Bears GM Ryan Poles reaffirmed Justin Fields is QB1, but will look at QBs in NFL Draft

Poles reaffirms Fields is QB1, but will look at QBs in Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Nothing has changed for Ryan Poles since the Bears held their end of year press conference in January. The plan is still to move forward with Justin Fields as the starting quarterback in 2023, with Poles reiterating he’d have to be “blown away” to move on from Fields and draft a new quarterback like Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud.

Poles even acknowledged reports that emerged on Monday, which said he was leaning towards trading away the No. 1 pick to accumulate more draft capital, and lent those reports some more credence.

“I think that’s always been the case, we’ve always leaned that way,” Poles said. “Because Justin did some really nice things and I’m really excited about where his game is going to go. But at the same time, when you sit in our situation, No. 1 overall, you have to do your due diligence. You have to investigate everything. You have to spend time with those guys, just to make sure we’re making the right decision.”

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Poles is doing his job by leaving the door open ever so slightly to draft a quarterback, and meeting with those quarterbacks this week at the NFL Combine. He’s already begun trade conversations to gauge interest from teams who may want to move up to No. 1, but we don’t really know what the market for that pick is. And if Poles can make other GMs believe there’s a chance he’ll keep the No. 1 pick, it will help increase its value.

Poles also made sure to say that he’s been communicating with Fields throughout the pre-draft process. He knew there was going to be a lot of noise surrounding the pick, and the chance that the Bears would draft a quarterback, so he wanted to make sure Fields was ready for the circus. Poles will continue to do that as talks heat up and the draft approaches.

“What’s important to me, and I think everyone knows me by now and how I want to treat our players,” Poles said. “We’ll be in communication with Justin along the way to make sure that he knows what we’re doing and nothing’s a surprise to him.”

For all the talk, and all the buzz, Poles said he’s yet to receive any concrete offers from other GMs, so it doesn’t sound like any deal will be announced any time soon.

“It’s really just starter conversations right now,” Poles said. “Nothing specific about players, picks and all that. It’s just interest.”

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