Bears trying to move on from Justin Fields, draft Caleb Williams: reports

Bears trying to move on from Justin Fields, draft Caleb Williams: reports originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported her findings from her time spent at the NFL combine, and offered confirmation of what everyone believes the Bears will do this offseason.

"Multiple league sources I spoke to believe the Bears are trying to move on from Justin Fields, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract," Russini wrote. "The team, which has the No. 1 and 9 picks, appears to be focused on using its first pick to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams."

As for Fields, general manager Ryan Poles mentioned prior he wants to "do right" by his quarterback and trade him before the start of NFL free agency. According to Russini, that might have to wait.

Her reports indicate the Bears may need the free agent quarterbacks (Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, Russell Wilson, etc.) to sign before they receive genuine interest in Fields. She believes Fields' market will be "robust," even though teams would like to wait for free agency to open. Russini said the Bears spent the whole week gauging interest in the Bears' fourth-year quarterback.

The rumor mill would suggest the Falcons are the favored landing spot for Fields. Oddsmakers have heavily leaned towards Atlanta picking up Fields in the trade market. However, recent reports indicate the Falcons prefer the likes of Cousins, even Mayfield.

"The buzz around the combine" is Cousins is reportedly the No. 1 choice for the Falcons this offseason, according to a report from Zach Klein. However, a league source told NBC Sports Chicago's Josh Schrock that the Falcons have checked in with the Bears about Fields. It's unclear how far those conversations went.

If the Bears committed to the route of trading Fields, they would try and trade him before free agency opens on March 13. That begs the question --- how unpleasant of a return would they be willing to receive to "do right" by Fields and trade him as soon as possible?

A separate report from The Athletic recently polled eight NFL coaches and executives to ask how much they would give up for Fields. The majority of them opted to say a second- or third-round pick. One said a first-round pick could be in play. Another said a third-round pick is the highest he would be willing to offer.

What will Poles get back for Fields in the trade market? Stay tuned because if the Bears are ready to trade him, it'll be sooner rather than later.

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