As Fields heads into his third NFL season, Bears general manager Ryan Poles has begun to orchestrate his vision for the team. So far it has included a couple big-money free agent signings, a blockbuster trade of the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and the selection of a premier offensive tackle in the first round. Fields spoke glowingly about the moves the team has made during the busiest offseason of his Chicago career during an interview with Bears senior writer Larry Mayer on Tuesday, May 17.
“I feel like we’ve got a lot of pieces on offense and defense,” Fields told ChicagoBears.com. “I know everybody’s excited [about] really just the whole team and the players we’ve got.”
Justin Fields Thrilled With Bears’ Trade for D.J. Moore
The most advantageous of Chicago’s offseason plays thus far, as far as Fields’ job is concerned, is probably a toss up between the acquisition of wide receiver D.J. Moore and the selection of right tackle Darnell Wright with the 10th overall pick.
Moore came over as part of the Bears’ draft swap with the Carolina Panthers, along with a bevy of high draft picks. He joins a young receiver room defined more by potential than success. Darnell Mooney has a 1,000-yard season to his credit, but missed the latter portion of the 2022 campaign with an ankle injury. Poles dealt what became the first pick in the second round of this year’s draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for Chase Claypool, who had a lousy run after landing in Chicago at the trade deadline.
Still, both players have proven more than adequate weapons when healthy in their respective three-year NFL careers. Moore brings three 1,100-yard seasons with him to the Bears’ offense and figures to be Fields’ top target in 2023 barring any unforeseen hiccups.
“I’ve known D.J. for a little bit now,” Fields told Mayer on Tuesday. “I can tell he loves the game, he’s a hard-worker and, of course, he’s talented. He’s proven that over the past few years playing with the Panthers. So, it’s great to have him — another weapon to add to our offense. He’s going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of leadership to the room.”
Bears Will Lean Heavily on Rookie Darnell Wright in 2023
As much of a luxury as Moore will be for the quarterback, Wright profiles as more of a necessity.
Chicago’s offensive line allowed 58 sacks last season, which ranked 29th in the league. Wright figures to step into a starting role immediately as a rookie with the daunting responsibility of keeping Fields’ jersey clean.
But that won’t be his only mandate. Chicago let running back David Montgomery walk to the Detroit Lions in free agency, replacing him with fourth-round rookie Roschon Johnson and free agents D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer. Wright will also have to prove up to form in the run game if any or all of the Bears’ trio of running backs hopes to adequately fill Montgomery’s shoes.
Fields is likely to carry the ball less next season with Moore and a healthy stable of pass-catchers at his disposal, but the QB rushed for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022 and figures to be fleet of foot once again come September.