On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons Traded All-Pro and future Hall of Fame wide receiver Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans. Jones was rumored to be traded after social media found out that he wanted out of Atlanta just a few weeks ago. Although had no chance of trading for the All-Pro receiver, the team’s first-round quarterback in Justin Fields provides a promising potential to draw talented receivers to Chicago in the future.

Justin Fields’ Talent and Popularity Could Lead To The Bears Getting Better Talent

Since drafting Fields with the 11th overall selection during NFL Draft a few months ago, the Bears have seen a massive jump in excitement and popularity amongst NFL fans. The Ohio State quarterback currently has one of the highest-selling jerseys amongst rookies and veterans since the draft in April. Fields has also been one of the most talked-about players on both social media and sports talk shows as the question of whether or not he should be the Bears’ starting quarterback week one continues to be a great debate.

Fields’ popularity will only grow once he makes his on-field debut. If he finds success early, his rookie campaign could mirror Deshaun Watson’s rookie season of 2017. Watson made his first NFL start in primetime and was one of the most exciting players to watch for six weeks before suffering a season-ending knee injury. In those six games, the rookie from Clemson threw 19 touchdown passes, rushed for two touchdowns, and had four games of 250 passing yards or more.

If Fields has that level of success to start his NFL career this year, it will play a massive role in how the Bears’ franchise is viewed by players around the league, especially those at the offensive skill positions. The young quarterback could turn Chicago into a destination for potential top-tier wide receivers, offensive linemen, and tight ends. Where quality offensive stars may have avoided the Bears in the past due to their futile history at the quarterback position, Fields could easily change the perception.

Young Exciting Quarterbacks Have An Ability To Draw Premiere Talent To Their Team

Although Jones was recruited by Titans’ receiver A.J. Brown, there have been several prior instances of a young quarterback’s presence leading to a team acquiring a star receiver via trade or free agency. During the offseason leading up to the 2018 season, free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, who had rookie Patrick Mahomes. The Bears signed number one receiver Allen Robinson as the team had rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky needing a premiere receiver to throw to.

Following the 2016 season, the Bears lost Pro Bowl receiver Alshon Jeffery in free agency when Jeffery took less money to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles due to having a young quarterback in Carson Wentz. What drives a majority of these wide receivers to sign with new teams, other than for financial purposes, is the potential of working with a possible Pro Bowl or All-Pro quarterback.

The potential 2022 free agency receiver class includes Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, and Jamison Crowder. Furthermore, there could be other top-tier receivers that may request a trade to the Bears to play with Fields. In 2004, All-Pro San Francisco 49ers’ receiver Terrell Owens demanded that he be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Owens wanted to be sent to the Eagles to play with Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb. The All-Pro receiver was so set on playing with McNabb that a previously agreed-to trade between the 49ers and Baltimore Ravens was reworked.

Fields is one of the more intriguing players of the 2021 NFL Draft. He is expected to a star as soon as he takes the field, and if he does succeed, it will lead to other stars targeting Chicago as a playing destination. The Bears could have a premiere quarterback whose star power could lead to other premiere offensive talents coming to play for the team. The Bears’ franchise and fans could find themselves in an exciting position come next offseason if Fields plays well as a rookie.

Steve Pusch
Eastern Illinois University graduate, Steve earned a Bachelor’s in Journalism with a concentration in sports. While at EIU, Steve co-hosted a weekly radio sports talk show focused on Chicago.