The Chicago Bears faced a similar situation in March when they made the decision to trade the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NFL Draft to the Panthers in exchange for multiple picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore. This move gave quarterback Justin Fields at least one more year and provided the team with additional resources to strengthen their infrastructure. In essence, the Bears needed to be impressed by a quarterback in order to select one in the 2023 draft, and ultimately chose to trade the pick.
Heading into the 2024 draft, sources reveal that the Bears maintain the same perspective. They would need to be extremely impressed by a rookie quarterback to move on from Fields, who was selected No. 11 overall in the 2021 draft.
The question arises: What exactly does Fields need to demonstrate in order to remain the Bears’ QB1?
Sources offered insights into the decision, noting that this year’s roster is stronger and more developed than last year’s, providing a more suitable environment for a fair evaluation of Fields.
The organization seeks to see if Fields is a quarterback capable of winning multiple championships. They are interested in his ability to maintain consistency, especially in critical moments such as red-zone and two-minute offense, as well as his capacity to perform when the game is on the line. Additionally, they want to assess his ability to avoid turnovers and keep drives going, which are standard evaluation criteria for quarterbacks.
There have been occasions in Fields’ career where there seemed to be efforts to transform him into more of a pocket passer. However, the hope is that he will continue to play his natural game, utilizing his running abilities when necessary and creating game-changing opportunities with his legs.
If Fields can excel, it would make life easier for the organization as they wouldn’t need to start over with a new quarterback. Instead, they could focus on building around Fields to achieve success. The upcoming games will play a crucial role in determining his capabilities.
Recently, head coach Matt Eberflus was asked about his observations of Fields during practice.
“I thought he got his footwork back where it needed to be,” the coach remarked. “And I thought the accuracy was good, got better as the week went. I thought he was good.”
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