Things have gone from optimistic, back in September, to bad, about a month in, to worse now after Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields suffered a thumb injury in the team's fifth loss in six games.
The Bears sit at 1-5 and will have to be sellers at this year's NFL trade deadline, if they are truly trying to do what's best for the franchise.
What type of move could they make? Well, if you ask The Athletic's Jeff Howe, the Bears could make a big one, sending Fields out of Chicago.
Jeff Howe's trade proposal sending Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears to the Atlanta Falcons
"Remember, these are trades we want to see — not necessarily those we expect to happen." - Jeff Howe, The Athletic
"The Bears are tracking toward the no. 1 pick in the draft, either with their own selection or from the Panthers, so they’re in play for USC's Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye. With major changes likely on the horizon again, it might be best to maximize Fields’ value. Meanwhile, the Falcons were linked to Fields (who’s from Kennesaw, Ga.) before the 2021 draft, and he seems like a pretty solid fit for Arthur Smith’s offense," Howe wrote.
Howe makes the point that all Bears fans are well aware of. The Bears have a very high chance of ending up with the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. If they secure that pick, there is no way they pass up on drafting Caleb Williams. It would be silly to do so, as much as the fan base and locker room loves Fields.
Williams is a generational talent, and the Bears' best shot at securing a long-term, franchise quarterback. In Atlanta, Fields gets a fresh start and hopefully the right coaching to develop him into what Bears fans long desired to see.
The trade, as a whole, might not be to the liking of Bears fans, as some might think Fields should still net a first rounder. Regardless, this would signal the end of an era in Chicago, turning the page to the future behind Williams.