I’ve really thought about this, and I just don’t see it any other way.
For many Chicago Bears fans, I think, ideally, they would like to see Matt Eberflus fired at the end of the season (if not sooner). But on the field, if Justin Fields can show some solid play when he returns from injury, for him to remain the quarterback of the Bears.
While that’s not the consensus, I do believe that’s where the majority of Bears fans are currently. Unfortunately, I don’t see that outcome as a possible one in Chicago.
Let me explain.
If Justin Fields misses just a couple of games and returns to the field and he finally starts to put it all together. He shows us that the performances against Denver and Washington were not flukes. He can pass the ball like that week in and week out and proves to the Chicago Bears organization that he is the quarterback of the future.
If Fields does that, you know what else he’d be doing? Winning football games.
If Fields plays like that over the last 8 or 9 games, it’s almost certain that the Bears will win 5 or 6 games over that stretch. At the end of the season, when Ryan Poles and Kevin Warren sit down with Matt Eberflus and review his season, an overall record of 7-10 while developing the Bears quarterback of the future is a good way to keep your job for 2024.
If Fields returns from injury and plays well, but leaves doubt about the future, odds are this roster won’t be strong enough to win games without superb play from Fields. If that’s the case, Eberflus is fired, and Fields remains on the roster, and Bears fans get their wish, right?
Now if the Bears hire a new coach. That coach will be involved in the decision as to what to do at quarterback. Obviously, there are two choices: keep Fields and use both those premium first-round picks on non-QB positions, or draft a new quarterback.
Fair or not, this new coach is going to look at Fields and see that after his rookie season, his coach was fired. After his second season, the team finished with the worst record in the NFL. After his third season, the coach was fired.
Now, this new coach is going to have to make a decision if he’s going to hitch his future to a quarterback who has had that happen during his time in Chicago. On top of that, the team would have to make the decision to give Fields a massive extension one year later.
You may be reading this and going, don’t put that on Fields, that’s not his fault. I am not saying it is, and that’s important to note. But I am saying the new coach is going to come in, with no history with Justin Fields, and those are the results he’s going to see for the franchise.
There is no coach that will come into that situation and commit to Justin Fields as his quarterback when the results have been this.
It may not be fair, it may not be at all accurate, but it’s the reality for Justin Fields and his future with this franchise.
If Justin Fields saves his job, he will save Matt Eberflus’ job in the process.
That’s the reality of the situation, and that’s one I don’t like to see.