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GM: Chicago Bears were never close to drafting a QB

The Bears, like seemingly everyone else on Thursday night, made a play for the No. 2 overall pick and Marcus Mariota. They included Jay Cutler in talks and the conversation didn't last long.

On Monday, the team's general manager said it was never close. And not just for the No. 2 pick, but for any passer in any round.

"It never locked in to where we were on the board," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said, via "Every time our pick came up we had guys clearly graded better than the quarterbacks that were there. There was just never an opportunity where we were aligned. We're excited about college free agency and being able to do it that way."

Pace is now confronting a harsh reality for the Bears. Cutler was part of the old guard, a quarterback who wasn't supposed to be here once the new regime took over. If he was, there was supposed to be a logical replacement.

Instead, the team is rolling with an option that is clearly short term for everyone involved.

While it might not be a bad thing -- Pace and coach John Fox won't be blamed for the mistakes of previous ownership -- it would have been nice for the Bears to have a completely fresh start in 2015.

Outside of Mariota, the Bears went for a center, Hroniss Grasu, instead of Garrett Grayson (now with Pace's former team in New Orleans). He also took Penn State safety Adrian Amos over UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.

Pace did eventually sign another passer in East Carolina's Shane Carden, but he waited until undrafted free agency to add a QB.

Like some other teams uncertain of their future at quarterback, Pace is doing his best to build for the future while dealing with the present.

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