Chicago Bears trades signal that Justin Fields is the future

Chicago Bears-Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears-Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Months after speculation that the Chicago Bears could use their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to snag Justin Fields’ replacement, it seems that the story has completely flipped on the new regime’s opinion of the Bears’ starting quarterback.

At and around the trade deadline, general manager Ryan Poles has shown in actions that they not only believe Justin Fields to be the franchise quarterback but that they will do what they can to support and develop him.

Starting last Wednesday, the Bears began dismantling a defense that has allowed 22.6 points per game and 344 yards per game. After trading defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith for a total of a second, a fourth, and a fifth, it became apparent that for the time being, defensive performance is not a priority for this team.

Chicago Bears trades set up Justin Fields for future success

Head coach Matt Eberflus, a former defensive coordinator, certainly understands the importance of having a good defense. However, between age and underperformance, he and Ryan Poles made the tough decision to let go of two team captains in order to initiate a rebuild.

The Chicago Bears seem to only be tearing apart the defense, as the team just traded their own second-round pick for former Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool. At 6’4″ and 240 lbs, Claypool provides the frame and speed of a true number-one receiver for this Bears offense that lacks talent outside of the quarterback spot.

In total, the Chicago Bears traded Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith and moved down in the second round for Claypool, a fourth, and a fifth. Overall, this is a decent haul for two defenders, one who is aging and may have already played his best football, and another who is great at a non-premium position in the NFL.

From now on, the rest of the season, and the 2023 offseason, seems to be all about Justin Fields’ development as a passer and rusher — as well as acquiring talent around the young quarterback. Similar to players such as Jalen Hurts and Tua Tugavailoa, it is essential to grade Fields’ abilities only after he has the necessary weapons to become a playmaker and winner.

The Chicago Bears were rumored to be in on a few other trades, but nothing came to fruition before the deadline. It is clear that with eight draft picks next year and over $100 million dollars in free agency, the main goal will be to surround Justin Fields with playmakers and protection in order to truly see how great he can be.