Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs for a first down during the first quarter of their game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, January 7, 2024 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Report: No trade market has emerged for Bears QB Justin Fields

A trade market for Bears quarterback Justin Fields has yet to develop, ESPN reported on Tuesday, citing sources that most teams view the 2021 first-round pick as a backup.

Fields was widely expected to be in play for the Atlanta Falcons or Pittsburgh Steelers. Atlanta agreed to a reported $180 million contract with 35-year-old Kirk Cousins and the Steelers signed Russell Wilson at a discount rate with Denver paying most of the $39 million salary he’s guaranteed for 2024.

The modest market creates a conundrum in Chicago, where general manager Ryan Poles holds a pair of top-10 draft picks and the Bears are thought to be planning on using one of those selections on Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams.

The Bears hold the No. 1 pick in the draft because they opted to pass on Bryce Young of Alabama and No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud of Ohio State in 2023, instead dealing the rights to the top spot to the Panthers. Carolina traded wide receiver DJ Moore and their first-round picks in 2023 and 2024 to the Bears and selected Young.

Many of the teams still in the market for a quarterback are focused on a popular set of prospects in the 2024 draft with Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye of North Carolina and J.J. McCarthy of Michigan being discussed as probable top-15 picks. Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. are also on the radar as potential first- or second-round picks.

Fields, 25, still could find a new home this offseason. The Las Vegas Raiders agreed to a two-year deal with Gardner Minshew but are paying a backup rate to a potential placeholder starter and the New England Patriots, currently holding the No. 3 pick in the 2024 draft, might give Fields a shot if it becomes evident their preferred quarterback won’t be available at the top of the draft.

Value for first-round draft picks at quarterback nosediving is a familiar backdrop for general managers attempting to offload those players. The Patriots agreed to accept a sixth-round pick in exchange for Mac Jones, who was selected 15th in 2021, four spots after Fields went to the Bears.

The No. 3 pick in that draft, Trey Lance, was traded to the Dallas Cowboys from the San Francisco 49ers for a fourth-round pick.

The 2021 No. 2 pick, Zach Wilson, has drawn no interest after being given permission to seek a trade by the Jets last month.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles looks on before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears narrowing options, plan to ‘do right by’ QB Justin Fields

INDIANAPOLIS — Bears general manager Ryan Poles holds the keys to the NFL draft for the second consecutive year, and he’s all gas, no brakes as the Scouting Combine kicks off Tuesday.

Asked for his timeframe determining his plan at quarterback and how the team will use the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Poles deadpanned, “Tomorrow.”

Part of the reason Poles is feeling some urgency is the amount of outreach he’s receiving on an hourly basis. He flipped his phone to “do not disturb” weeks ago and described the options on the table for the Bears as nearing triple digits.

Before moving on to the more pressing decision, the Bears are ramping up efforts to re-sign cornerback Jaylon Johnson to a long-term deal before free agency begins. Poles expects a deal to be done in the next two weeks.

That will clear the decks for him to focus on what the franchise perceives as the best option at quarterback.

Not long after the end of the combine in 2023, Poles and the Bears pulled the trigger on a deal to send the Carolina Panthers the top pick on March 10. He said the Bears are in contact with current quarterback Justin Fields, the No. 11 pick in the 2021 draft, while narrowing the options for maximizing the top pick in April — or sooner.

Poles said the Bears would “do right by Justin” and trade him before the start of free agency, which begins March 13, if they’ve determined drafting a quarterback is the “best decision for the franchise.”

“I know him well enough now. No one wants to live in the gray,” he said.

Asked if he’s aware the locker room is supportive of Fields, Poles said, “I feel the same way.”

Fields is entering the final year of his contract with a salary of $1.6 million for 2024 and a team option for 2025 available. The financial piece of the call can’t be ignored by the Bears, or potential suitors. For reference, the current franchise tag for quarterbacks is $38 million and could skyrocket next March.

