We’ve heard from fans, analysts, and former executives and coaches on the subject. Some believe the Chicago Bears should cut their losses and trade Justin Fields. He didn’t show nearly enough progress as a passer in 2022, and it looks like he may not have the necessary traits to ascend much further. Others think the Bears would be crazy to do that. Fields is more talented than any prospect in the 2023 draft. He’s an elite runner and made strides as a passer despite poor support from his offensive line and wide receivers.
One group of people with something to say on this is those who work inside the NFL itself. They have the strongest connections to the top decision-makers. If there were any rumblings about a Fields trade, then the smoke would be thick. Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic decided to ask around on the subject during the Senior Bowl last week. The answers he got back weren’t entirely expected. While many agree Fields can’t continue playing like he did in 2022, they don’t seem overly convinced a trade is happening.
The Bears’ focus appears to be on other things.
Talking to league evaluators and agents in Mobile, there’s certainly intrigue about what Fields can do — one veteran agent pointed to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts as a “He can be that” type of comparison.
There are a lot of questions, too. Several pointed out that Fields’ play style from 2022 is not sustainable, something that Fields acknowledged as he approached Lamar Jackson’s rushing record.
But no one spoke definitively — in either direction — about Fields’ potential. And no one suggested trading Fields. There’s probably a little more uncertainty and curiosity in league circles than anything.
Justin Fields did enough to get another year.
Yes, his season wasn’t perfect. His passing issues lingered. Yet that should not overshadow how much of an impact he had on games for this team. He constantly found ways to keep the Bears in games. Bad players don’t do things like that. He also showed tremendous resilience and leadership in tough circumstances. His maturity and resolve made him a lot of fans inside Halas Hall. The general feeling is they will spend this off-season retooling the offense, trying to get him as much help as possible.
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He will enter the 2023 season with (hopefully) better weapons and protection. It will also be the second year in the same offense under Luke Getsy. All signs point to further improvement on the horizon. More than anything, the Bears don’t have to rush this decision. Yes, holding the #1 pick gives them a rare opportunity to pick any QB they want. That said, most evaluators tend to agree that none of the options in this class are worth giving up on Fields for. The smart decision is to give him another year.
If nothing changes, then Ryan Poles can think about alternatives going into 2024 when the roster is far more stable.