Bears Likely to Draft a Quarterback and Trade Justin Fields?

Bears Likely to Draft a Quarterback and Trade Justin Fields?

Last week, a lot of general managers said it wouldn’t be hard for the Bears to decide whether to sign Justin Fields for another year or trade their present starter and pick a quarterback with the first overall pick.

Adam Caplan of says the Bears will not be likely to pass in Caleb Williams if the Panthers finish the season in last place in the NFL, which would give the Bears the first overall pick.

Williams is expected to be the favorite to be selected first overall in April. Most people see him as the best quarterback option available in 2024.

While nothing official has been said yet, it looks like Chicago will start over at quarterback as they try to rebuild their team.

This report is another “trade fields, draft his replacement” that has been marked off. Before Fields came back from hurting his thumb and started what was basically an audition with seven games, the Bears were thought to be going this way.

However, a later story said that the team still had enough faith in the investment made during the Ryan Pace era and that it was a very good prospect to get GM Ryan Poles to give up on his current quarterback.

They think Williams would have been picked over Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud during this year’s draft.

One of them said that over the last three rounds, only Trevor Lawrence was considered a better quarterback prospect than the USC talent.

The latest quarterback prospect developed by Lincoln Riley did not have the same Heisman-winning year as his sophomore year, but he is still seen as a top possibility.

The Bears have until May to decide what to do with Fields’ fifth-year option. However, if they move the 2021 first-round pick, it will be up to another team to activate the option.

This is what the Jets did in 2021 when they traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers, who immediately picked up their fifth-year option.

If Williams moved to Chicago, the team would know exactly how much he costs for three more years. If the Bears didn’t draft Fields, they might want to build around a rookie in a better ceiling.

Since Poles is still rebuilding the Bears, it would make sense to the team to start over so that they can add more players around a rookie deal.

There have been times when Fields looked like a very good player, but the Ohio State graduate is mostly liked for how well he runs the ball.

Last year, Fields tried to break Lamar Jackson’s record for most running yards by a quarterback in a single season, but he was terrible at throwing the ball.

Through the D.J. Moore trade, the Bears tried to give Fields more help, which gave the Panthers the first pick this year.

Fields is still ranked 23rd out of 29 qualifying passes this season by QBR, which puts him in the bottom quarter.

The dual-threat quarterback’s completion rate has gone up a little since 2022, to 61.4%, but each try now gains less yardage.

It might be hard for the Poles to pass on a quarterback at No. 1 overall pick for two years in a row, and Williams could be that quarterback.

There are still moving parts here. There is no guarantee that Poles or HC Matt Eberflus will be back in 2024.

However, Poles is more likely to stay in his job since current president Kevin Warren has a lot of power now.

People think Williams will announce soon, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. The Panthers also need to finish the season in the top spot in the draft. The Patriots and Cardinals, who are both 3-11, are only one game behind them.

It’s also possible that Drake Maye does so well in the pre-draft process that he beats Williams to the top spot, but Williams has been in the lead for months.

He is missing fewer easy shots. He’s staying in the pocket longer and moving less when he plays. He’s not falling out of shape to look for plays; instead, he’s running to add to and balance his game.

Now that he has started 34 games for the Chicago Bears, that you can draw a line in his two 17-game samples, which would be two full NFL seasons. His second 17 games are much better than his first 17.

After his last four games of the 2023 season, we’ll know if the Bears agree with the case that he’s better than Caleb Williams and should be picked first overall.