Chicago Bears talk about the anomaly vs the runner vs the draft capital

Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Ryan Poles build

I can't stress enough to Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears fans that the argument about what the Bears should do in the 2024 draft isn't Caleb Williams vs Justin Fields. The argument is whether Ryan Poles wants to cash in on his draft compensation now for one player, for a player and some draft capital, or lots of draft capital. I also can't stress enough that the Chicago Bears aren't a good football team yet. They are very close, but finishing this build would take many hits. Truth be told, the free agency opening will answer all of the questions. If Ryan Poles spends big in free agency during the tempering period (like he did last year), the Bears will draft a quarterback with that first overall pick.

Follow the money. If the Bears spend enough, they will be focused on capitalizing on a rookie contract for three seasons. Yes, three seasons, not four. That wasn't a typo. Justin Fields only got three seasons and would still be on the hook for this next season. Justin Fields' $6 million plus Caleb Williams' $7 million would count against the Bears in 2024. It is still cost-effective, but the quarterback room would count towards $13 million whether you like it or not. The other issue is the Bears would be banking on fixing past mistakes by doing the same thing. It is a gamble, but it could work. CJ Stroud played outstanding. Williams wouldn't have to win exactly, but he would have to have a rookie season similar to Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, RGIII, Justin Herbert, etc.

If he doesn't play at that level, the Chicago Bears would go down the John Fox and Matt Nagy situation all over again. The biggest difference is Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus. They are different people, so the third time may be the charm. Caleb Williams struggled in college with limited weapons and a bad offensive line. Hopefully, he understands that he doesn't have to play hero ball. I would assume Poles would beef up the offensive and defensive lines in free agency to give Williams the best situation possible.

Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The talent of the two

Speaking of a better situation for a Chicago Bears quarterback, that would be another situation for Williams that would be different. Everybody keeps comparing Williams to Patrick Mahomes, but I haven't seen it. Williams, to me, is Deshaun Watson with a cannon. I am talking about a pro-player comparison. Watson would have been rookie of the year had he not gotten hurt in 2017. In college, Watson was reckless and turned the ball over more than needed. However, at the professional level, Watson often plays off-script to set up home runs or dump-offs. 

Andy Reid taught Mahomes to play on time and make a big play when needed. Sure, he can extend plays better than anybody playing now, but he doesn't have to like he had in college. Williams won't have that luxury under Shane Waldron. Williams would likely play more like Watson, which isn't bad. 

The idea for the quarterback position is to get an elite player. I don't care if it is a playmaker or a game manager. My issue with moving on from Justin Fields is that he is an elite player. I have beat that conversation to death, but Fields is an elite runner. He does need to stay healthy. I have talked extensively about how Fields is Vick, but I have yet to discuss the major red flag. Throwing isn't the biggest issue regarding runners like these quarterbacks. Injury is. Vick started 115 of the 143 games he played in.

David Becker/GettyImages

The draft trade haul

The most important thing about playing football for the Chicago Bears or any team is being available. It is possible for Fields to stay available. Cam Newton missed four starts, not including 2019 when he only played in two games. Yes, that isn't good. I am not here to talk you into Caleb Williams or Justin Fields. I want you to understand how important the draft capital can be and how life-changing it can be. If Caleb Williams hits, the draft capital is as life-changing as that would be. In our Bear Goggles chat, someone asked if the Bears should draft Caleb Williams and trade up for a receiver. 

That move falls in line with what the Houston Texans did last year. While that is a good move, the Texans were setup to do that when they traded Deshaun Watson. The acquired:

  • 2022 first-round pick
  • 2023 first-round pick
  • 2023 third-round pick
  • 2024 first-round pick
  • 2024 fifth-round pick

That draft capital allowed the Texans to move all over the draft board and not worry about not having a first-round draft selection in 2024. The Bears need that draft capital. Now, if somehow the Chicago Bears acquired a first-round pick for Justin Fields, whether it be in 2024 or 2025, I would make that trade (no offense, Justin) and move on with a crazy trade that would give Williams or whatever quarterback the Bears would select in this draft class.

What If Ryan Poles did something wild. What If Ryan Poles did something wild. dark. Next

We keep talking about Caleb Williams, but what if Ryan Poles takes advantage of this draft class and trades down to select someone different? It's not that wild to think. Think about a former USC quarterback who was a Heisman Trophy winner but had a worse season in his junior year. Matt Leinart! I am a recency bias type of guy, so Jayden Daniels is still my top guy. But I have to see the NFL Combine. Food for thought: Jay Cutler was the draft class's best quarterback, which included Leinart and Vince Young.