The Chicago Bears very well could be moving away from quarterback Justin Fields, ready to select USC blue chip prospect Caleb Williams as their new starting QB. The Bears have the no. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft for the second straight year and seem increasingly unlikely to trade away that privileged spot for the second time in a row.
But not dealing away their no. 1 pick doesn’t mean that the team won’t create plenty of buzz with a big trade prior to the draft.
Trade proposals for Fields have been popping up everywhere online. A few teams seem willing to explore the asking price for the talented, but sometimes inconsistent three-year veteran, drafted by the Bears in the first round (no. 11 overall) of the 2021 draft.
The Wild 3-Way Trade
In the wildest of the recent proposals, Falcons writer Scott Carasik dreamed up a scenario where the Bears would cut a deal for their starting QB, working with the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals to make some big-time pre-draft headlines.
Here’s what that 3-way trade proposal would look like:
The Bears would get a second round pick in this year’s draft (no. 49 overall) from Cincinnati and a third round pick in 2025 from either Cincinnati or Atlanta, depending on whose pick is lower.
The Bengals would swap their no. 18 first round draft pick in this year’s draft for the Falcons’ no. 8 pick.
The Falcons would get Fields from the Bears and the Bengals’ first round, no. 18 pick.
Carasik paints the deal as a win-win-win for everyone involved. Chicago would get added trade capital over the next two NFL Drafts. The Bengals trade up for a higher-quality draft selection. The Falcons, meanwhile, would get Fields and do so without giving up a first round pick.
Fans and some media balk at the idea that Fields would command anything less than a first round draft pick in a potential deal. Carasik, though, believes that the Chicago QB would absolutely not bag the Bears a no. 1.
“Falcons aren’t trading their first round pick for Fields,” Carasik wrote on Twitter/X. “People who are suggesting that are WAYYYY overvaluing Fields…Teams don’t give up mid-first round picks like that. At most a 2 this year and a mid-rounder next…Atlanta would never make that trade [a first-rounder for Fields]. I say that from the Falcons side of it. Fields isn’t worth a first round pick…More than likely, [if the Bears wanted the Falcon’s no. 1 pick this year [no. 8 overall], Chicago would have to send a future 1st as well.”
Fields’ Real Trade Value
In an ESPN piece written by Jeremy Fowler and Courtney Cronin, unnamed NFL evaluators agreed with Carasik’s belief that Fields would not bring a no. 1 pick via trade.
“The consensus in an informal poll of league evaluators is that Fields would be worth a second- or third-round pick in a pre-draft trade. When compared to former top-10 picks recently traded, that’s better than Trey Lance, whom Dallas acquired from San Francisco for a fourth-round pick, but slightly worse than Sam Darnold, who, along with a sixth-round pick, went from the Jets to Carolina in exchange for second- and fourth-rounders.”
So, would the Bears be willing to trade Fields away for a pair of second day draft picks? Maybe. And maybe financial reasons will be behind it. Fields’ fifth year option will bring him a lot of money and, therefore, make him an expensive player to employ. If he’s not producing for the team, there’s no reason to be paying him top-tier money.
But would it also make sense for Chicago to keep him, brushing off second-day picks offered for him, to serve as a solid backup to Williams, at least for Fields’ upcoming fourth season in the NFL?
Much thinking needs to be done by the Chicago front office.