While Super Bowl 57 helped to crown the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl champs once again, it also officially put the Chicago Bears on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bears should get plenty of offers for the pick but have several options they can pursue, including staying at No. 1 and trading away current quarterback Justin Fields. Michael Lombardi and Femi Abebefe look at that option in this episode of The GM Shuffle.
Chicago would be silly not to entertain offers for the No. 1 pick, at least. The Tennessee Titans held the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. They traded it to the Los Angeles Rams for a first, two seconds and a third in that draft and a first- and third-rounder in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Rams eventually took Jared Goff, which was a move that had its ups and downs. Looking at the Bears, if they choose to roll with an improving Fields, they could get a ton of draft capital to rebuild their franchise further.
If the Bears aren’t sold on Fields being their long-term solution, this is the time to pull the trigger and reset at the position. The 2023 quarterback class is top-heavy with four solid prospects in Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson. Not only would trading away Fields allow them to pursue one of these talents, but it would reset the clock on when they would have to re-sign their starting quarterback. Fields has two years left on his rookie deal and a potential fifth-year option. He is also coming off a season where he completed 60.4% of his passes for 2,242 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Fields’ upside is on the ground as he posted 1,143 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, which is what the Bears hope can help find a trade partner.
The news about Chicago leaning towards trading away Fields is coming right at the start of the 2023 NFL Combine. Teams are about to go through interviews with prospects and watch them go through all of the Combine events. Richardson, in particular, has already impressed with his draft prep and is reportedly shooting up draft boards. If the Bears enjoyed the dual-threat ability of Fields, he would be a quarterback they would target. This will be a big week as, at the moment, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chicago trade Fields and draft any of the top four quarterbacks.