The Justin Fields’ decision is easy for the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields proved that he deserves to be the quarterback of the future. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields proved that he deserves to be the quarterback of the future. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Although Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields has shown continued improvement in the latter half of his third NFL season, many pundits and members of the media believe either that he will be traded this offseason, and/or he should be traded.

That’s because the Bears have a good chance of possessing the number one draft pick next spring. Some folks believe that regardless of how well he plays, Fields should be traded so the Bears can draft a potentially “generational” talent like USC’s Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

There are a few reasons for this. Some believe it’s because Bears general manager Ryan Poles should pick a quarterback that’s “his guy”. Some think Williams and/or Maye will simply be better than Fields. Others believe it would be better for the team to have a player on a rookie deal — Fields will be entering the last year of his contract next season, though there is a fifth-year option.

Some simply think it’s just too much like the “same old Bears” for them not to take a risk that could pay off handsomely.

While there are valid arguments for trading Justin Fields and drafting a QB — or drafting a QB and letting him sit while Fields starts in 2024 — I think the pick should be traded. Here’s why.

Fields has flaws — he holds on to the ball too long, and he fumbles a bit too often when he runs — and his running ability may not be sustainable if he continues to take hits, many of which are illegal. But his flaws seem fixable, and he’s improved as a pocket passer over the season. He also was an accomplished pocket passer behind a strong offensive line at Ohio State.

Fields is often the best athlete on the field, and it’s hard to imagine trading that sort of talent away, right as he starts to play at a high level, on an unproven quantity. There is no guarantee that Williams, Maye, or any other rookie QB will be an improvement over Fields. And even if the Bears do pick a quarterback and he turns out to be a Hall of Fame talent, he’s likely to struggle in year one.

Instead, I think the pick should be traded to help beef up a rebuilding roster that seems to be coming together. Add one more wide receiver. Bring in more offensive line help to bolster a line that has gotten better but remains a work in progress. Maybe the defense needs one more piece to move from very good to dominant.

It’s also possible a key player or two from the 2023 roster could be lost in free agency. The Bears could stand to have as many bites at the draft apple as possible.

The Chicago Bears should absolutely keep quarterback Justin Fields and build around him as opposed to drafting a rookie QB.

I know there are other arguments against keeping Fields, but they don’t all hold water. People point to his shoddy win-loss record but conveniently forget that in his first season, he was playing for a soon-to-be-fired coaching staff on a bad team. In his second season, he was playing for a team that was rebuilding and set up to lose as many games as possible. And he often played very well in losses.

He also has spent a lot of time playing behind a bad and oft-injured offensive line that only recently seemed to have improved.

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has at times done Fields no favors with playcalling that often failed to emphasize his strengths.

Finally, Fields has grown with the addition of a weapon like wide receiver D.J. Moore. Imagine what he could do with another high-impact WR to throw to.

It’s true that Darnell Mooney, the Bears’ number two receiver, has struggled a bit this season. That might not be on Fields — Mooney might still be recovering from an injury, play-calling could be misusing him, and Moore’s success might mean that Mooney loses out on some targets.

I’d also point out that it is possible to use a running QB who has passing ability properly — the Baltimore Ravens have done so with Lamar Jackson.

Imagine a world where Fields has Moore, Mooney, and Marvin Harrison Jr. to throw to, along with tight end Cole Kmet. Add in a solid running back, a line that can block well, and an OC who knows what he’s doing and the Bears might finally have an offense that can match its defense.

If Fields stays and fails, the Bears will still have opportunities to find another quarterback, either a veteran or a rookie.

Keep Justin Fields. It’s the right play.

Next. Consensus that Bears should trade Justin Fields. dark