Without question, one of the key teams this offseason is the Chicago Bears. The Houston Texans won their final game of the regular season and the Bears would jump them for the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The reason that the Bears are so important to watch is that they have a number of different options that could create a domino effect that ripples throughout the rest of the league. Before the first round, general manager Ryan Poles will almost certainly make a trade but it remains to be seen what, or who, they trade and the decision centers around quarterback Justin Fields.
If the Bears believe Justin Fields is the answer at quarterback, then the first overall pick is the piece that teams will look to acquire for the chance to select Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud.
The other option for Chicago would be to keep the first overall pick to select one of those quarterbacks and this opens up the potential of trading Fields.
Chicago Bears appear unlikely to trade Justin Fields
On Tuesday, general manager Ryan Poles were quoted by Adam Jahns of The Athletic as saying the plan is for Justin Fields to be the starter. However, he kept the door open of trading Fields but only if he was “absolutely blown away.”
Justin Fields showed a great deal of improvement in his second season in the NFL. He finished the year with 2,242 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions but really was a threat running the ball with over 1,100 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.
The biggest question for the Chicago Bears and this could drive the direction they take, is whether or not they believe Fields can develop as a passer. If he remains somewhat one-dimensional and relies on his legs, it could make sense to trade Fields.
In the end, this is certainly the right direction to take as Poles leave all options open and it will be interesting to see what transpires over the next few months.