The Chicago Bears were rumored to have been one of the more interested teams when the Russell Wilson trade rumors circulated wildly for a few months this offseason, but Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks never had any intention of trading away their franchise quarterback. Thus, the Bears signed Andy Dalton to a one-year deal, and Bears fans waited with bated breath for the draft.
When Chicago moved up to No. 11 in the draft to select quarterback Justin Fields, hope was restored for myriad fans who had nearly given up on the idea that their favorite team would ever find a potential franchise quarterback. Now, one current NFL executive says the Bears landing Fields was a far better scenario for the team than landing Wilson would have been.
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NFL Exec: Bears Could Not Have Built Around Wilson
In his latest column for the Chicago Tribune, Bears insider Brad Biggs spoke to three NFL executives about which quarterback situation would have been more beneficial for Chicago: having Wilson or having Fields. One chose Wilson, citing the Bears getting a sure thing at the most important position in sports. Another was indifferent, but the third executive was adamant Chicago will be far better off with Fields under center.
“At least they can surround the kid with some players,” the executive told Biggs. “Unless your roster is final or solid for the next three years, and no roster is really ever that way because of the turnover, then who are they going to improve the roster with if they land Wilson? Wilson would give them a premium player at the position but you can’t tell me that offense is ready to win now.”
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Bears Have Also Given Themselves More Time to Win With Fields, Says Exec
Prior to drafting Fields, Bears GM Ryan Pace moved up in 2017 to select Mitch Trubisky second overall — and we all know how that turned out. Nabbing Fields should give Pace, head coach Matt Nagy and the entire roster more time to develop a strong unit, as opposed to trading the farm for Wilson, which would have left the team in win-now mode with no capital to add more talent.
“They busted on Trubisky and they went all-in thinking they could chase a Lombardi Trophy with him,” the executive also told Biggs. “They didn’t have enough offensive weapons with him and don’t have enough offensive weapons to be a threat right now. They’ve got one wide receiver (Allen Robinson) right now and they don’t want to pay him long-term. What they’ve done is created time for themselves with Fields. Time to develop him and now more picks to build the roster around him.”
Fields will also be on a very affordable rookie contract for Chicago over the next four years, with a fifth-year option to boot, which leaves the Bears more capital to add talent on offense or skill players on defense. While it’s impossible to measure how much better Fields would be for the Bears than Wilson — or vice versa — it’s clear drafting Fields has reinvigorated a fan base that desperately needed it, while also giving an entire franchise hope for the future.