There was an interesting article written by Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. The premise of the article was about the decision between Justin Fields and Caleb Williams and what the Chicago Bears could potentially do. Robinson spoke with seven different NFL general managers about the decision and he also had them speculate as to what Fields’ trade value would be if the Bears decided to draft Caleb Williams.
If you want to read the article, you can check that out here:
But there was one quote in the article that stood out to me and gave some potential insight on what direction Ryan Poles may be leaning in his decision for the future at quarterback.
“It would be a clear-cut decision to draft Caleb for me,” an AFC general manager said. “The fact that we’re in Year 3 and [they] don’t want to exercise the fifth-year option tells me what I need to know. I just don’t think Fields can win consistently as a passer, even though he is gifted physically.”
Read that again: “The fact that we’re in Year 3 and they don’t want to exercise the fifth-year option tells me what I need to know.”
Now let’s talk about that quote for a minute. Your first response may be that it’s speculation. He didn’t say “if” he said “the fact.” To me, this reads like something he’s heard.
NFL league circles gossip like teenage girls. These type of things get out all the time. Yes, the Chicago Bears are pretty tight-lipped, but what if this unnamed AFC GM is Chris Ballard or Brett Veach? Two GMs that have good relationships with Ryan Poles and perhaps have spoken to him first hand about his decision. Also, it’s two teams that wouldn’t be interested in Fields. Was it a slip by a GM that shouldn’t have mentioned that? It certainly seems odd.
Now of course, there are four games left in the season and nothing is set in stone. The Bears could run the table and make the playoffs and upset the Philadelphia Eagles or San Francisco 49ers in the wild card round and Justin Fields isn’t going anywhere. But it does make you wonder if this is the way that Poles is currently leaning.
I certainly am not trying to say that this means the decision is done and Justin Fields is gone, but it’s certainly an eye-opening comment from a league source.
I posted the quote to Twitter and plenty of fans are stating it’s because they haven’t stated yet that they will pick up the fifth year option. One, nobody has. The Jaguars haven’t even said that about Trevor Lawrence, because the fifth year option window isn’t open yet and won’t open until after the season. They would also trade Justin Fields before they would have to pick up the fifth-year option as well so that doesn’t impact it either.
It may be nothing, but it could absolutely be some insight as to what the league is hearing about the future of Justin Fields in Chicago.