This offseason is set up for another massive overhaul of the Chicago Bears roster, but unlike a season ago, this time, there will be no bargain-bin hunting going on. With the most money to spend and the first overall draft pick at their disposal, general manager Ryan Poles has a historic opportunity in front of him.
What makes this offseason so unique from a team-building standpoint is the franchise seemingly has the most important position figured out. Quarterback Justin Fields is primed to build off his exciting 2022, and I can’t wait to see the new players assembled around him.
Fields isn’t the only Chicago signal caller under contract, but there’s nothing stopping Poles from reworking the reserves now that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has a full year of his system under his belt.
In this 12-part series, I’ll be listing the contract status of all the current Chicago players on a position-by-position basis while speculating on some offseason moves that could happen.
Justin Fields - Signed through 2024* - It’s no surprise that projecting the growth of a quarterback isn’t an exact science because many can’t even agree on what is going on in the present. Depending on who you speak with, Fields either just had a promising sophomore season that should have everyone excited for the future, or he had a disappointing 2022 that left the team with more questions than answers.
The film tells a story, but it’s an incomplete story due to the lack of talent around him. Some of the analytics paint a picture of an ascending quarterback while other numbers trend in a troubling direction.
I’ve been all-in on Fields since he was drafted, and I haven’t seen a reason to change my mind. The offensive line and receiving corps will be better in 2023, and the best is yet to come for Fields.
*The fifth-year option is available for 2025.
Trevor Siemian - Signed through 2023 - Siemian is a capable NFL QB2, but I could see the Bears letting him go as it’ll give them nearly $2 million more in cap space to play with. Then again, there’s no point in creating a roster hole if they don’t have to, so allowing him to play out his deal backing up Fields isn’t the worst idea.
Nathan Peterman - Free agent - Peterman started the season on the practice squad, but ended up starting their season finale. He’s not a good quarterback, and I hope the Bears can find a better QB3 to bring along on their practice squad in 2023.
Tim Boyle - Free agent - The 28-year-old Boyle has probably taken his last snap in the Navy and Orange, and he’ll leave knowing his final pass as a Bear ended up being the first interception of Duke Shelley’s career.
2023 OUTLOOK - Considering Getsy’s offense embraced the running ability of Fields in 2022, I think it’s time they get a backup that can do some of the same things on the ground. They aren’t going to find another 4.4 forty QB with a live arm, but they need someone that allows them to run a similar offense. Siemian is fine and athletic enough to run the play-action rollout stuff, but he doesn’t threaten a defense with his legs at all.
There aren’t many experienced backups in free agency that would fit a Fields-esque offense, but Trace McSorley and Easton Stick are decent athletes that may be worth a flyer.
If the Bears look to the pool of draft-eligible players for a developmental QB3, our Lead Draft Analyst Jacob Infante is high on the University of the Incarnate Word’s Lindsey Scott Jr., and he profiles him in this article:
I asked our Senior Draft Analyst, EJ Snyder, about a possible QB that could fit what the Bears are doing offensively, and he told me UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson could make sense.
I’d imagine Semian returns to play out the final year of his contract, but the Bears need to get a more mobile signal caller in the pipeline so they can keep the same basic offensive scheme to back up Fields.
What do you think the Bears will do at backup quarterback this offseason?