Chicago Bears: No matter what happens, team did not do right by Justin Fields

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles talked about "Doing right" by quarterback Justin Fields. His actions, however, show that has not happened.
Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Last week at the NFL Combine, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles talked about the big decision he has to make this offseason. He has two top-ten picks in April's draft, including the number one overall pick. A big decision looms as to whether he uses the top pick on USC quarterback Caleb Williams or keep it and trade quarterback Justin Fields.

Some people consider Williams to be a generational prospect. He draws comparisons to Peyton Manning and Patrick Mahomes Last year at this time, he traded the top pick to the Carolina Panthers for a historic haul. He received what ended up being offensive lineman Darnell Wright, cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, this year's top pick, and a 2025 second-round pick. Additionally, he also received wide receiver DJ Moore.

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles said he wanted to "do right" by Justin Fields if he was to trade him. No matter what happens, however, he has not done that.

Poles said he wanted something similar or even more to trade the pick this year. With Williams available, that would be natural. However, he also has Fields. Fans, teammates, former players, and former coaches feel the better move is to keep Fields and build around him. The thought is that it is better to replace one piece (Fields) than multiple pieces.

In the past several weeks, it seemed that Poles had his mind made up. He all but signaled that he was going to pick Williams. He spoke highly of Williams and gave indications that he would trade Fields.

"I will say this: I think you guys know me well enough now. If we do go down that road, I want to do right by Justin as well. No one wants to live in the gray. I know that's uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to be in that situation, either."

Ryan Poles

So Poles talked about not leaving Fields "live in the gray" and not letting him hang without having a solution to the situation. Fields already spoke about being tired of the situation and wanting a resolution. He said he unfollowed the Bears and the NFL so he would not have to keep seeing all the talk on social media.

Poles is doing exactly what he said he did not want to do

It appears, however, that Poles is not sticking to what he said at the Combine. The new league year and, with it, free agency, hits on Wednesday at 4 PM Eastern. Teams are busy finalizing their plans, especially those who are quarterback-needy. Add to that other quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson being available.

The options for Fields are shrinking. Not only is he "in the gray" but also in danger of being in it until the draft. If a deal cannot be made in the next week, it could linger to April, and Fields' value drops even more. What's more, Poles might end up getting himself in a situation in which he looks to the Minnesota Vikings for a trade. He doesn't want to trade Fields inside the division so he gets to play them twice a season.

Additionally, it is defeating to see what Poles, as well as head coach Matt Eberflus, did during the Combine. When talking about what they look for in a quarterback, they pointed out some of Fields' struggles. This is what Eberflus said about what he is looking for in a quarterback.

"I look at situations. I look at the guys that can operate third down, two-minute and the end-of-the-game situations. That, to me, is a separator for me."

Matt Eberflus

Yes, Fields struggled in those situations. However, it was not all his fault. He had an offensive coordinator in Luke Getsy who had no faith in his ability. Getsy tried to turn Fields into a different type of quarterback. Additionally, the entire 2022 season should be tossed because Poles obliterated the roster and added third and fourth-string players to become starters.

Also, former Chicago Bears Director of Personnel, Josh Lucas, blasted Fields for his attitude during his rookie season. He said that Fields was not open to having Andy Dalton and Nick Foles mentor him.

Let's not forget how Eberflus handled Fields' injury situation. Fields missed four straight games due to a dislocated thumb. At first, Eberflus claimed it was not a serious injury. However, weeks passed with Eberflus being cryptic about whether Fields would play or not.

It got at its most ridiculous when Eberflus, tied into a pretzel, announced before the Panthers game in Week 10 that Fields would be out but that he would toss the ball before the game to see if he could play. Yes, he actually said he was out but might be in.

Did the team engage in a campaign against Fields?

It seems as if the Chicago Bears had a campaign against Fields. This is an accusation that WSCR radio host Dan Bernstein made against the team. There were a lot of negativity about Fields during a Sunday Night Football telecast in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Analyst Cris Collinsworth even said that Fields could learn a lot from rookie backup quarterback Tyson Bagent.

Bernstein felt that all that was coming from a whispering campaign against Fields by the team.

While one can just dismiss Bernstein as just a rant by a media person to draw attention, he is not the only one who made an accusation like that. Another theory was expressed by national NFL reporter Mike Florio.

Florio was talking about the Fields situation and he felt that what Poles and Eberflus said during the Combine was calculated. Without getting the value they felt was good for a Fields trade, they might have been trying to irk Fields.

"I think they've been hoping the phone will ring and it hasn't, at least not the way that they had hoped. The comments this week...I think were calculated to just stick it to him enough to get him to ask for a trade...Then, if they trade him out from a trade request and they don't get much for him they don't look as bad. Whereas they don't get much for him and there isn't a trade request they look bad. I don't think it was an accident."

Mike Florio

This is a huge decision. The situation has split Chicago Bears Nation. It is the biggest question around the league. Apparently, it has even split the team inside as Kevin Warren agrees with the players in backing Fields while other executives want to trade him.


No matter what happens, the Chicago Bears have not been "doing right" by Fields. This has been mishandled and somehow they will try to spin it in the end. Could Fields remember this when it comes time to hit free agency?