The Chicago Bears are in an enviable position right now. They have a credible quarterback capable of being a franchise quarterback in Justin Fields. Fields' play has not been perfect so far in his three NFL seasons, but he has flashes of game-breaking dynamism as both a thrower and runner. The Bears also have the number one overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft that features at minimum two legitimate future franchise quarterbacks in Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. Naturally, the Bears' situation sets themselves up to make a big trade in the 2024 NFL offseason.

A lot of teams need a quarterback, but there may not be a team in the NFL that has the firepower to trade up for the No. 1 overall pick in this particular draft. That leads to Justin Fields being the subject of many trade rumors.

It would make sense for roughly half the league to trade for him and upgrade their starting quarterback spot. The Bears know that and could have the leverage in trade talks should a bidding war commence. There will be plenty of suitors for Fields in the offseason. In an ideal world, the Bears could get a first-round pick for Fields and still draft their quarterback of the future at the top. They just might be able to swing that type of trade.


The Chicago Bears trade Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers for their 2024 1st-round pick (20th overall)

Why it makes sense for the Bears

As mentioned earlier, the Bears have the top pick in this upcoming draft. While neither Caleb Williams nor Drake Maye are perfect prospects, Williams especially is awfully close, and both look to be more polished passers than Fields. And though Fields has shown flashes of brilliance and otherworldly dynamism at the quarterback position, he has yet to do so in a consistent manner.

In 2023, Justin Fields posted the 25th-best EPA (Expected Points Added) plus CPOE (Completion Percentage Over Expectation) score among quarterbacks who participated in at least 100 plays. He's around some excellent QBS like Justin Herbert (21st), Joe Burrow (22nd), and Kyler Murray (23rd), but they all had injury issues in 2023. It's reasonable to expect Fields to fare better in that kind of statistic in his third season with a solid offensive line at his disposal. The Bears' offensive line ranked fifth in pass block win rate and second in run block win rate according to ESPN.

Fields is great as a runner. He already has a season of over 1,100 rushing yards under his belt. Fields did improve as a passer in 2023, too. His 61.4% completion percentage is a career high. But he still has work to do. His 6.9 yards per attempt ranked 22nd among quarterbacks in 2023 according to His 69% true completion percentage also ranked 22nd at the position.

He also was heavily reliant on new receiver DJ Moore. While it isn't uncommon for a quarterback to focus on one receiver, 44% of Fields' passing yards went to Moore in 2023 excluding the Week 6 game against the Minnesota Vikings that Fields exited injured.

Chicago's passing attack just wasn't very dynamic. Part of that is on the coaching staff, but also Fields. They can do better. That's why they should trade Fields and draft Caleb Williams.

Why it makes sense for the Steelers

Fields has work to do as a passer, yes. But that doesn't mean he's a bad player by any means and can't help another team. One of those teams is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Their quarterback play was wretched in 2023 and getting to the playoffs with that quarterback play was a minor miracle. Remember that EPA plus CPOE composite score metric? Well, of 49 quarterbacks who qualified and played at least 100 plays, Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh's starting quarterback for most of the 2023 season, ranked 37th at the position. His backup, Mitchell Trubisky, was 41st.

The Steelers did get solid play from third-stringer Mason Rudolph. He played 90 snaps in 2023; among 53 quarterbacks with at least 90 snaps under center, Rudolph ranked second in EPA plus CPOE composite score. But that's a small sample and he beat up on mostly bad defenses and a Baltimore defense playing their backups. Rudolph's larger sample has shown he is not a franchise quarterback. Kenny Pickett hasn't looked like a long-term answer either.

Justin Fields would be an upgrade and should fit nicely in new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith's system. The Steelers won't have many opportunities to find a quarterback as young and talented as Fields. They should pounce on this one.