Justin Fields reiterated this week that he’s not getting lost in thought about his job security. He’s not ignorant. The young quarterback understands the brutal business of the NFL. Life isn’t fair. He can’t control how others think about him. He can only control what he does on the field. His agenda moving forward remains the same: to help the Chicago Bears win football games. That is an admirable mindset. Many still believe Fields is in an excellent position to save his job. He’s played better in recent weeks and has a somewhat manageable schedule ahead.
A few wins and a string of solid performances might be enough to buy him a fourth season. However, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune makes it seem like things are already out of his control. He indicated that based on the information he has, GM Ryan Poles has reached his conclusion on Fields. There will be a change at quarterback if the Bears end up with a top pick in the 2024 draft.
“Keeping Poles’ overarching goal in mind, and understanding that the Bears probably have not checked all of the boxes they would like to at this point with Justin Fields, it seems like most signs point in one direction: selecting a quarterback at or near the top of a draft that should offer some excellent choices.
Timing could be on the Bears’ side. This isn’t a poor quarterback class like 2022, when Kenny Pickett was the first one selected at No. 20 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. If the Bears deem they need to take another swing at the position — and I’ve been clear I think it’s headed in that direction — this is the year to do it.”
It isn’t entirely a surprise.
Poles didn’t draft Fields. That reality was always something that people knew could become a huge factor if the young quarterback failed to establish himself as a franchise guy. The GM gave him another year to see if he could develop. While there has been some progress, it hasn’t been enough. People have been quick to say Fields isn’t the problem. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is. However, another comment by Biggs suggests that argument will fall on deaf ears in Halas Hall.
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“Poles and the leadership at Halas Hall need to consider a ton of questions. Do the Bears want an offensive-minded head coach if they are going to draft a quarterback? Do they believe Luke Getsy and the offensive staff would be a good match for a new quarterback? There are a ton of questions to sift through, and while many have made out Getsy to be the bogeyman, I don’t get the sense that sentiment is shared inside the building.”
Justin Fields has no choice but to attack.
There is no room for patience anymore. His time runs short. If he’s going to save his job, it must be now. The next five games could well define the rest of his career. It starts with a rematch against the Detroit Lions. He played one of his best games against them a few weeks ago but still lost. Getting some revenge on them while duplicating the performance would be a great first step. Then he will have a shot at some redemption when the Bears visit Cleveland, visiting the team that so horrifically welcomed him to the NFL two years ago.
Next comes Arizona and Atlanta, two winnable games at home. Last but certainly not least is a visit to Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. Justin Fields has never beaten the Bears’ eternal rivals, and you can bet many in the organization are aware of this. If the last glimpse of him in 2023 is another loss to the Packers, that may be the final nail in the coffin. Either way, it’s clear the deck is stacked against him. Unless he can deliver the best stretch of football of his career, this might be his swan son.