Chicago Bears: Ryan Pace given chance to save job and re-energize fan base

Chicago Bears (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

It is officially NFL Draft week, and fans are just days away from learning how the Chicago Bears will attack the most important position in sports. Based on a recent report, that plan could very well include Justin Fields.

Although they signed Andy Dalton this offseason, there are few who believe Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy will feel secure in putting their jobs in the hands of a veteran on a steep decline, even if he represents an improvement over both Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky.

The good news is, they may not have to. The bad news, of course, is they will likely have to give up a king’s ransom to make it happen.

However, if you are Pace and Nagy, there is no better way to not only re-energize the fan base, but to also save your jobs, than to draft a first-round quarterback. But not just any quarterback — we’re talking one of the top prospects who for the last two years, was the presumptive No. 2 quarterback in this class.

The Chicago Bears will have a shot at Justin Fields if they want him

While draft season is accompanied by rumor and innuendo, another hallmark of this time of year is teams overthinking things. Again, Fields has long been thought of as the the second best quarterback in this class, behind Trevor Lawrence, and his performance last season should have done nothing to change that.

Yet, as we sit here today, he will likely be the fourth, if not fifth quarterback selected in the draft, which seems unfathomable.

According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the San Francisco 49ers, who previously traded up for the No. 3 overall pick, seem to have narrowed their search to two quarterbacks — neither of which is Fields.

Assuming Lawrence and Zach Wilson go first and second, and the 49ers select either Mac Jones of Trey Lance, as is being reported, that would leave Fields sitting out there for the taking. While it would cost a ton to move up to No. 4, if the Bears truly meant “everything is on the table” in terms of addressing the quarterback position, then so must a big move up in the draft.

It helps that Pace has a relationship with general manager Terry Fontenot, whose Atlanta Falcons own the No. 4 pick as well.

The Bears could decide to sit tight and hope Fields and whichever quarterback the 49ers don’t select continue to slide, making a move up more manageable, but it would be hard to pass up on the opportunity to grab Fields. It would be even more difficult to sell that decision to a fanbase already out for blood.

While fans have been very critical of Pace over the years, finding a way to select Justin Fields would go a long way in repairing that relationship. Dare I say, Pace doubters may even become believers and forgive all his prior transgressions.

3 teams for Bears to trade down with in Round 1. dark. Next

We’ll see where the chips fall on Thursday night, but things have no doubt gotten more interesting.