How soon will the Bears need to trade Justin Fields to get maximum value?

We're getting closer and closer to a decision.

Chicago Bears, Justin Fields
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

I think it's safe to say we have surpassed the idea that this is only a rumor. Instead, the narrative that the Chicago Bears will ultimately trade quarterback Justin Fields has snowballed into a massive, moving object.

If you still believe Fields is going to remain in Chicago, then you're grasping at straws.

The Bears are going to end up trading Fields and drafting Caleb Williams no. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. Reading the tea leaves has become more than just that, at this point. Insiders like Adam Schefter and Albert Breer seem to be fully on board with the idea that Fields is done in Chicago.

Speaking of Breer, he recently reported that the Bears have already spoken to other NFL teams in regards to a Fields trade.

Is a Justin Fields trade coming soon?

If you look at other major quarterback trades over the last couple of years, they have typically happened just before the start of the new league year. And, the new league year is usually the second or third week in March.

The Denver Broncos traded for Russell Wilson on March 8, 2022, for example.

Now, other examples also indicate it could happen later. Aaron Rodgers was dealt to the New York Jets just before the 2023 NFL Draft. However, Rodgers seems to be a special case. Everything has usually happened on his time, rather than doing what's best for an organization.

Yes, that was a shot at Rodgers, and yes, it was also true.

Back to the topic at hand. For a team that's looking at trading for Fields, such as the Falcons, Steelers or even the Raiders, among other candidates, they'd likely want to get something done before the start of the new league year.

That would mean a trade comes before March 13, the official start of the 2024 league year.

I think it makes sense to get maximum value either during or right after the Combine, too, because teams will have just come off of seeing all the other quarterback prospects they could pursue. While that might have the opposite effect, consider this: any team that trades for Fields will already be well out of reach from drafting a top-3 quarterback in this class.

If I was Ryan Poles, I would strongly consider making a deal while the juices are flowing amongst other NFL front offices and coaches during the Combine. It makes sense for both sides of a deal, too, knowing exactly where you'll stand with your draft capital as you're evaluating potential selections.