Justin Fields Rumors: Bears QB Worth a 2nd or 3rd-Rounder in Trade, per NFL Insiders

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Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty ImagesA Day 2 pick in the 2024 NFL draft might be the ceiling as the return in a Justin Fields trade for the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Courtney Cronin.

“The consensus in an informal poll of league evaluators is that Fields would be worth a second- or third-round pick in a pre-draft trade,” they reported. “When compared to former top-10 picks recently traded, that’s better than Trey Lance, whom Dallas acquired from San Francisco for a fourth-round pick, but slightly worse than Sam Darnold, who, along with a sixth-round pick, went from the Jets to Carolina in exchange for second- and fourth-rounders.”

Fields was the subject of trade speculation heading into the 2023 draft as well, but it didn’t feel like a deal was ever that likely. His improvement over the second half of the 2022 season had provided a reason for optimism about his long-term development, and there wasn’t a clear can’t-miss quarterback prospect on the board.

C.J. Stroud already looks like a franchise QB, but the fact he went second overall behind Bryce Young showed how he wasn’t even considered the consensus best at the position leading up to the draft.

General manager Ryan Poles might have more to consider this time around.

Fields hasn’t taken another big step forward. Through 12 starts, he has thrown for 2,414 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His completion percentage (60.4) is roughly on par with his 2022 performance (60.4 percent), and his QBR has fallen from 56.3 to 46.3.

But then he’ll deliver something like his Week 17 performance in a 37-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and you get sold on him all over again. He went 20-of-32 for 268 yards and a touchdown and ran for 45 yards and one score on 11 carries.

NFL @NFLJustin Fields is a magician 🪄

📺: #ATLvsCHI on CBS
📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/sFjqko01pD pic.twitter.com/6LucSl7EIx

“If you want to build an offense in a certain way around [Fields], then it can work behind a good offensive line and a dual-threat running game,” one AFC executive said to Fowler and Cronin. “And he can make plays with his arm strength, for sure.”

But the gap between Fields and USC star Caleb Williams may not be that large. One NFL personnel official told Fowler and Cronin the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner is “one of the best I’ve seen in a long time” between his throwing ability and penchant for creating big plays.

Selecting Williams would also mean resetting the clock in terms of building around a young quarterback on a rookie contract.

Fields is due to be a free agent in 2026, and re-signing him would be a costly endeavor. Spotrac values him at $47.1 million annually, which might seem high but reflects the current market. Daniel Jones parlayed one good season into four years and $160 million.

Even if it means taking a bit of a loss in terms of what they invested in Fields draft-wise, that could be balanced by gaining significantly more flexibility to fill out the roster around Williams or another first-round pick at quarterback.


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