The Chicago Bears need to find value in a Justin Fields' trade

The Chicago Bears have a history of buying high on certain players and selling low when it comes to trades. Chicago cannot afford to let this happen with Justin Fields. If the plan is to trade Fields and a team is not willing to give up what Ryan Poles thinks Fields is worth, then Poles needs to hold until someone meets his price.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is an elite athlete and leader in the city of Chicago. There's a lot of debate amongst fans and media as to whether Chicago should stick with Fields or trade him. Recent news out of the NFL Combine seems to indicate Fields may not have the market many expected. It's possible Fields is considered plan B for some teams who are in the market for a quarterback.

Chicago has a bit of a somewhat sketchy history in terms of what value they give up and receive in trades. Player evaluation and projection is an imperfect science and hindsight is always 20/20, but even with that in mind, the amount of draft capital given up by the Bears is concerning. Which trades worked out in the Bears' favor is debatable given their lack of success. Some of the more recent high-profile trades include:

1. Jay Cutler (2009 from Broncos)

Jay Cutler
Tennesee Titans v Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Chicago traded their 1st and 3rd round picks in 2009 and their 1st round pick in 2010 for Jay Cutler.

2. Mitch Trubisky (2017 NFL Draft Trade)

Mitchell Trubisky
Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Chicago traded their 1st, 3rd, and 4th round picks in 2017 and a 4th round pick in 2018 to the 49ers to move up one spot from pick 3 to 2 in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft to select Mitch Trubisky.

3. Khalil Mack (2018 from Raiders)

Khalil Mack
Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

Chicago traded their 2019 1st and 6th round picks along with 2020 1st and 3rd round picks for Khalil Mack. Chicago also received a 2019 2nd-round pick and a 2020 7th-round pick in the trade.

4. Khalil Mack (2022 to Chargers)

Khalil Mack, Josiah Deguara
Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Chicago traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers for a 2nd round pick in 2022 and a 6th-round pick in 2023.

5. Roquan Smith (2022 to Ravens)

Roquan Smith
Washington Commanders v Chicago Bears / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Chicago traded arguably the best off-the-ball linebacker in the NFL to the Baltimore Ravens for 2nd and 5th-round picks in 2023. Smith was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

6. Chase Claypool (2022 from Steelers)

Chase Claypool
Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Chicago traded a 2023 2nd round pick to the steelers for Chase Claypool.

7. Chase Claypool (2023 to Dolphins)

Chase Claypool
Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Chicago traded Chase Claypool and a 2025 7th-round pick to the Dolphins for a 2025 6th-round pick.

It's important to note that Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith's trade values were also affected by their salaries. With that in mind, it's also important to note Chicago gave the Raiders two 1st round picks in for Mack in addition to having to sign him to a large contract extension. In contrast, Chicago only received a 2nd and 5th-round pick for Roquan Smith while knowing the Ravens would need to sign him to a large extension. I understand these are two players at two different positions, but both are elite players at their respective positions fetching much different trade compensation for the teams who traded them.

With that being said, Justin Fields is an asset that cannot be traded away for the sake of getting him out of the building to make things more comfortable for himself and an incoming rookie. The market is what it is, but if it does not match the value Poles has on Fields, then he needs to hold onto him. Fields has shown himself to be a professional no matter the situation, and I wouldn't foresee him handling this situation with any less professionalism.

Poles should not feel pressure to move Fields. Other teams will eventually feel the pressure of finding their quarterback of the future. Fields still has the potential to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL and will be a great leader for any team who gets him. If anything, it may be beneficial to keep Fields, pick up his 5th-year option, and let a rookie quarterback (Caleb Williams) sit behind him for a year. If Fields takes off in 2024, then Poles will find himself in an even more advantageous situation next year. It would be much more beneficial to keep Fields for another year and see what he can do with competent coaching than to trade him for 3rd and 5th-round picks.

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