Fields finished school to keep promise made to his dad originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears have a pair of players who did more than just get ready for the summer program since the end of the 2022 season. Both Justin Fields and Cole Kmet went back to their respective schools to finish their degrees and graduate. The team clearly supported each player in their decision to continue their education, and new team president Kevin Warren attended each players’ graduation.
Once the team was together for OTAs, the celebrations continued for the two grads. Each man was presented with a game ball at a team meeting.
“I think it’s really an important accomplishment for those guys to be able to go back and do that and get their degree, and it’s a good example for the other guys who haven’t got their degree yet,” said Matt Eberflus.
Finishing up any level of education is something that should be celebrated, and the Bears are right to applaud their players for finishing school. But the decision for guys like Fields and Kmet to continue their studies may seem strange. After all, each man has already made millions of dollars even though they’re still on their rookie deals. Each man is also on track to earn life-changing money on a second contract. So why go through the bother of cracking textbooks and studying for finals?
“I think at the age of 11 or 12 I made a promise to my dad,” Fields said. “We were in the car on the way to baseball practice, baseball game or something like that, and he made me promise him that.”
So Fields was determined to keep his promise and said when he finally walked it was a great moment not only for him, but for his entire family.
“My sister graduated a week after that,” Fields said. “It was a great two weeks for my family and everybody was excited.”
What’s even more impressive, is that Fields managed to complete his coursework while working at the NFL level. It feels like stating the obvious, but it takes a lot of dedication to succeed as an NFL quarterback, and Fields is known for his strong work ethic to improve as a passer. But Fields said once the offseason rolled around, it wasn’t too difficult for him to knock out the rest of his units.
“Really all of my classes were online so it wasn't too bad to where I had to go back to Ohio State to take some classes,” Fields said.
Fields’ studies are still ongoing with the Bears. The team has continued to fine tune his footwork in an effort to improve his rhythm and timing, especially in the short passing game. Fields is also working to develop chemistry with his new No. 1 wide receiver DJ Moore.
The Bears began their first round of OTAs this week, but things will really pick up in late July when training camp begins.