Two seasons after selecting Justin Fields eleventh overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears have inexplicably become the league’s doormat, managing to finish bottom of the league with a 3-14 record. Instead of progressing in a linear fashion, they became even worse by three games off their 2021 season efforts. While this is not necessarily an indictment of Fields’ inability to lead a team, fans may be wondering whether he truly is the solution at quarterback.
Thus, with the Bears nabbing the first overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, they could very well decide not to trade the pick, like most think they would, and keep it for the sake of drafting a quarterback. Doing so would certainly spell the end of Fields’ tenure with the Bears. However, the Bears don’t seem like they’re willing to give up on the 24-year old quarterback just yet.
Speaking during the NFL Draft Combine week, Bears general manager Ryan Poles revealed that they are “going to see it through” when it comes to Justin Fields and that “he’s not picking a quarterback high in this draft”, according to Peter King’s Football Morning in America column in NBC’s Pro Football Talk.
Poles also added that the Bears have been in talks with three teams at the Combine regarding a potential deal for the number one overall pick; this could then drive a bidding war that could give the Bears the assets they need to surround Fields with the pieces necessary to create a winning team.
Nevertheless, Ryan Poles also added that the Bears do not feel the urgency to make a deal, as they hold the leverage given how the quarterback market may shake up in the lead-up to the start of the draft in late April.
“Should we do this before free agency? Or should we wait? I don’t know. That’s what I’ve communicated [to teams]. I could carry this all the way until we’re on the clock the night of the draft. But then there’s teams that want some certainty because, ‘If I need a quarterback bad, should I do that now when some of these guys, like Derek Carr, are out there?'” Poles added.
One thing’s for sure, the Bears have a golden opportunity right in front of them to turn the franchise’s fortunes around.