Poles noted the talent at quarterback in the 2024 draft puts the Bears in a unique position he won’t take lightly.

“I would say our approach is exactly the same (as 2023) with the No. 1 pick. Obviously we chose to trade back last year and I think that helped our team out a lot,” Poles said.

Poles said the Bears are meeting with a number of quarterbacks this week, including Southern California’s Caleb Williams, while dismissing rumors the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner didn’t want to come to Chicago.

“No concerns about that at all,” he said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields Next Team Odds: Heavy favorite emerges

Justin Fields’ future is one of the more intriguing plot lines early in the NFL offseason, and at least one sportsbook believes the former first-round pick won’t be taking his first snap of the 2024 season for the Chicago Bears.

The Atlanta Falcons have emerged as the -120 favorite at DraftKings to be the team for whom Fields takes his next regular-season snap. That’s well ahead of the team Fields is currently employed by, with the Bears offered at +185.

The Falcons have a new coach in Raheem Morris and an unsettled quarterback situation after toggling through Desmond Ridder and journeyman Taylor Heinicke last season. Atlanta is expected to be active in its search for a more stable solution at the position, and the Falcons are also among the favorites to land one of two veterans who could be changing addresses: Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins (+300) and Denver’s Russell Wilson (+600).

Fields, who turns 25 on March 5, is younger — and cheaper — than the others as he still has a year remaining on his rookie contract along with a potential fifth-year option.

The Bears hold the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft and are expected to use it on one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class, led by Southern California’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

That has led to speculation that Chicago may look to part ways with Fields after three seasons.

The sportsbook is offering Fields odds on all 32 NFL teams.

That includes the Pittsburgh Steelers (+300), who were led to the playoffs by Mason Rudolph after second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett was injured. The Las Vegas Raiders (+700) have the fourth-shortest odds to be the team Fields takes his next snap for after finishing the year with Aidan O’Connell under center after veteran Jimmy Garoppolo was benched.

Wilson was another veteran signal-caller to finish the season on the sideline and is expected to part ways with Denver this offseason. The Broncos are being offered at +1300.

Falcons (-120)
Bears (+185)
Steelers (+300)
Raiders (+700)
Broncos (+1300)
Patriots (+1300)
Commanders (+2000)
Buccaneers (+4000)
Seahawks (+4000)
Vikings (+6000)
Lions, Browns, Panthers, Titans, 49ers, Giants, Saints, Dolphins, Rams (+10000)
Jaguars, Colts, Texans, Packers, Cowboys, Bengals, Bills (+30000)

Fields talked about his future and his past during Wednesday’s appearance on the podcast hosted by Chicago Bears teammate Equanimeous St. Brown and his brother, Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

“I can’t see myself playing in another place,” Fields said. “If it was up to me, I would want to stay in Chicago. I love the city. The city’s lit. The fans there, they’re great.”

Fields, however, is aware that there are more factors in play.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Fields said. “I feel like the biggest thing going on with this right now is I just want it to be over. Just let me know if I’m getting traded, let me know if I’m staying.”

Fields also addressed his decision to unfollow the Bears on social media.

“Why do people take social media so serious?” Fields said. “I still mess with the Bears, this and that. I’m just trying to take a little break (from football content). I unfollowed the Bears and the NFL. I’m just trying to not have football on my timeline.”

The Bears also own the No. 9 pick in the draft.

Fields missed four games last season due to injury and had a 5-8 record. Still, he set career highs for completion percentage (61.4) and passing yards (2,562) and added 16 touchdowns and a career-low nine interceptions.

He added 657 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2023, a season after gaining 1,143 rushing yards and scoring eight times.

The draft is scheduled for April 25-27 in Detroit.

–Field Level Media

Oct 5, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) stands on the sidelines after throwing a touchdown pass against the Washington Commanders during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bears OC Shane Waldron ‘exchanging messages’ with Justin Fields

Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron plans to build his system around the players available when he arrives at organized team activities.

