Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields might be a polarizing figure but could you imagine how much worse it could have been had former general manager Ryan Pace traded for Russell Wilson?
The Bears reportedly offered multiple first-round picks and players to the Seattle Seahawks back in the 2021 offseason. A deal was close until head coach Pete Carroll rejected the offer. The Bears should forever be in that man's debt.
Pace ended up trading two first-round picks to the New York Giants to move up in the 2021 draft and take Fields.
Fields only ended up costing a top-10 draft pick along with a furious debate on whether he is the long-term solution at quarterback. The Bears' offer for Wilson was reportedly three future first-round picks plus a choice of Kyle Fuller or Akiem Hicks. In hindsight, that would have been franchise crippling because Wilson eventually got a massive contract extension when he was traded to the Denver Broncos a year later.
The future would have been further mortgaged and the salary cap would have been weighted down by Wilson's massive contract. You gladly take the Justin Fields debate over having to deal with Wilson especially since he has been a disaster in Denver.
Now Wilson is being benched for the rest of the season.
The Broncos gave up a haul to let Russ cook in Denver. Turns out he was cooked when he arrived, and the Seahawks have turned those draft picks they got into cornerstone pieces.
Moving Wilson also allowed Geno Smith to emerge. Had the Chicago Bears traded for Wilson, this franchise would be in the same boat. The team collapsed in 2022 to 6-11. The talented defense of 2018 had eroded at that point. The franchise needed a full tear down and that is what new general manager Ryan Poles did the next offseason.
The record does not look good right now and Fields has not taken a firm grasp as the team's seven-decade-long problem at quarterback. The Bears also have a clean salary cap, a young emerging defense, and the chance to have the No. 1 overall pick along with a top 10 pick in the 2024 draft.
Talk about dodging a bullet.