Justin Fields Next Team Odds: Will Bears Trade QB Or Build Around Him?
Adam Thompson | 6 mins
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The Chicago Bears used the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to take Ohio State QB Justin Fields.
Two seasons of borderline-disastrous results, coupled with a QB-rich draft, has given rise to the idea that the Bears might be looking to move on from Fields and take a QB with the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Experts and insiders have been hinting for weeks that the trade market could be open for Fields, an extremely productive college star who has dazzled with his running ability, but has yet to figure things out as a passer in the NFL.
That does not mean he can’t, or won’t. Teams needing a QB could make a call and see if a change of scenery helps – it’s helped a lot of former Bears quarterbacks.
Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has used his resources of NFL contacts developed over 20 years covering the league to create his hypothetical NFL futures odds on Fields’ 2023 team.
Odds are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting apps.
Fields was a force at Ohio State. In two seasons, he passed for well over 5,000 yards with 63 TDs and only nine INTs while rushing for 15 more scores. Chicago selected him and many experts believed it was a heck of an addition for a franchise that has been looking for a next-level QB since Jim McMahon left in 1989.
Through two seasons, that has not materialized. In 25 games, Fields has thrown just 24 touchdowns with 21 interceptions, and the Bears are a brutal 5-20 in his starts. It's been a tough go for Bears fans backing their team on Illinois betting apps.
To be fair, Chicago’s skill players and its offensive line have ranked near the bottom on total talent. Plus, while Fields’ QBR rating in 2021 ranked dead-last in the NFL, it was a much-better 17th in 2022.
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NFL insider Adam Schefter has reported the Bears are "leaning toward moving" the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. That would suggest the team is sticking with Fields. But it's not guaranteed.
Incoming rookies Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson all could go in the first nine picks of the upcoming NFL Draft. The Bears could trade down and still get a new QB, as long as they don't drop too far. Or they could trade down and secure a top defensive talent like Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr.
There are many teams out there looking for an upgrade at QB, and many of them won’t be in position to draft one of the aforementioned four.
The trade and free agent markets are mostly filled with ultra-high-priced veterans (Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr) or lower-ceiling guys looking for a new home (Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield).
Fields, who became just the third QB ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, is still on his rookie contract, so cash-strapped teams may see him as the best option available.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints are both in huge salary cap trouble. Each team is currently more than $50 million over the projected salary cap, and neither has a QB they want for Week 1. Tampa’s only QB right now is Kyle Trask, who was 3-of-9 passing in his rookie season.
New Orleans has Jameis Winston, who was benched for Andy Dalton in 2022. Fields might be the only QB on the market either team can afford. Both should be making calls to Chicago to inquire, hence their position in this NFL betting market.
Matt Corral is the QB1 right now for the Carolina Panthers; he missed all of his 2022 rookie season due to injury. The Washington Commanders could cut Carson Wentz and incur zero dead cap penalties. That would leave the team with no QB options with Taylor Heinicke a free agent.
Fields could fill that void. Coach Ron Rivera worked wonders with Cam Newton, and Fields has a similar skillset.
The Las Vegas Raiders don’t have Carr anymore, leaving Jarrett Stidham as the man atop the depth chart. They appear to be looking in other directions, but time will tell if the trade market goes their way. The Baltimore Ravens can franchise tag impending free agent Lamar Jackson, or they can trade him for a king’s ransom. The Bears have by far the most salary cap space this offseason.
Lamar Jackson to Chicago? It’s certainly not impossible.
The Field is highlighted by teams that need a QB badly, but like the Bears are in a prime spot to use their first-round draft pick on one. That includes the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. The New York Giants are hoping to bring back Daniel Jones, the Seattle Seahawks the same with Geno Smith.
The New York Jets are hoping to add a veteran to the team. Fields could be a backup-backup plan. The Atlanta Falcons are currently riding second-year pro Desmond Ridder, though his rookie experience may give team brass second thoughts. Atlanta also has a ton of cap and draft capital to make a move if needed.