With the NFL Draft just hours away and the QB market having solidified somewhat, could the Bears be about to make a push for Justin Fields? What seemed like an outlandish option just a week ago has suddenly become something of a possibility over the last few days.
With the Panthers acquisition of Sam Darnold, and their subsequent quenching of the QB need of the Denver Broncos, two of the hungriest teams are a little more amenable to trading down with the Bears. If as expected the Niners take Trey Lance or Mac Jones and the Falcons take Kyle Pitts, the Bears route to Justin Fields opens nicely.
Neither the Panthers or the Broncos will be aggressively pursuing a QB, but may choose to double dip if Fields were to drop to them. The Patriots don’t seem to have the desire to move up in the draft for a rookie at the moment, and are being linked with veteran Jimmy Garoppolo.
Washington are another team that could be looking to move up, but they’re moving from just one spot lower than the Bears, so the price would be comparable and that puts the Bears in a great position to go and get Justin Fields if, IF, they believe he can be their QB of the future.
THE COST OF GETTING JUSTIN FIELDS
Now the cost to move up from 20 to 8 to take Justin Fields isn’t going to be cheap. According to the NFL Trade value chart the value of pick 8 is 1400, and for pick 20 the value is just 850. That difference equates to the 28th pick in the draft, so the Bears will have to package their 2022 first round pick.
However, there is a premium as always to get what you want in life and here’s where the Bears could get clever if they believe Justin Fields is their guy. The Panthers also have a need at DT and may be amenable to taking Akiem Hicks and a 2022-first, as well as the Bears 20th pick in 2021.
This scratches both teams itches. The Bears clear cap space by including Hicks, and add their QB of the future. The Panthers stockpile some picks and add a quality DT to match a major need. It may still require the Bears to offer a little sweetener with a 3rd-round or 4th-round pick to push the deal over the edge.
Now the Bears could stand pat and wait out the market and someone like Mac Jones, if the Niners don’t take him, may drop into their laps. Does Mac Jones tick all the boxes that Justin Fields does? Not for me. Does the value of potentially not needing to trade balance waiting on a lesser light dropping? Not even close.
While the Bears addressed the QB position in the off-season already and have far too much money tied up in average ceiling older journeymen QB’s, the future still needs addressing.
Ryan Pace certainly hasn’t been shy in going after QB options in his time in Chicago, including the infamous Mitchell Trubisky trade, the almost ridiculous Nick Foles trade, and then the most recent addition of Andy Dalton. While none, as yet have worked out, Pace doesn’t strike me as a guy who will keep his powder dry if he believes a good option is available at QB.
It’s a steep price with 2022 picks in such high demand in particular. But for the Bears to address a long-standing issue, it just might be worth testing the market and making the big deal of draft day.