Andy Dalton Joining Chicago Bears Sees Their Super Bowl Chances Plummet

The Chicago Bears have a new quarterback and their Super Bowl LVI odds reflect that.

Except that the new quarterback isn't Russell Wilson but Andy Dalton, and the bookmakers are less confident on the Bears lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy next year than they were before the legal tampering period began on Monday.

In the lead-up to free agency, Wilson's agent had fueled hopes of Bears fans after naming Chicago as one of the potential trade destinations for his client.

The Bears were reportedly ready to offer a bounty of draft picks to acquire Wilson, who would have immediately ended the franchise's long quest for a franchise quarterback.

With the Seahawks unwilling to listen to offers and Wilson likely to remain in Seattle, the Bears signed Dalton to a one-year deal worth $10 million, which can rise up to $13 million should he meet certain incentives.

The move was an eyebrow-raiser and it didn't take long for the bookmakers to deliver a damning indictment of the Bears' latest addition. At William Hill, odds on Chicago winning Super Bowl LVI went from 40-1 to 50-1, the same odds as the Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings.

The @ChicagoBears super bowl odds went from 40-1 to 50-1 following the Dalton signing @WilliamHillUS. Ha

— David Bearman ESPN (@DBearmanESPN) March 16, 2021

Presently, only 10 NFL teams have longer odds to win Super Bowl LVI than the Bears, who went 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.

The Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons are all 60-1, while the New York Giants are 70-1 outsiders. The Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals are 80-1, with both the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions 125-1 long shots.

Signing Dalton was the latest puzzling move from a front office that has struggled to solve the quarterback conundrum. The Bears traded up to select Mitchell Trubisky in the 2017 NFL Draft, picking the North Carolina product ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

Chicago went 25-23 in Trubisky's first three seasons as a starter, before trading for Nick Foles last offseason and handing him a three-year, $24 million deal which included $21 million in guaranteed money.

The Super Bowl LII MVP sat out the first two weeks of the season, before engineering a memorable comeback in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons after replacing a struggling Trubisky in the third quarter.

Foles held the starting job until Week 10, with Trubisky reclaiming the role for the final six weeks of the season.

Instead of swinging for the fences to secure a star quarterback in free agency, the Bears have added a player that was as underwhelming as their two signal callers last season. Dalton may be a steadier hand than Trubisky, but isn't a major upgrade. Dalton started nine games for the Dallas Cowboys after Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5.

The 33-year-old finished with 2,170 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. By comparison, Trubisky passed for 2,055 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight picks and Foles had 1,852 passing yards, 10 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

Trubisky, who had a 6-3 record last season, ranked 21st out of 33 NFL quarterbacks in QBR, while Dalton, who went 4-5 as a starter in Dallas, was 25th. Significantly, the latter's supporting cast in Dallas included far better options than he will have in Chicago, even though the Bears retained the services of Allen Robinson after franchise-tagging the wide receiver last week.

Trubisky is a free agent after the Bears declined to pick up his fifth-year option ahead of last season. According to Spotrac, after signing Dalton the Bears are spending 3.51 percent of the salary cap total on quarterbacks.

Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton #14 of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on January 3 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Dalton signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears on Tuesday. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images