It would seem that Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields has made a renewed push to lay claim to being the team’s starting quarterback moving beyond this season.
There has been a clear ascension from Fields since his return from a dislocated right thumb injury earlier this season with there being a belief that the Bears would be better off keeping Fields, addressing their other holes on the roster, and trading what likely will be the first overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.
There is one factor that is not being talked about nearly enough.
For the ascension that Fields has shown this season, he remains uncertainty in regard to the success he can have at the position in the long term. Meaning, in a draft that is quarterback-heavy, the Bears do have the opportunity of substituting the potential that Fields can be good for the potential that USC’s Caleb Williams can be great.
If Williams’ long-term potential outweighs the projection that the Bears have for Fields, the decision is simple, take Williams. Even if there is a fear that Williams may not be as good in 2024 as Fields would be, if the long-term outlook still favors the USC quarterback, the Bears need to make the change.
The reason that change will be made is the quarterback close will be reset and, for better or worse, it buys general manager Ryan Poles more time.
Former Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen had the same take that was the consensus of seven general managers who were asked the same question this week.
The biggest question that the Bears will need to ask is whether or not the performance of Fields since his return from injury is sustainable. While not great, Fields limited the turnovers while showing an ability to hit on the passes when needed. Layups are still being missed by Fields but the question is whether the current ascension he is on will begin to correct his misreads.
The debate on what the Bears should do at the quarterback position will be polarizing but the only ask is that Poles gets it right.