A new report suggests the Chicago Bears will be closely evaluating Justin Fields’ performance over the next few weeks, but it is unlikely to lead to seeking out another quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Starting quarterback Justin Fields will be back in uniform this week after missing just over a month due to a thumb injury he suffered in Week 6. The Bears already had a rough start to the season with the young QB, however, his absence only helped to further push them out of playoff contention in 2023.
While the 3-7 Bears are unlikely to reach the postseason again this year, there are still major goals for the organization over the final seven weeks of the season. The most important of those would seem to be finding out if Fields truly is their franchise quarterback. He had a difficult start to this season and created questions within the fanbase about his long-term upside.
What puts added pressure on the QB situation is the fact that the Bears also own what could be the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft since they control the first-round selection for the one-win Carolina Panthers after a blockbuster trade before April’s draft.
Chicago Bears would need to be ‘blown away’ to take QB with first-round pick in 2024 NFL Draft
However, while there will be some very talented signal-callers available next spring, it looks like a huge downward spiral from Fields would be needed for the team to seriously ponder one of the QB prospects available in the 2024 draft.
- Justin Fields stats (2023): 1,201 yards, 11 TDs, 6 INTs, 91.6 rating
On Sunday morning, NFL Media league insider Ian Rapoport revealed that sources claimed the Chicago Bears have the “same view” as they did before the 2023 draft. That being Fields is the face of their franchise and they won’t use their top pick to replace him.
“The Bears would need to be blown away by a rookie QB to move on from Fields three years after selecting him No. 11 overall in the 2021 draft,” Rapoport wrote.
The news may disappoint some Bears fans unhappy with Fields’ play earlier this season, however, it would not be shocking if he played well down the stretch. He is coming off a year where he set records for QB rushing yards, but before his injury, his completion percentage, passing success rate, passer rating, and yards per game were up compared to last year. Which was a good sign he was improving his passing to better match his impressive running skills.
The Bears could have two top 10 to 15 picks — depending on how they finish the season — in next year’s draft.