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Justin Fields Trade Rumors: Bears Spent ‘Most’ of Combine Week Gauging Interest in QB

Justin Fields Trade Rumors: Bears Spent ‘Most’ of Combine Week Gauging Interest in QB

Joseph Zucker @@JosephZucker Featured Columnist IV March 2, 2024

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears “spent most of the week gauging interest around the league” in quarterback Justin Fields, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini.

Russini reported the belief outside of Chicago is that the Bears are looking to make a quarterback change, which is hurting the team’s leverage and producing a “soft” market for the signal-caller.

“It was hard to find strong interest from any team,” Russini reported. “One NFC general manager explained the problem with the current timing: ‘When people know you are getting rid of something, they don’t pay as much for it.'”

Ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine, Bears general manager Ryan Poles didn’t commit to one clear path at quarterback but said he “want(s) to do right by Justin” in the event Fields’ time in the Windy City is over.

Josh Norris @JoshNorris “If you decide to draft a QB, what is your motivation to trade Justin Fields before free agency?”

Ryan Poles: “…. if we go down that road, I want to do right by Justin. No one wants to live in grey.” pic.twitter.com/Bl6eq9HRAJ

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe attempted to get a picture on how much value the 24-year-old could have.

“The majority opinion is the Bears would corral a second- or third-round pick, but there was some variation in those responses,” Howe reported. “One executive said he’d be worth a second-rounder or its equivalent value in a package of a third- and fifth-round pick.”

Fields didn’t have the breakout campaign in 2023 that some thought was in store. Acquiring wide receiver D.J. Moore at the cost of the No. 1 overall pick in 2023 certainly seemed to reflect a strong internal belief in his potential.

Throwing for 2,562 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions wasn’t a terrible return across 13 starts. Still, it remains unclear whether he’s a genuine franchise quarterback and a foundational piece of an NFL offense.

Nobody could blame the Bears for deciding USC’s Caleb Williams is a better long-term bet than Fields. Even if it means trading Fields for what’s judged to be a lesser return, the benefits of having Williams on a rookie contract would far outweigh that.

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