The 2025 QB class is why Ryan Poles didn't keep Justin Fields for another year

Looking at next year's draft class, there's a clear reason why Poles chose to go with Caleb Williams in 2024 rather than one of the quarterbacks in 2025.
Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
Patrick McDermott/GettyImages / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Towards the end of last season and into this offseason, there was an idea running through the Chicago Bears' fanbase on how they should handle their No. 1 pick situation.

Justin Fields was heading into the fourth year of his rookie deal, and it was getting close to his next payday. Fields, at this point, had question marks about his game still. Sure, the idea that he wasn't given a fair shake is true, but as crappy as it sounds, that's the NFL for you.

Instead, Ryan Poles decided to trade Fields for a conditional draft pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Fields plays 50.9% of offensive snaps or fewer, the Bears get a sixth-round pick. However, if Fields plays 51% of offensive snaps or more, the Bears get a fourth-round pick. Either way, Fields wasn't traded for much, which left Bears fans with mixed emotions.

On one hand, Fields was one of the better quarterbacks to run through Halas Hall, and he was probably the best quarterback prospect Chicago had in years. He was a fan favorite, and when Poles was faced with the decision of either trading Fields and taking a quarterback with the No. 1 pick or keeping Fields and trading No. 1 for a haul, he went with the former.

And it was the right move.

Ryan Poles made the right decision to draft a QB in 2024 instead of 2025

In the 2024 draft class, three quarterbacks went in the top three picks, and six in the top 12 picks. And while there's plenty of time for the 2025 class to shake out, there's not a Caleb Williams or Drake Maye.

As it currently stands, the top quarterback prospects of next season are nowhere near as intriguing as the options they could choose from this year.

Looking at the options above, it shouldn't come to many as to why Poles decided to go with Williams in 2024, passing on the quarterback options in the next draft class.

For conversation's sake, assume Fields had another year with question marks. Then, the Bears would be in a spot where they're either stuck with Fields— who they'd likely have to pay handsomely next season— or one of the incoming quarterback prospects.

As the general manager of the Bears, Poles' job is to ensure the franchise has sustained success. Keeping Fields and gambling on him to make the next step in year four wasn't worth the risk to Poles, which is why he went with Williams in a draft class that has Bears fans jumping for joy.

If Poles has done anything in his time as the general manager of the Bears, it's given reason to trust the process. Poles was handed the keys to a beater and was told to make it show-ready. It might not have been immediate, and there might've been hiccups along the way, but Poles should have the trust of Bears fans at this point.

It might not be with the beloved Fields, but Ryan Poles is making the Bears a contender.