NFL Head Coach Drops Bomb About Potential Justin Fields Trade: Report

Justin Fields

Getty One NFL coach thinks Justin Fields could be a trade chip in 2022.

The Chicago Bears are interviewing head coach and general manager candidates to replace Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace, whom they fired January 10 after finishing 6-11, in third place in the NFC North.

According to Alex Shapiro of NBC Sports, the Bears have four coaching candidates and “several” GM candidates on the schedule. And Ed Werder of ESPN reported on January 19 that Matt Eberflus, the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive coordinator, will be brought back next week for a second interview for the head coaching job.

The Bears’ head coaching job is one of the league’s more attractive vacancies, wrote The Athletic’s Mike Sando in a January 17 column. Why? Because the Bears could use rookie quarterback Justin Fields as a trade chip.

Fields had a season full of highs and lows, showing flashes with his arm and legs while also looking like a rookie at times. He finished with 1,870 yards passing, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 12 games, and he rushed for 420 yards and two scores on the ground. He also had 12 fumbles.

The team traded its first-round picks in 2021 and 2022, a fifth-rounder in 2021 and a fourth-rounder in 2022 in exchange for Fields.

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NFL Coach: Fields as a Trade Chip Makes Bears’ Job Attractive

In his column for The Athletic, Sando ranked the available coaching vacancies in the NFL, with the Bears ranking fourth among the eight teams looking for new head coaches. After getting input from “five NFL team execs and coaches,” Sando said that one NFL head coach told him the idea of trading Fields might make the Bears’ opening more appealing.

Sando wrote: “The Bears changed their structure so the next GM will report directly to ownership instead of through team president Ted Phillips, but one exec suggested there are zero guarantees the situation would function that way practically. Another called Chicago’s ownership ‘low-end neutral’ while noting that the Bears ‘are just kind of there’ and distanced from their tradition. ‘From a roster construction standpoint, Chicago is a very desirable location if you ask me, including the fact that you could possibly trade (Justin) Fields,’ said a coach who analyzed the Bears’ roster but did not vote in this poll.”

The Bears don’t have any first-round draft picks this season, and their limited draft capital (they have second- and third-round picks in addition to two fifth-rounders and one sixth-round selection in 2022) is an issue that could keep some potential coaching candidates at bay. But would the team really be willing to trade its franchise QB after taking him 11th overall just one year ago?

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Chicago’s Next Coach Will Have to Be All In on Fields

The chances of Chicago trading Fields are slim to none. He’s the most exciting QB prospect the team has had in decades, and he won the respect of the locker room immediately. Trading him away to start all over with only a 33-year-old Nick Foles on the roster isn’t a move the Bears are going to make, particularly considering 2022 doesn’t boast a strong draft class.

Not only will the Bears surely keep Fields, but every potential head coach who is interviewed will have to a) have a plan for the development of the young quarterback, and b) be fully behind the 22-year-old as the team’s leader. The Bears need to give Fields everything he needs to succeed, including a better offensive line and more capable weapons. Whoever the team selects as its new coach and GM are going to have to build around him — shipping him off and starting over yet again doesn’t seem like a viable option right now.

READ NEXT: Allen Robinson Brutally Shades Ex-Bears HC Matt Nagy

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Kevin Chaffin
Kevin Chaffin
3 months ago

I couldn’t even finish reading this article it’s so ridiculous. Justin fields will be the main reason a new GM and top head coach candidate would come to Chicago and a top 10 defense. Every GM candidate and head coach candidate knows the struggles Fields went through was on the coaching staff failing him. They had Fields running an offense built for Andy Dalton not fields! Yes he needs to throw the ball away to avoid stocks and turnovers but that will improve with a better offensive coaching staff.

Harold Session
Harold Session
3 months ago

If the Bears did something as stupid as trade Justin Fields, it’s time to clean house and get some actual football people to put in charge.

Adam David
Adam David
3 months ago

Trade Fields? After his rookie season? We’ve only seen him in Nagy’s system and we see where that got Nagy. (And Trubisky, honestly) Was his first year great? Absolutely not. But he is a ROOKIE. Or was. What hotshot rookie QB actually looked good top to bottom this season? Lawerence was supposed to be Joe Montana in the flesh and he had a very mediocre year. Go google how many picks Peyton Manning threw his rookie year. Actually I’ll save you the time…28! I’m not saying Fields is the next Manning but this notion that rookies should could in and win 10+ games is preposterous…especially on a poorly coached team. Is Fields a future hall of famer? Literally no one knows. But to start trade talks after year one is just crazy to me. This win-now craze that’s swept the league is bizarre and should be left in 2020.

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