When the clock hits zero Sunday at Lambeau Field, Chicago Bears fans will quickly pivot to wanting to know exactly what is happening with their head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback.
There’s been plenty of debate among fans and media about what to expect this offseason. But when should we expect to hear something about what’s going to happen with head coach Matt Eberflus, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and quarterback Justin Fields? Each of them will be on a completely different timeline.
The first domino to fall is going to be Matt Eberflus. There will be a chance that something will leak on Sunday night, but most likely, this will leak to the media at some point on Monday. The Bears most likely will not make an official statement before someone breaks the story about Eberflus’ future.
If Eberflus is let go, obviously, Luke Getsy will go with him, but if Eberflus is retained, we won’t know the fate of Luke Getsy immediately, we will have to wait for that decision. But Eberflus’ fate will be decided and all of us will learn what that is on or near Monday.
The next domino will be Getsy. If Eberflus is back and the Bears plan to retain Getsy, there’s a chance that Ryan Poles will announce Getsy’s fate when he holds his year-end press conference which should most likely be on Tuesday, but could be on Wednesday as well.
Most likely, we will not know the fate of Getsy before Ryan Poles addresses the media. We will most likely hear that everyone is being evaluated right now and they will keep the attention as to why Matt Eberflus has returned and avoid questions about Getsy’s future. That’s always how they’ve done it in the past.
Once Eberflus, Poles, Kevin Warren and George McCaskey have all addressed the media, which should be no later than Thursday of next week, usually the next day is when the Bears will announce if any assistant coaches are being let go. That way they don’t have to address that decision until the NFL Combine when they meet the media again, and by that point, they’ll have a new offensive coordinator, and that will be the main focus of the media.
With Warren in place, it’s possible this timeline could change, and the Bears may address decisions more head-on, but if the Bears continue on their traditional timeline, if Eberflus is gone, obviously Getsy is gone, and we will know Monday, but if Eberflus is retained, we will not learn about Getsy’s future until Thursday or Friday.
This one is going to take a while. Ryan Poles is going to make sure he has time, not only to weigh his options internally, but he also will want to weigh his options externally in terms of trades. Sure, there’s a chance that he knows 100% he’s going to keep Justin Fields or draft Caleb Williams, nobody knows that right now except for Poles, but most likely this will be a long, drawn-out decision. Perhaps, Poles is leaning towards drafting Caleb Williams, and Washington puts an offer on the table so good, that they decide to trade the pick and keep Fields. The opposite could also be true, perhaps a team like Pittsburgh is so desperate for a quarterback that they offer a first round pick with a 2025 conditional pick attached and Poles decides that offer is too good to pass up and he trades Fields.
Bottom line, don’t expect to hear anything about Justin Fields next week. I would expect anything that anyone from the Bears organization says will be extremely positive about Fields. They will talk about how they love his leadership, they love his athleticism, and they’ll talk about how much he’s improved this year. They’ll talk about how they love that Fields is a part of this organization, but that they are evaluating everything, including the coaches and the quarterback, and that they haven’t made any decisions yet about any of it.
They won’t commit to Justin Fields’ 5th-year option, they won’t commit to Justin Fields, but they will talk about how much they love him. They will not say anything that could hurt his potential trade value if they decide to move on from him. They will want teams to know that the price will be steep because of how much they believe in Justin Fields.
I don’t expect that you will ever hear an announcement about Justin Fields. The first piece of information we will hear about Fields (or one of the top quarterbacks in the draft) will most likely be at the NFL Combine, there will be reports coming out of the combine that the Bears are shopping Fields or shopping the first-round pick. It’s possible that we may even hear that they are shopping both the first pick and Justin Fields and seeing what the market is for both. Either way, we won’t hear anything about Fields until the NFL Combine at the earliest.
Based on how Poles handled the first overall pick last year, he may feel his best value for the pick will be had just before the start of free agency, just like he did last year. But there is always a possibility that he will hold onto Fields and the first overall pick until much closer to the draft.
Basically, the Fields’ decision timeline is one that is almost impossible to predict but to give it a shot, I expect we will first hear about which way the franchise is leaning (with nothing definitive) around the combine and we will hear about a trade involving either the first pick or Fields just before NFL free agency begins in March.
Be sure you check out Bill’s outstanding segment on tonight’s Sharp Money!
And check out this clip from Bill’s latest Bears Banter Podcast.