Chicago Bears: Does drafting Justin Fields put a short leash on Dalton?
The first day of the 2021 NFL Draft brought many smiles to the faces of Chicago Bears fans in the Windy City. Originally having the 20th overall pick, the Bears traded up to the 11th overall spot to draft Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. This is the type of selection that Bear Nation has been waiting decades for, and some feel that this could be the player that puts an end to the quarterback curse that has loomed over the franchise since the days of Sid Luckman.
Prior to the draft, Chicago did try to patch up the quarterback situation. First, they cut ties with Mitchell Trubisky by letting him float off into the free-agency pool. Then, Chicago added veteran quarterback Andy Dalton. Although the Chicago Bears labeled Dalton as the team’s QB1 earlier this offseason, does that necessarily mean that he’ll be the man for the entire season?
Of course, everyone remembers Trubisky being drafted second overall in 2017. However, we must also remember that Matt Nagy wasn’t the head coach at the time. This was John Fox’s last season as head coach. Justin Fields is the first quarterback to be drafted in the Nagy era, and possibly Fields is the quarterback Nagy ACTUALLY wants.
With that being said, Dalton may be the No. 1 QB on the depth chart, but his margin for error may be slimmer than he thinks. If Justin Fields catches on during training camp and the preseason faster than expected, there’s a chance that he could be on the field sooner than expected if Dalton stumbles. The same can actually be said for Nick Foles.
Yes, it may be way too early to make such a prediction, but this will definitely give Chicago Bears fans something to chew on leading up to the 2021 regular season. Hopefully, things will work out for Dalton and he has a successful year and Field could step up in 2022 after soaking up knowledge from two veteran quarterbacks. But as for now, we have to just wait and see if Dalton will get the hook to make room for the future of the franchise.