NFL Rumors: ‘Most Teams’ Expect Justin Fields to Stay with Bears Despite Trade Buzz
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Justin Fields isn’t going anywhere.
Unless he is.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said most teams expect the Chicago Bears to retain Fields for the 2023 season, but it remains possible the team changes course between now and April’s NFL draft.
“Now, Justin Fields, different scenario because the Bears have the No. 1 pick and most teams I’ve talked to do expect the Bears to keep Justin Fields,” Fowler said Sunday on SportsCenter. “They say, look, this is a player who kept them in games they had no business staying in last year. But, if they have a high ranking on Bryce Young or one of these quarterbacks, they could certainly look into it. The expectation is that they’d move out of that No. 1 pick, but we’ll see.”
Fields is coming off a 2022 season that saw him emerge as perhaps the game’s best rushing quarterback while still showing need for improvement as a passer. He threw for 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, topping the 200-yard mark through the air just twice all season.
While there are some clear personnel issues in Chicago—the Bears might have the NFL’s worst receiving corps—Fields was treated with kid gloves as a passer. The Ohio State product did not throw more than 28 passes in a game, and the Bears were the only NFL team with less than 400 pass attempts.
The lack of faith the Bears showed in Fields as a passer opens up the possibility they could move on after two seasons. His athleticism and downfield throwing ability are enough he could likely land the Bears a first- or second-round pick from a team in trade talks while allowing Chicago to take Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson at the top of the draft.
Should Chicago choose to move forward with Fields as the franchise quarterback, the team could look to trade down from the No. 1 pick to fortify the roster around the young signal-caller. TCU’s Quentin Johnson and USC’s Jordan Addison are the top two receivers in this draft and should be available if the Bears move down to a pick midway in the top 10.
“How I look at it is just controlling the controllables. No matter what happens with me, I can control what I can control, and that’s how I approach the game,” Fields said on the Rich Eisen Show earlier this month. “That’s how I train for the game and how I carry myself within the game. It’s just those three aspects to where I kind of just have to look myself in the mirror and say what can I control? And it is what it is, and just move on and be the best quarterback I can be.
“Now’s the time where I’ve been trying to grow personally, spiritually as a quarterback. So I’ve grown a lot these past few weeks in the offseason.”