Revisiting the Chicago Bears’ trade for Justin Fields

(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

With the 2022 NFL Draft fast approaching, it marks almost one year since the Chicago Bears made the trade for Justin Fields. Sadly, the trade for Fields was one of the best moments in Bears history. A Bears history littered with poor quarterback play leading inept offenses.

Now, you may think that Bears history is a touch extreme but let me share a fact. The Bears and the New York Jets were the only two franchises in the 16-game era to not have a quarterback throw for 4,000 yards in a single season. For reference, the 16-game era lasted 42 years.

Understandably, passing yards isn’t the end all be all when it comes to a teams offensive success. What that stat does say is that the Bears have lacked explosion and playmaking at the quarterback position for quite some time: Until now.

Looking back, the Chicago Bears won the trade with the New York Giants when they acquired Justin Fields in the NFL Draft.

Prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, there were was one thing for certain: Trevor Lawrence was going to be the number one pick. From there on, the quarterback projections were all over the board.

The options were two athletic projects in Zach Wilson and Trey Lance. A National Champion with mobility deficiencies in Mac Jones. Finally, the athletic freak with a long throwing motion in Fields.

Thankfully for the Bears, Wilson and Lance were quickly off the board going second and third overall respectively. This caused a shocking slide for Fields outside the top 10, giving the Bears a chance to make the deal to land their franchise quarterback.

In the deal with the Giants, the Bears received the 11th pick in the 2021 draft, and sent the No. 20 pick to the Giants, along with a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick for 2021.

The Bears original draft position of 20 did not provide them much value in hindsight. The Giants selected wide receiver Kadarius Toney who played in only ten games his rookie season and was held out of the endzone.

Furthermore, the rest of the first round selections were lackluster. The Bears could have addressed other team needs if they potentially selected Michigan DE Kwity Paye, Northwestern CB Greg Newsom III or Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw. Though, none of which would go on to have rookie seasons causing any regret.

As far as the rest of the picks are concerned, the Bears gave up a lot of capital for a team with many holes to fill. Although, when glancing at the 2022 draft board, there will be a sense of relief that they have their quarterback of the future as opposed to being in quarterback purgatory.

The 2022 quarterback class leaves much to be desired as the Bears pick would have been number 7 overall. When looking at the 2022 quarterback class, Fields is head and shoulders above the likes of Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett and Matt Corral. To go a step further, Fields would be the consensus number one pick in the 2022 draft and there is no debate.

The value of getting the projected number one pick had he stayed in college one more year, at pick 11, cannot be overlooked. As bad as a GM as Ryan Pace was, he did leave Ryan Poles and this Bears organization a franchise quarterback.While the stats weren’t all that, there were enough flashes from Fields to show he has what it takes to excel at the NFL level.

With 2021 in the rearview mirror, Fields will look to take that ever important second year leap this upcoming season under a new regime in Chicago. Poles and new Head Coach Matt Eberflus will do everything they can to help Fields succeed in 2022 and beyond.

Related Story. Chicago Bears establish their identity in this 2022 mock draft. light

The Bears took their shot in 2021 and if built right, they can look back and point to this trade as the start of something new. Quarterback play that this city has not seen in the existence of the franchise.

To that we say thank you and good riddance Mr. Pace. While the cupboard may be bare, we got the right guy at the helm to change the narrative of Bears football for the foreseeable future.