“Once we know each other, you do develop relationships with people, you get a chance to coach them harder and coach them better,” Waldron said Thursday.

The Bears have the No. 1 pick and a decision to make about whether to commit to 2021 first-round pick Justin Fields or select one of the top-rated prospects in the first round in April.

Waldron said he’s starting prep for the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday afternoon, including a more in-depth look at presumptive No. 1 pick Caleb Williams of USC.

“The tape is obviously their resume as a player. What I look forward to is understanding and getting to know — what’s their why?” Waldron said. “The combine is the first chance to see some people in-person and get to know those guys outside of just the great displays of what they’ve put together Saturday afternoon or night on the field.

Waldron said when he was hired that most of the conversation about the quarterback position was lumped into his ability as a coach to be adaptable and build a system around individual skill sets.

“A lot of the conversation on offense revolved around adaptability. What can you do with different pieces of the puzzle? It’s our job first to be great teachers and put guys in the best position to have individual success and great team success,” Waldron said. “What concepts do we want to have when we start our OTAs, that’s the first part of it. You build it around the player’s skill set. That’s been a part of my core beliefs.”

Waldron said he has “exchanged messages” with Fields and will have more contact with him in the coming days.

Fields has one year — and a possible fifth-year option for 2025 — remaining on his rookie contract. Waldron is likely to have a say in whether the former Ohio State standout is equipped to move the franchise forward as the QB1. Waldron said he hasn’t done a detailed individual evaluation of Fields or any other offensive player on the roster yet.

“In the past experiences with different quarterbacks with different experience levels … different quarterbacks have been able to step into the system, learn it quickly,” Waldron said. “Without getting into specific personnel talk right now, it’s an ever-changing scenario this time of year with free agency. Obviously at the quarterback position with the ability to be explosive, work off-schedule.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) warms up before a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bears QB Justin Fields (thumb) to return Sunday

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields will return Sunday after missing four games with a right thumb injury, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Fields will test his grip strength at Wednesday’s practice. If all goes well, Fields will start for the Bears (3-7) on Sunday at the Detroit Lions (7-2).

Fields, 24, has been sidelined since sustaining a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand in a Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 15.

Fields is 1-5 as a starter this season, completing 61.7 percent of his passes for 1,201 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has rushed for 237 yards and a touchdown and has been sacked 24 times.

Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent relieved Fields in the Minnesota game and is 2-2 as a starter in his absence. He has completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 859 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) warms up before a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Bear down: QB Justin Fields doubtful for Thursday

Rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent was prepared to start his fourth consecutive game with the Bears listing Justin Fields as doubtful after he was limited in practice this week.

Fields returned to practice on a limited basis on Friday but continues to be less than full strength dealing with an injured right thumb.

He was officially dubbed doubtful to return for Thursday night’s home game against the Carolina Panthers (1-7).

The Bears (2-7) are still calling Fields “week to week,” the same assessment given from the team since he was injured in the Oct. 15 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Bagent relieved Fields in that game and his comeback attempt came up short with a game-ending interception. Bagent is 1-2 as a starter.

He posted his first career game with two touchdown passes in a 24-17 loss at New Orleans last week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) in the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Bears QB Justin Fields not ready to test thumb

Rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent remains the starter for the Bears when Chicago visits the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Justin Fields is not ready to test his injured right thumb and remains week-to-week with a possibility of returning to practice next week.

The Bears (2-6) will return home from New Orleans (4-4) to a short week of preparation for a Thursday night game against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10.

Head coach Matt Eberflus labeled Fields “week to week,” the same assessment given from the team since he was injured in the Oct. 15 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Bagent relieved Fields in that game and his comeback attempt came up short with a game-ending interception.

