The Chicago Bears are sitting pretty when it comes to pre-draft options this year. With the overall no. 1 in the NFL draft, they have first dibs on grabbing USC top quarterback prospect Caleb Williams. They also have the potential haul of talent that would come with trading away their no. 1 pick.
On the other side of the Bears’ embarrassment of riches dilemma, they still have starting quarterback Justin Fields, who showed signs last season of major development and of becoming the field leader the front office hoped he would become. If they draft Williams, they’ll be able to deal Fields away to a QB-hungry team for a decent return.
This apparent win-win situation for Chicago has reportedly brought them several suitors already, most inquiring about the asking price for the no. 1 pick, but, also, some asking price about Fields.
The only team reportedly in the mix for both trade options, however, is the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta has been floundering at quarterback, but is otherwise a very strong team on offense. They desperately need a quality QB to become a legitimate playoff player.
The Falcons Want Justin Fields?
In a fairly recent trade proposal, first posted by FanNation Falcon Report, the Falcons opt to bring the talented Fields on to the team and immediately plug him into the starter spot.
Per Falcon Report (and quoting Sportrac):
“The Falcons would send a second-round pick this year and a 2025 second-round pick with incentives that can turn into a first-rounder ‘based on production and playing time’ to the Bears for Fields.
Young QB of the future Desmond Ridder was benched multiple times in favor of Taylor Heinicke, who completed less than 60% of his passes with a rating somewhere in the 80’s. It’s a bleak outlook for an otherwise fairly talented roster, begging for an expensive quick fix this March,’ Spotrac writes.”
Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN First Draft feels that Atlanta would even be willing to trade their no. 1 pick (overall no. 8) for Fields:
“If you trade Justin Fields to Atlanta, you could get the 8th pick overall, so you could have 1, 8, and [the Bears’ own] 9 and be able recoup a second round pick by trading down with one of those two picks, either 8 or 9, so a lot of maneuverability for the Bears either way, but if it’s me, I’m taking Caleb Williams no. 1 and trading Justin Fields.”
The Falcons REALLY Want Caleb Williams?
On the other side of things, the Falcons could also be interested in trading some significant draft capital for the chance to pick up Caleb Williams and make him their franchise quarterback of the foreseeable future.
Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report anticipates a huge return from the Falcons for the right to grab Williams in this draft. He sees the Bears getting Atlanta’s 2024 No. 8 pick, their 2025 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, and 2025 second-round pick.
“If the Bears are sure that they don’t want a quarterback and believe they can land the guy they want either at No. 8 or No. 9 or by packaging those two selections to move back up, and if nothing else is on the table, they could accept nothing more than a future first-rounder and a few Day 2 selections for the swap.
But there will inevitably be interest from other teams, and the Bears will wisely drive a hard bargain, just as they did last year [in the Bears’ deal with the Carolina Panthers].”
In a different trade proposal, first mentioned in the BFR Podcast (and later re-published at ChicagoBearsHQ.com), the Bears would look to make a deal similar to the Panthers deal in 2023, one where an established veteran star would be packaged along with draft picks for the no. 1 draft position.
In this particular deal, the Bears would trade away their no. 1 pick for the Falcons’ veteran defensive end Grady Jarrett, along with their no. 8 pick this year, a 2024 second round pick, and their no. 1 picks in both 2025 and 2026.
The one thing in common with all of these proposals is that the Bears would probably come out ahead. And that’s only fair since this will definitely be a seller’s market for them this year.