It's one of those opinionated days...
The calendar reads February 3rd, yet we are already inundated with rumor after rumor on how the Chicago Bears will or should do things over the next few weeks.
First, let me get you to understand that most of what you see on Twitter or other social media outlets is strictly opinion by the writer or made-up nonsense to get attention/clicks. Let's look at some of these "rumors/statements/opinions" floating around.
Several different media or social media people have stated the Bears shopped Justin Fields right after the season. They reason that with the Bears having the first pick in the Draft, they should look into trading Fields and draft the quarterback they see as the best quarterback in this Draft. They say this because it is their opinion that the Bears should do their due diligence in regards to making their team better. The people saying this do not feel that Justin Fields is a quality quarterback. Of course, these same people know little about the team and are just forming an opinion to form that opinion and pass it on. When that happens, and enough people read/hear it, they begin to think it's true. It's not!
What's funny is you don't see these same people questioning other clubs with young quarterbacks; it's just the Bears. If these people looked at the Bears' situation closely, they would have seen that Bears GM Ryan Poles purposely took a step back in the 2022 season in order to take two steps forward in 2023.
Poles moved players he did not see as having a future with the club. Some of these players were very good and brought handsome returns to the Bears regarding draft picks. It also rid the Bears of much cap space that will enable them to build the team as they see fit. So basically, 2022 was nothing more than laying the foundation for the future. Many of these people don't understand that Justin Fields is a huge part of that foundation.
If the Bears were to trade Fields, they wouldn't be taking a step forward but instead taking a huge step back. In essence, they would be starting over again with a young quarterback from the 2023 class who almost every evaluator I know across the League feels isn't as good a player as Fields. That is not a smart way of doing business but rather the opposite…its downright stupid!
Another rumor has circulated over the last few days that the Chicago Bears have already fielded offers for the first pick in this year's Draft. That rumor could be believable if it were April 1st, but today is February 3rd, and no team is going to make an offer for anything until they have all the information needed to make such a move.
When a club moves up in the Draft, they do so to get a specific player. At this point in the scouting process, all the information on ALL the players is not in yet. There are still about five weeks of work to do until maybe 85 to 90% of the data is in.
What information is needed? Currently, the only reports clubs have in the system are from the season that has been done by the college scouting staff. It has just been in the last ten days or so that coaches have begun to get involved in the scouting process for the upcoming Draft. For the quarterback position, the coaches' information is extremely valuable and essential.
More importantly, team's Draft Boards haven't even begun to be stacked yet. That starts for many clubs next week, and those boards are very fluid as we go through the rest of the draft process. Where a layer is ranked today could be much different from where he is ranked in three or four weeks.
In regards to the quarterbacks, all but one of them is an underclassmen. Being underclassmen, they are not allowed to play or even show up at an All-Star game, so that means they have not had contact with pro coaches. Scouts and coaches are not allowed to visit campuses at this time to work out or interview players. This is in effect until the Combine.
Two of the most important aspects of the Combine are the medical and interviews. With the medical, the player receives the most comprehensive physical exam that he has ever had. Until the results of the medicals are in, no team can make a definite determination that they want player A or B.
With quarterbacks, the interview process is exhaustive and lasts much longer than just the 15-minute Combine interview. That makes being able to spend a lot of time with the player at either his Pro Day or a private workout imperative.
When coaches go in to see work out and interview a quarterback, it doesn't last a few minutes but rather hours. They get into deep discussions on offense in general and often have the player take them through various plays in their college playbook. By that, I mean the player must break down the play entirely. The player has to know what every player on the offense is doing on each play. I have sat in these interviews, and the coaches get really thorough with the player when it comes to breaking down the play. They want to know what his reads are as well as his progression. They also want to know what the protection is and how he changes that protection based on the defensive look at the line of scrimmage.
In short, the coaches are trying to find out how intelligent the player is and how quickly he can process things. Following that part of the interview, the coach may draw up two or three plays from the team playbook and explain how that play works. They want the player to take notes because they will then ask him to repeat what he just learned. This tells the coach what kind of learner the player is.
All of this takes time, and until the process is finished, there is no way the team can decide on what quarterback they rank first, second, third, etc., and who they want to draft. Knowing this, why would a club make an offer to trade when they have no idea who they want to draft at this time?
What very well could happen is at a place like the East-West Shrine Bowl or the Senior Bowl, a team's General Manager could say in passing to Ryan Poles— 'Hey Ryan, are you thinking of moving that number one pick?' That is not an offer, it's an inquiry and is meaningless.
I get it; fans want answers and don't want to be patient and let this go through the whole process. But if the Chicago Bears are to trade that top pick, it is imperative for all involved to have all the work necessary to make a fair and equitable trade, and that, my friends, is still a ways away.