The Seattle Seahawks need to have contingency plans in place at quarterback just in case Geno Smith’s asking price in free agency rises above where the franchise believes it can consistently field a competitive roster around the QB1. Seattle Sports’ Mike Salk and Brock Huard believe that the hiring of Dave Canales by the Buccaneers could drive up the price of Smith with Tampa Bay emerging as a possible landing spot for the veteran.
The analysts explored additional quarterback targets for Seattle including Bears star Justin Fields. Salk made the argument that the No. 5 pick for Fields could be an intriguing trade option for both teams.
“What do you have to give up for [Fields], the No. 20 pick? I can’t imagine they could ask for the No. 5 pick for that,” Salk noted during a February 16 edition of “Brock and Salk.” “Only two years left on the deal, etc. I don’t know that would seem [high]. …Maybe they do say, ‘Alright, give us the No. 5 pick, we’ll give you Justin Fields.’ [The Bears] end up with No. 1 and No. 5 [picks].”
Some General Managers Expect Justin Fields to Be Traded: Report
Huard countered that Fields could be worth a top-10 pick given there are two years remaining on the playmaker’s rookie deal plus his fifth-year option which puts him at an affordable number for at least three more seasons. Fields has a four-year, $18.8 million contract and is slated to earn a $1.1 million salary in 2023. For comparison, Spotrac projects Smith’s market value will be a two-year, $78.6 million deal.
There are a lot of things that would need to happen for the Seahawks to have a chance at Fields. Publicly, the Bears have maintained their desire for Fields to remain their QB1, but the team also holds the No. 1 pick. Chicago is likely to evaluate Fields compared to the top quarterback prospects like Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State C.J. Stroud and Kentucky’s Will Levis. The Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora reported there are some NFL general managers who are “fairly convinced” that the Bears will trade Fields.
“More than one NFL general manager came away from the Senior Bowl fairly convinced that Justin Fields will be dealt,” La Canfora tweeted on February 15.
Justin Fields Rushed for 1,143 Yards & 8 Touchdowns in 2022
Fields is still proving he can be a consistent threat from the pocket, but has shown he is one of the most dynamic runners in the NFL. The Bears quarterback rushed for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022.
Fields also threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 60.4% of his passes in 15 starts. During his two seasons with the Bears, Fields has had less than ideal circumstances including an offensive line that has struggled to protect the quarterback and a lack of elite receiving weapons. Huard believes that the Seahawks should at least monitor Fields’ availability depending on how Smith’s market plays out.
“That’s pretty intriguing to me, man,” Huard said of a potential Seahawks trade for Fields. “… If Geno walks out the door, if Tampa is going to pay Geno $40 million (annually) and give him $90 million guaranteed.
“…That guy has just been beat to heck in Chicago for two years. Coming out of Ohio State, I liked him. I liked him quite a bit.”
Fields would require the Seahawks to give up draft capital but would save the team significant cap space compared to re-signing Smith. The Seahawks must evaluate Smith’s contract, potential trade targets like Fields and the upcoming quarterback prospects to make the best decision for the future of the franchise.