3 reasons the Chicago Bears are struggling to find a trade for Justin Fields

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The Chicago Bears have not had the same success trading Justin Fields this offseason as they did trading the number one pick last offseason. Ryan Poles said that he wanted to do right by Fields and get a deal done sooner rather than later, but now the team is holding on. Reports show that the compensation for Fields is well below what they expected, and few teams are even in the talks. 

What is hurting the Chicago Bears' ability to get a trade done for Fields before free agency starts?

3. The fifth-year option is a sticking point for teams trading for Justin Fields

One of the toughest factors to maneuver will be Fields contract. This year, he is on the salary cap for just $6M, which is not an issue. However, he is a free agent next year. The team acquiring him could exercise the fifth-year option on Fields, but that would be a guaranteed salary of over $20M for the 2025 season. 

The team would have to decide to pick up that option by May 2. So, there would be no training camp competition or letting it play out into the season. They would either have to enter camp knowing that they have Fields for one year, and he could leave, or knowing that he is their starter, not only for 2024 but also 2025, due to his salary. 

That is going to be tough for teams to decide. It is one thing to trade for him and let him start this year, but all teams know that this could blow up in their face. So, do they want to pick up that option? Probably not. However, if they do not, and Fields excels, they have to franchise tag him, which is a bigger cap hit. Do they really want that? No. 

It is one thing to trade a higher pick for Fields it is another to do that and exercise his fifth-year option. The team would want to trade much less, decline the option, and let Fields compete, knowing they do not owe much and just took a flier. This hurts the Bears.