Chicago Bears: Team President Kevin Warren talks Justin Fields, stadium plans

Chicago Bears President Kevin Warren sat down for an interview in which he dished on the quarterback situation and the stadium progression.

2022 Big Ten Conference Football Media Days
2022 Big Ten Conference Football Media Days / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears team President Kevin Warren recently sat down for an interview. In it, he gave some information on the two biggest topics surrounding the team -- Justin Fields vs Caleb Williams and the progression of stadium talks.

Warren is starting Year 2 of his job in Chicago. He used to be the commissioner of the Big Ten. Now he returns to the NFL where he was a team executive for a few teams. One of them was with the Minnesota Vikings. There he oversaw the building of a new stadium.

Chicago Bears President Kevin Warren gives an update on progressions of the new stadium talks and about the Justin Fields situation.

Now Warren is tasked with trying to get a stadium for the Bears. In a major development, the Bears are reportedly more interested in building a stadium near the downtown area, by the lakefront. It is similar to what he did with the Vikings. There, they built a new stadium in the downtown area.

Warren wants to figure out where the Bears will build a new stadium before the start of the 2024 season. He understands the gravity of the decision. It will resonate for the next half-decade at least. He understands the team is at a crossroads this offseason. In addition to the building of a stadium there are huge decisions that have to be made.

While the reports have the Bears looking at the lakefront or Arlington Heights as their targeted location for the new stadium, Warren said he looked into the South Loop area next to where the Chicago White Sox are reportedly going to build their new stadium.

"I looked at every piece of land that can house the stadium, yes. The good thing about it, Jerry Reinsdorf has meant so much to Chicago. So many times people think it has to be a either or -- either the Bears or either the White Sox. I've come from the mindset that there is enough for everyone."

Kevin Warren

Warren, along with general manager Ryan Poles, have to make some important roster decisions this offseason. It is Year 3 of the rebuild and this is the one that Poles said was an important one. The Bears took a jump from three wins in 2022 to seven in 2023. Now, in 2024, there has to be another jump.

Warren and Poles have the assets to help improve the roster in a big way. They currently have about $49.1 milllion in salary cap space. That amount is sure to take a big jump as two players with big contracts, safety Eddie Jackson and offensive lineman Cody Whitehair, are expected to be cut. That means that the Bears can hit free agency and pick up the players they feel can help the team win more games.

In addition to the favorable salary cap situation, the Bears have the #1 pick in this April's NFL Draft. That is a very valuable pick. Chicago can either pick USC quarterback Caleb Williams, a prospect some say is a "generational" talent. However, they can trade that pick and receive an incredible haul in return.

There are some who say that while Fields at times shows flashes of greatness, he isn't consistent enough. They argue that the Bears can reset the quarterback position and that the Bears cannot walk away from such a talented prospect.

Warren and Poles just might walk away from Williams and the #1 pick. Despite not being "their guy," they have a lot of good things to say about Fields. Poles has said on a number of occasions that it would take a great deal to make him trade Fields (he also said it would take a huge haul for him to trade the #1 pick so take that however way you like).

Warren was just as effusive in his praise of Fields.

"I’m a supporter of Justin because I got a chance to work with him when I was a commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. He is incredibly talented. He is smart. He works hard. He wants to be a great NFL football player. Justin has a rare combination of intelligence, of size, of strength, and speed. You forget how big of a man he is until you’re up on him. He’s not a small man. I just think every year he’s going to continually get better. So, I’m glad he’s on the Chicago Bears."

Kevin Warren

Poles has said in the past that he wants to build the roster through the draft. Trading the #1 pick is the best way to do that. The most the Bears could get for Fields is two picks (unless a team gets very desperate and overpays). Warren and Poles could get three first-round picks as a start. Now that is something that is difficult to walk away from.

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Many media experts feel that the Chicago Bears will ultimately keep the #1 pick and trade Fields. Could Warren and Poles pull a fast one and keep Fields? Also, could Warren pull a surprise and find a location for a stadium somewhere we might not even know about? Warren stood back in his first year. His fingerprints will be all over the Chicago Bears' moves this offseason.