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Justin Fields reportedly created ‘toxic’ Chicago Bears QB room in 2021

Justin Fields
Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Four years after trading up to select Mitchell Trubisky, the Chicago Bears were back at it, gambling on another first-round quarterback. This time, it was Justin Fields’ turn to join the Bears’ QB room after becoming the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

But just because the team felt Fields had a bright future, it didn’t mean the former Ohio State star was ready to start right away. With other proven veterans such as Nick Foles and Andy Dalton on the roster, Fields would eventually get his chance, but the Bears wanted him to watch and learn first, as many teams prefer to do with their young quarterback prospects.

Justin Fields reportedly didn’t want to be mentored by Nick Foles and Andy Dalton

According to Go Long’s Ty Dunne, the Bears discovered they had a “toxic” QB room during Fields’ rookie season, and a large part of the blame fell on the shoulders of their new face of the franchise.

Dunne’s reports suggest that both Foles and Dalton were eager to help mentor Fields during his first NFL season, but the rookie wasn’t interested in their mentorship, creating an environment that was “toxic as hell.”

“There were several arguments amongst the QBs. Once, per one source, Foles was trying to teach something to Fields in the QB room and—upon turning toward the rookie—Foles realized Fields wasn’t even paying attention. His head was down. At that point, Foles was done trying to play mentor. The two could not stand each other.”

Ty Dunne on Chicago Bears’ QB room in 2021 with Justin Fields

Eventually the situation got so bad that the trio wouldn’t even associate with one another around the facility.

“(They) never were together. It was always Andy and Nick walking side by side and Justin always 15 yards behind them.”

Both veterans still felt like they had plenty of life left in the tank, and being that Chicago had just signed Dalton to a one-year, $10 million contract, he likely felt like he earned a legitimate chance to start. Meanwhile, the same went for Foles, who arrived via trade one season earlier to compete with Mitch Trubisky. Both quarterbacks were gone after one season after Dalton’s contract expired, and Chicago released Foles.

Still, it’s not hard to see why Fields took a step forward in his second season in the NFL, but the Bears hoped to see a lot more growth in his third year, and now he’s in Pittsburgh, trying to prove his worth to another organization.

Related: NFL QB Rankings 2024: From Patrick Mahomes to Gardner Minshew

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