Chicago Bears reportedly turned down better offer from another NFL team before Justin Fields trade

Justin Fields
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears traded quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, ending a saga that resulted in countless NFL trade rumors and lost value for the Bears’ franchise. Already having faced criticism for the return received, the Bears reportedly turned down an even better offer.

At the start of the offseason, Fields seemed to be one of the best quarterbacks available. While the consensus opinion was that he is a lesser starting option in the eyes of NFL teams than Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins, the former first-round pick was still viewed as a fit for several quarterback-needy teams.

Related: Worst moves in NFL free agency, including Chicago Bears’ Justin Fields trade

The asking price for Fields was long presumed to start at a second-round pick with some reports indicating that the Bears wanted to acquire even more. Evidently, that evaluation and a prolonged process came back to bite Chicago.

According to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, the Bears hoped to receive a Day 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft paired with a 2025 selection. The asking price was based on exceeding the return the New York Jets received from the Carolina Panthers (second- and fourth-round picks for Darnold and a sixth-round pick) a few years ago.

Six NFL teams reportedly inquired with the Bears’ front office on Fields’ trade value. Notably, a majority of those teams viewed the former Ohio State Buckeyes star as a backup quarterback for the 2024 season. Unfortunately for Chicago, its high asking price and a fast-moving quarterback market evaporated the market for Fields.

Most notably, per Cronin, the Bears didn’t take the best trade offer for Fields. An unidentified team made a better proposal, but general manager Ryan Poles said he did “what is best for both Justin and the Bears” by trading him to Pittsburgh.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft quarterback rankings

While the Bears stated from the beginning that they desired to do right by Fields, the delayed process and an asking price deemed too high but NFL teams ultimately proved costly. It likely wiped out an opportunity for Fields to compete for a starting job in training camp this summer with his new team and Chicago lost out on significant value.

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