Winners and losers from the Chicago Bears trade of Justin Fields

The winners and losers of the trade that sent Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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Loser: The Bears organization

After Saturday's trade of Fields, the Bears organization is resetting the quarterback position once again. And it clears the way for USC's Caleb Williams to be selected first overall like we all expected him to be.

The biggest offensive improvement this off-season will likely come from the hiring of new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, who replaces much-maligned offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. And Poles has been busy upgrading the offense in free agency to ensure Waldron has weapons in his arsenal.

The day before the Fields' trade, Poles acquired wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers for a 4th-round pick which brought excitement after a slow free agency so far. Between D.J. Moore and Allen, the Bears have legit receivers that Williams can rely on. The Bears also added running back D'Andre Swift to bolster the speed and receiving ability out of the backfield, center Coleman Shelton, and tight end Gerald Everett as well.

Quarterbacks who were taken first overall in the past like Vinny Testaverde, Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning, David Carr, Joe Burrow, and most recently Bryce Young all struggle badly in their rookie season due to poor protection and lack of weapons.

There is no question Williams is walking into a much better situation than any of the quarterbacks I mentioned above. In addition to weapons being added, the Bears will likely add another receiver in the draft next month, have a defense that is ascending, and a decent offensive line that features two young tackles, and solid guards when they are healthy.

Still, despite an ideal situation, the Bears fans have plenty of reasons to feel pessimistic because of their history and the perception of the Bears organization's history of inability to draft and develop quarterbacks. It could be flaws in the way they scouted quarterbacks in the past because of desperation.

The reason why we had such divisiveness is largely due to the McCaskey family, who have operated with no real clear direction and vision. They have kept rinsing and repeating the same formulas of retaining Matt Eberflus as the head coach in 2024 as they have done in the past by pairing a rookie QB with a lame duck coach or general manager only to be fired a year later as we saw with Rex Grossman, Mitchell Trubisky, and now Justin Fields.

I get that we no longer have Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy to kick around anymore and the quarterbacks like Rex Grossman and Mitchell Trubisky did not perform well even after leaving the Bears. Still, the fans should need to direct their collective anger toward the Bears organization for botching the development of quarterbacks for a long time rather than being at each other's throats.

The long, suffering fans will likely not give the Bears organization the benefit of the doubt that things are going to be different under Poles despite drafting Caleb Williams and the offensive improvements they have made so far.

Also, Poles only getting a 2025 6th-round pick that becomes a 4th-round pick based on the percentage of snaps Fields plays in 2024 does not sit well with the fans, who were expecting more picks in return. Ironically, this trade replaced one of the worst trades made in Bears history when he acquired Chase Claypool from the same Steelers. We all learned a harsh reality about how Fields is being viewed around the league and how Poles may have had unrealistic trade value placed on Fields.

Unfortunately, the bickering will not likely stop unless Williams starts and performs much like CJ Stroud did in his rookie season when he led the Houston Texans to the AFC South title. The Bears have set up Williams with a very unrealistic expectation and could be hard to replicate given their dubious history at developing quarterbacks.

Still, this is Poles' third year as the general manager. He has officially aligned himself with head coach Matt Eberflus and now Caleb Williams as his quarterback. He is now really on the clock.

In the past, Poles has been honest whenever he has spoken in his pressers, which I have been impressed with. Perhaps Poles should offer his insights and process on what went into his decision to finally trade Fields soon and not be coy about his decision. The fans are not stupid. They have been burned too many times. Acknowledging the issue would go a long way toward bringing the fans together and rooting for this team once again.

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