Bagent is 1-1 as a starter with one touchdown and three interceptions, but is completing 70 percent of his passes and has been sacked only three times. Fields was injured trying to escape pressure and was sacked 24 times in the first six games of the 2023 season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent (17) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Bears’ Tyson Bagent gets start; Justin Fields targeting Week 9

Justin Fields is at least one week away from regaining his starting job at quarterback and is targeting a Nov. 5 return against the New Orleans Saints.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said there is no change in Fields’ status for this week. He’s officially doubtful with a thumb injury, meaning rookie Tyson Bagent gets the green light to make another start for Chicago in the primetime game Sunday at the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Tyson will be our starter,” Eberflus said, noting Fields is progressing and working to get back on the field.

Bagent started last week in Fields’ place and Chicago beat the Las Vegas Raiders, 30-12, to improve to 2-5. He has completed 72.1 percent of his passes in the past two games, which includes most of the second half of a near-comeback against the Minnesota Vikings in which Fields was injured.

Left tackle Braxton Jones returned to practice Wednesday in what could be positive news for Bagent as he prepares to face a pass rush led by Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.

Eberflus didn’t commit to a timeframe for Fields’ return, but said he would be the starter when he’s ready to play.

Fields still has swelling in his right hand, which limits his grip strength and might be more problematic in cold or wet weather with a slick football.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent (17) drops back to pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

QB1 still doubtful, Bears prepare Tyson Bagent for first start

Tyson Bagent operated the starting offense for the Chicago Bears at practice on Wednesday with the expectation he’ll be in that role Sunday when the Las Vegas Raiders visit Soldier Field.

Starter Justin Fields left last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter with a dislocated thumb on his right hand. Swelling is slowly subsiding but compromises Fields’ grip strength.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday there is no change to Fields’ status for Week 7: He’s doubtful and surgery remains a possibility. Eberflus said “clarity” on a long-term plan is expected sometime this week.

“Again, nothing’s off the table. Nothing’s on the table — right now. We’ve still got to see where it is,” Eberflus said.

Bagent was one of the remarkable stories of the preseason for the Bears. The undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd University beat out PJ Walker, the former XFL QB who started for the Cleveland Browns last week, to back up Fields. Bagent scored a rushing touchdown but lost a fumble and threw a game-ending interception in the 19-13 loss to Minnesota.

“This is only going to be beneficial to him to get all these reps this week,” Eberflus said. “I’m excited to see where he is. I know the guys have a lot of confidence in him. He’s a very confident guy.”

Nathan Peterman is the third quarterback on the roster and would be active Sunday if Fields is out. Peterman, 29, has 13 interceptions in 13 career games, including five starts. He entered the NFL in 2017 with the Buffalo Bills and also played for the Raiders.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) in the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Bears QB Justin Fields doubtful, surgery possible

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is unlikely to play this week due to a lack of grip strength with his thumb, head coach Matt Eberflus said Monday.

“For this week it looks like it’s doubtful. But we’ll see at the end of the week and see where it goes. I know he’s a fast healer,” Eberflus said of Fields playing in Week 7 when the Las Vegas Raiders visit Chicago.

Surgery remains a possibility for Fields. The Bears anticipate knowing whether a procedure in necessary by the end of the week.

Fields dislocated his right thumb during Sunday’s 19-13 loss to the visiting Minnesota Vikings. He left the game in the third quarter after being tackled face-down with his body weight landing on the thumb beneath him.

X-rays and an MRI exam showed no long-term damage but Eberflus said Fields experienced significant swelling that weakens his grip on the ball.

Eberflus said Fields wouldn’t be cleared for as long as it takes for “swelling and stiffness to reside and strength to come back so he can grip a ball.”

“It’s really going to come down to grip strength,” he said.

Backup quarterback Tyson Bagent took over for Fields and fumbled on his first NFL drive, with the Vikings returning it for a touchdown. Bagent later scored on a 1-yard sneak, but the undrafted rookie out of Division II Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., was intercepted to end Chicago’s final drive.

Fields completed six of 10 passes for 58 yards and threw one interception before leaving the game. He also rushed eight times for 46 yards.

In six games this season, Fields has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 1,201 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also rushed for 237 yards and a score.

–Field Level Media