The Chicago Bears ended their 2023 season with a record of 7-9, winning four more games than they did the year before. Even though there was improvement and the defense exceeded expectations significantly, the year was still a "dud" because of the offense.
Quarterback Justin Fields did not do enough to solidify himself as the franchise's quarterback of the future. Some blame can be directed towards offensive coordinator Luke Getsy for not doing his part to build an offensive system and game plan to amplify Fields' and his teammates' talents. For that, Getsy was fired at the end of the season.
The Bears find themselves going into the 2024 offseason in a familiar spot but with a bit of a twist. They again hold the rights to the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, thanks to last year's trade with the Carolina Panthers.
Trading down from first overall is still on the table, but it's unlikely. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Fields, he kicks off our 10 most likely Bears to not return in 2024.
1. Justin Fields
After it was decided the Mitchell Trubisky era needed to end in Chicago, the Bears signed free agent Andy Dalton to be their quarterback in 2021. However, the Bears traded up, moving from the 20th position to the New York Giants’ 11th position, where they selected Fields.
This was eerily like the situation Trubisky entered, with the Bears signing quarterback Mike Glennon just before they moved up to select him 2nd overall in 2017. The similarities did not stop there.
After one year of John Fox as his head coach, Trubisky was given Matt Nagy after Fox’s firing. He and Nagy tried for three full seasons to make it work, but the lack of production was ultimately put on Trubisky. Nagy and the Bears’ general manager, Ryan Pace, were allowed to make another selection at quarterback they believed would turn the offense around. That choice was Fields.
After another failed transition from veteran (Dalton) to rookie (Fields) in 2021, both Nagy and Pace were fired and the Bears began the hunt to replace them. Matt Eberflus and Ryan Poles came in to take hold of Fields’ future, and it was essentially the same result.
After two seasons of no offensive improvement, it looks like the finger is being pointed toward Fields. He will be moved out of Chicago, Eberflus and Pace will be selecting a new quarterback, and Bears fans everywhere are left to hope and pray lightning does not strike this forsaken franchise for a third time.