Bears players share appreciation for fan-made signs of support at Halas Hall

Bears players share appreciation for fan-made signs of support at Halas Hall originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

A group of Bears fans took to Halas Hall to share their support for the team on Monday by placing a line of signs along the road. They hoped to encourage the players as they headed in to clear out their lockers, and it turns out the messages were well received.

"It was pretty cool," said running back D'Onta Foreman. "I mean this organization, this fan base, I don't know, it's different from other places I've been. It's so much different. It's bigger and there's much more that comes with it."

Several signs were directed to the team as a whole, but a few singled out Justin Fields and Jaylon Johnson. Each player’s future with the team is uncertain, and the fans made it clear they’d like each player to stick around.

"I didn’t put [the signs] up. I would have helped them if they asked," fellow cornerback Tyrique Stevenson said when asked about the signs for Johnson. "But nah, I definitely agree with that. That is a great veteran, just somebody who constantly went through what I went through, constantly patted me on the back and told me to keep going. He never blinked and that’s pretty much what gave me the confidence to go out there and start playing like one of the best corners in the league."

One of the biggest talking points of the season was whether or not the Bears plan to sign Johnson to a long-term deal. Thus far, both sides haven't been able to meet on a contract. If they don’t reach an agreement before the new league year begins on Mar. 13, he’ll become a free agent.

Johnson has made it abundantly clear, however, that he hopes to remain in Chicago. He's performed phenomenally through four years and earned his first Pro Bowl selection this past week.

Fields poses arguably the most significant storyline of the NFL offseason. Should the Bears continue to bank on Fields' development and hold onto him? Or, should they trade him and draft a new signal caller?

If DJ Moore has a vote, he made his stance clear on Monday.

“For Justin to be here? It’ll be amazing. Nobody really wants to start all the way over and either have a losing season again or maybe have a… Joe Burrow. You could have that kind of season. You never know. It’s a hit or miss.”

Fields has talked all season about focusing on the present and not worrying about the things he can't control. But after Sunday's season-ending 17-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers, all that remains is what Bears general manager Ryan Poles decides is best for the future: sticking with Fields or trading him and drafting a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick?

"I have a pretty good relationship with Ryan and the guys upstairs,” Fields said. “At the end of the day, this is a business. They have to make the tough decisions. My job is just to go out there and play my best. It would mean a lot to get that confirmation from them and just really send a message that they trust me to lead this team and be the quarterback.”

This isn't new territory for Fields, who pointed out he faced the same type of uncertainty last offseason when the Bears owned the No. 1 pick.

"The thing is, we had the same topics and stuff last year," Fields said after the loss Sunday. "It’s not like we didn’t have the No. 1 pick last year. It’s going to be the same thing. Like I said, I control what I can control. I’m going to get healthy this offseason, spend time with my family, and get better. Like I said, we went through the same thing last year, we had the No. 1 pick, everybody was asking ‘what if? What if? What if?’ and nothing happened. I’m not saying that nothing might happen [this offseason] cause, shoot, we all don’t know. But I’m not going to let the potential or what if, what if not stress me from enjoying life and going through my everyday life."

Fields is a realist though, and understands there's a chance Sunday was his final ride as the Bears' starting quarterback.

“I mean, I’m not sure," Fields said when asked if he was confident he'd done enough to return. "That decision is not in my hands. All I can control is what I did do. I gave it my all. Whether it’s here or not, I have no regrets.

"To the City of Chicago, love y'all. Appreciate the fans and the support from all the Bears, you know, and in case this is my last rodeo with y'all, appreciate y'all for everything.”

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