Patriots Labeled Possible Landing Spot for QB Justin Fields — At a Steep Price

Justin Fields, Bears quarterback

Getty Justin Fields, Bears quarterback

Around New England, there is a growing consensus that Mac Jones is just not going to work out with the Patriots. That consensus has not reached coach and personnel guru Bill Belichick’s office just yet, but it appears to have settled in just about everywhere else.

Out in Chicago, they’ve taken notice of the Patriots’ difficulties, and it is being suggested that perhaps the Pats would be willing to cash in one quarterback problem and, for the low, low price of a first-round pick and other assets, take on the Bears’ ongoing quarterback problem — Justin Fields, Chicago’s first-round pick three years ago.

That’s the gist from superstation WGN, which is pushing the Bears to deal away Fields sooner rather than later, the thinking being that anyone judging Fields as a quarterback will look only at his very good performance against Washington last Thursday night in Week 5, and ignore the futility and frustration that preceded it.

And the Patriots (with the Falcons and Jets) are said to be the perfect suckers—er, takers—for such a deal, according to WGN:

“If Chicago moved on from Fields right now — at the height of him proving he’s not only an elite running quarterback, but also one who can stand in the pocket and deliver the football — there are several teams that could offer them a first round pick (and more) over the next two drafts. Those teams — in no particular order — are the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and New York Jets.”

Justin Fields Would Be Fun

To be fair to the writer, Eli Ong, it might be fun to have Fields in a Patriots uniform. And who wants to see Nee England stick with its current direction, which has produced an average of 11.0 points per game and a whopping three points in the team’s last eight quarters?

He was good in Chicago’s Week 5 win over the Commanders, throwing 4 touchdown passes without an interception, though he completed only 15 of his 29 attempts. He also ran for 57 yards on 11 attempts.

He had a good game, statistically, the previous week, when he went 28-for-35 passing with 4 touchdowns. But he lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and threw a game-ending interception as the Bears blew a 28-7 second-half lead to the Broncos.

Still, Fields is a fun quarterback to watch, one of the best runners in the league. He posted 1,143 rushing yards last season (seventh overall) and led the league in yards per attempt, at 7.1. His run-first style has not exactly been successful—the win over Washington was the sixth of his career. In 30 starts. Yes, that is right, Fields is 6-24 as a starter in Chicago.

Fields, just three weeks ago, created a stir when he said he wanted to go out and “be me” on the field, and that he was being, “robotic and not playing like myself.” He was asked if that was because of the coaches, and Fields said, “Could be coaching.” He later clarified those comments and blamed the media for taking him out of context.

Mac Jones Is Still the Patriots QB

But if the alternative for the Patriots is to watch Mac Jones commit turnovers and point fingers during blowouts, maybe gambling on Fields, who is only 24, does not sound so bad. Chicago has put good weapons on the field for Fields, including star receiver D.J. Moore and tight end Cole Kmet, and Fields has an obligation to try to use those weapons.

On the Patriots, he would have no such obligation—the team simply does not have many receivers that need targeting. Fields would be free to be a true running quarterback in New England.

Would the Patriots give up a first-round pick for a guy with Fields’ track record on wins and losses? Not a chance. Neither would the Jets nor the Falcons. But he’d at least add a little fun to what is an especially dreary season here in New England. There’s something to be said for that.

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