NFL Hall of Famer Claims Bears Want to Trade Justin Fields

Sapp Fields Young Trade

Getty Warren Sapp believes the Chicago Bears want to trade Justin Fields during the 2023 offseason.

Now even Pro Football Hall of Famers are getting involved in the speculation about the Chicago Bears and quarterback Justin Fields.

During an interview on The Boone Podcast that aired on January 27, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle and Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp claimed that the “word” he is hearing out of Chicago at the moment is the Bears want to trade Fields this offseason and intend to use the No. 1 overall pick to replace him with Bryce Young.

“What I’m hearing out of Chicago is they’re finna package [Fields] up, trade him for some other pieces and then go with the Bryce [Young] kid from Alabama,” Sapp told Boone. “Oh, trust me. There’s smoke everywhere talking about them trading Justin Fields and going after Bryce.”

Sapp didn’t explain why he might have insider information about the Bears and Fields or elaborate much more on the trade rumors, but he did try to explain the logic behind why Chicago could be tempted into making such a change at quarterback.

“[When you need] a lot of weapons and you only have one [first-round] pick, what do you do?” Sapp said. “You trade away that one thing you have for a couple weapons, and then you get a much more capable thrower of the ball.”

How Much Should Be Believed About Sapp’s Information?

Now, no disrespect to Sapp and his legendary NFL career, but his insider information about the situation in Chicago should be taken with a grain of salt.

Sapp remains one of the only players in NFL history to win a Super Bowl title, be named Defensive Player of the Year and make a Pro Bowl roster in his career and undoubtedly formed strong connections with many people around the league. It is also plausible to think that he could have built deeper insider connections during the time he spent working for NFL Network in the early 2010s. At the same time, it is a little suspicious that he feels so confident the Bears are moving on from Fields when none of the other actual insiders in the league have reported any such thing beyond speculation.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles told reporters in his end-of-season press conference on January 10 that he plans on Fields being the team’s starting quarterback for the 2023 season. He also said he would have to be “absolutely blown away” to consider using their No. 1 overall pick in the draft on a quarterback. To most, that sounds like a man who is prepared to build around his quarterback — at least for one more year — to see if they can see him make strides as an NFL passer for his third season.

And yet, Poles isn’t the one who drafted Fields despite both him and head coach Matt Eberflus speaking highly of the 2021 first-round pick whenever asked about him. NFL general managers also contradict their own words all the time, like last offseason when the Seattle Seahawks said they weren’t going to trade Russell Wilson and then did exactly that several weeks later.

The point is, even if Sapp is full of it, Bears fans might not be able to completely rule out the possibility of Fields getting traded until the 2023 NFL draft comes and goes.

Trading Down Still Feels Like Bears’ Best Option in 2023

Media types might like the drama that comes with the idea of the Bears selecting a new quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft, but trading down from the No. 1 overall spot still appears to be the best option for Chicago as they continue on with their rebuild.

The Bears are in the unique position of having both the top pick in the NFL draft and a potential franchise quarterback already on their roster. Because of that, they are expected to get numerous trade calls from quarterback-needy teams about what it would cost to move up to the No. 1 spot. The Bears also hold some leverage in the situation, as they can offer a team the chance to leapfrog Houston — who is expected to take a quarterback at No. 2 overall — for their choice of rookie quarterback.

Obviously, the Bears would have short-term incentives to trade down given it could net them additional draft assets to accelerate their rebuild in 2023. If they traded down to No. 4 overall with the Indianapolis Colts, for instance, they might be able to still get the top player on their draft board and gain an additional pick or two for 2023. The bigger deal, however, would be getting an additional first-rounder in 2024.

If the Bears acquired an additional first-round pick for next season, they would be able to run it back with Fields in 2023 and, if it doesn’t work out, use their two picks to position themselves for one of the quarterbacks in the 2024 class — which will include Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Drew Ewers, among others.

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