GM Ryan Pace claims Bears ‘believe in Mitch’ Trubisky after nixing option

He said he hopes Trubisky ends up like cornerback Kyle Fuller, whom the Bears decided not to extend an option but eventually gave a monster contract.

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Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky walks out of the tunnel before the 2019 finale against the Vikings.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky walks out of the tunnel before the season finale.

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Bears general manager Ryan Pace professed his belief in quarterback Mitch Trubisky on Thursday night, just five days after the team decided not to extend him a $24.8 million fifth-year option for 2021.

“We’ve always had the approach that we’re honest and we’re truthful with our players and our staff, and we move on and we get to work. …” Pace said on “Bears All-Access,” the team-sponsored radio show on WSCR-AM. “Mitch gets it. Everyone’s competing. Everyone’s focused on better results. That’s the entire team. That starts with me and everybody.

“We believe in Mitch — that doesn’t change. …

“I think you can point to [cornerback] Kyle Fuller as a great example of a player that didn’t get his option exercised. I think we would say it worked out well for him and for us.”

The Bears have said Trubisky and Nick Foles, for whom they traded a fourth-round pick and guaranteed $21 million, will have an open competition for the starting job.They’ll both play preseason games — a change from coach Matt Nagy’s first two seasons.

The winner will have to prove himself against the best team — and the best defense — in the NFC. Presuming that preseason games will be played as scheduled, the Bears’ all-important third contest will be at home against the NFC champion 49ers.

The 49ers gave up 10 points to the Vikings and 20 to the Packers in last year’s postseason, setting up a Super Bowl matchup against the Chiefs and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The 49ers held the Chiefs to only 10 points through three-and-a-half quarters — until they surged for 21 points in the final 6:13 of the Super Bowl.

Trubisky will also have to face the defensive mind who knows him best — former Bears coordinator and second-year Broncos head coach Vic Fangio —in the second week of the preseason.

The Bears didn’t have the faith in Trubisky to pick up his option, but they hope that Fuller can provide a best-case-scenario template for the quarterback. Pace decided against giving the cornerback a fifth-year option three years ago. By the end of the 2017 season, though, Fuller was valuable enough to earn the transition tag. When the Packers offered him a four-year, $56 million deal, the Bears quickly matched. He’s been a Pro Bowl player in both seasons since.

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