wilson’s later years, where he might not be at his peak. A tough break for the new Broncos ownership group.

The Greater Regret

What stings even more than missing out on Russell Wilson in 2012 (or 2021) is that the Bears presently have a quarterback who earned favorable comparisons to Wilson from none other than Jimmy Graham. Graham put up Pro Bowl numbers catching passes from Wilson in Seattle. And yet, the Bears appear content to not fully harness their current quarterback’s potential.

Returning to the Hypothetical Scenario

This is the juncture where one might delve into how drafting Russell Wilson could have forever altered the course of the Chicago Bears. Imagining scenarios where Wilson leads the Bears to greatness, matching his impressive five consecutive playoff appearances to start his NFL career, isn’t far-fetched. With astute maneuvering by Chicago’s front office, envisioning Wilson with more than one Super Bowl ring isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Even Mike Tice might have chosen to hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch instead of attempting a goal line pass.

However, this is the Chicago Bears we’re talking about, and consecutive strokes of good fortune haven’t been their forte. The undeniable truth is that we can’t definitively say what would have transpired had the Bears drafted Russell Wilson. What we do know is that the franchise hasn’t shown a strong track record in drafting or developing quarterbacks. There’s no evidence to suggest that the Mike Tice era Bears would have fared better with Wilson than they did with Jay Cutler.

It’s frustrating to see the Bears caught in a perpetual cycle of ‘what-ifs.’ This organization has a history of pivotal decisions that leave fans wondering about alternate outcomes. Passing on Patrick Mahomes, failing to secure a Russ trade, and pondering the NFC Championship Game without Cutler’s injury are just a few examples. The fanbase still contemplates the potential dynasty of the 80s Bears if Jim McMahon had remained healthy, and laments losing the coin flip that sent Terry Bradshaw to the Steelers. So, adding one more ‘could’ve, would’ve, should’ve’ scenario to the mix doesn’t come as a surprise.


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