What Bears QB Justin Fields would make on his 5th-year option

The clock is ticking on a decision regarding Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, both when it comes to a possible trade as well as what to do with his fifth-year option. While we’re still a few weeks away from clarifying the former, the fifth-year option cost has been revealed.

On Friday, the NFL released the fifth-year option amounts for first-round picks from the 2021 NFL draft. They are broken out by position in four different tiers based on Pro Bowl accolades and playing time. Players who made multiple Pro Bowls will make the highest amount, followed by those who made one, then those who met the playing time requirement, and finally those who met none of the criteria.

Fields, the Bears’ 2021 first-round pick, is set to earn $25.664 million on the option in 2025. Fields fits in the third tier of players as he has yet to make a Pro Bowl but meets the criteria for snaps played during his three years in the league. The decision to pick up the option must be made by May 2, and it is fully guaranteed.

The financial commitment to Fields is just one of the factors that will determine his fate in Chicago. The Bears currently hold the No. 1 overall pick and could decide to select a quarterback to build around. It’s important to note that a quarterback picked first overall will have a cap hit of around $7.1 million in 2024, $8.9 million in 2025 and $10.6 million in 2026, for a total of approximately $26.5 million. These totals are slightly higher than the cap hits for Bryce Young, the 2023 first overall pick. The Bears can save quite a bit of money and spend their resources elsewhere to improve the team around a rookie QB.

The fifth-year option won’t impact the Bears or any team in 2024. Cap space isn’t a problem for them either, as they have approximately $80 million to spend. But it’s one of many factors that will help decide what Chicago plans to do at the quarterback position. With the NFL combine taking place next week, we’re getting closer and closer to knowing the answer.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire