Let's just get this out of the way: Mitchell Trubisky is on the hot seat.
There's no arguing against it after the Bears traded for Nick Foles in the offseason. Entrenched, satisfactory quarterbacks don't walk into the meeting room to see a legitimate starter sitting at the table with his playbook open, ready for the meeting to start.
Trubisky knows Foles is in Chicago to compete for the starting gig, and it's not ceremony; the Bears need the guy at quarterback, not just a guy. Trubisky didn't prove to be one in 2019, but the trade didn't disappoint him -- it just added to his motivation.
"It was kind of interesting to me, but that's the business that we're in," Trubisky said Friday. "I was kind of pissed off in a good way. I've been motivated since our season ended last year. I didn't feel like it went the way we wanted it to. We left a lot out there. But I'm excited for this year. I feel like it's going to be a good competition. Foles has had a crazy career, as well, so it's been cool having him in our room, talking ball. I know we're going to push each other but I still feel like this is my team.
"I'm excited for the competition and just getting on the field with my guys and showing everybody what I can still do and how hard I've been working this offseason to help the Bears win games this season."
Trubisky could help the Bears win games on the field, or he could do it from the sideline and on the practice field. He'll have a chance to positively contribute regardless, but one job is much different than the other.
Determining which he ultimately owns begins with training camp's quarterback competition, one in which he feels he has a leg up because of his history with the Bears and head coach Matt Nagy.
"I think because it's a small sample size, that advantage goes to me, just because I've been the starter here the last two years," Trubisky said. "These are my guys, my teammates, guys I've built super strong relationships (with) over the last two years. But at the end of the day, it comes down to on-field performance. I think we both know that, the coaches know that and our teammates know that.
"So when it comes down to getting on the field in training camp and competing against our defense, we just want to go out there and be a better offense. I just got to make sure the offense is better when I'm on the field, doing my job to the best I possibly can and making sure I'm giving the Chicago Bears a great chance to win heading into the season."
Trubisky's confidence could have been hurt in recent months when the Bears declined to pick up his fifth-year option. That decision places him at a fork in the road in his still-young career. One path leads to success and establishment as a franchise quarterback, while the other leads to the Land of the Busts -- and not the bronze ones in Canton.
Trubisky is aware of this, saying "I feel like the way I played last year didn't merit that so I wasn't all that surprised." Months after the Bears turned off the televisions inside Halas Hall to insulate their quarterback from outside criticism, they've brought this potential reality to his doorstep. He'll see the threat of losing his job and the resulting disappointment every time his eyes land upon Foles.
How he reacts will ultimately determine which path he ends up taking. It's nearly time to proceed.