Nah, I Don't Think the Bears Are Giving Up on Justin Fields

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Nah, I Don’t Think the Bears Are Giving Up on Justin Fields

Chicago Bears

It’s been a long offseason for Chicago Bears fans.

Their head coach was fired. General manager, too. One of the team’s best and most popular players was traded, kick-starting a rebuilding project. Although, the new GM wouldn’t necessarily call a rebuilding project. But that’s neither here nor there. Free agency came and went without the Bears making an impact addition on either side of the ball. Trade winds were swirling around the league, but the Khalil Mack deal was the only one the Bears were able to push through. And when the 2022 NFL Draft came, it left with the Bears selecting just one wide receiver with its 11(!) picks.

The optics aren’t good. And this isn’t going to help:

The shortcomings of Chicago’s offseason when it came to building around Fields are on full display in the piece above. It is overly harsh on the margins, while simultaneously missing a ton of necessary nuance. But the big picture bullet points remain – as they have since March – hard to dispute.

Even still … the counter to Tanier’s argument is that this offseason has been a show that they truly believe in Fields.

It is possible that this front office believes so much in Fields’ overall skills and his makeup that a bad year by the team won’t hurt the QB’s development. Should that turn out to be the case, then the Bears will roll into 2023 with a quarterback whose developmental arrow is pointing up, a potential top-10 pick in a 2023 draft class loaded with receivers, and an improved secondary that won’t cough up leads Fields gives them as they did against the Niners and Steelers. And the cherry on top is a projected $93,486,081 in available salary cap, per OverTheCap.com. Having a top-10 pick and nearly $100 million in cap space to work with is absolutely wild — and Fields can be the beneficiary.

But it is clear that – for that to happen – he’ll need to prove it to the new regime. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

So, again, we ask: Are the Bears stepping back because they don’t believe in Fields? Or are they simply cleaning up a short-term mess in order to fully back Fields when the time is right? It’s all fair to ask. And it is worth further exploration of the full scope of the situation. To be clear, I believe it is fair to question this offseason’s approach. But it is probably unfair to declare the franchise is quitting on Fields. After all, it doesn’t take much to make a pitch that cleaning up a depleted roster and messy salary cap situation was a more heady move than piecing together a receivers room with possible draft reaches and expensive free agents who could be questionable fits.

The Bears have been trying to fix massive issues with bubblegum and patch work for years. Especially since the organization just did that with its previous draft pick quarterback (and with middling results).

Publicly, the Bears have been open in their support of Fields. And GM Ryan Poles being clear with his words seems to drive it home. Fields was front-and-center at introductory press conferences for the new head coach and general manager. A team waffling on its commitment to a high-profile quarterback probably doesn’t do that. Fields had involvement in the pre-draft process, watching tape with GM Ryan Poles leading up to draft weekend (h/t Chris Emma). And yet, the Bears did what they did this offseason. I wish they would’ve done more, but I don’t think the situation is as dire as it can be portrayed.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.