Framework of a Justin Fields trade could be in place next week: reports

Framework of a Justin Fields trade could be in place next week: reports originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

It feels like a matter of "when" not "if" when discussing the Bears potentially trading Justin Fields.

The dominant thinking around the Bears' quarterback situation surrounds the idea of the front office drafting Caleb Williams or another rookie signal caller from the draft.

In that case, the Bears will want to trade Fields to receive value in return for his services. Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer believes a trade framework, or the "bones," could be in place next week.

"I'd expect, whatever the plan is, the execution really starts going next week," Breer said on ESPN 1000. "I think the bones of it [a trade] could be there next week. The bones of a trade could be in place next week."

If the Bears want to maximize the return they receive from Fields in a hypothetical trade, they should act quickly.

Soon, the NFL offseason will be off to the races, and the Bears could miss their chance to maximize his value. The new league year begins on March 13, meaning NFL free agency will also begin.

Several free-agent quarterbacks will come off the market quickly, if not immediately i.e. Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, Russell Wilson and others. If the Bears start dangling Fields in front of teams now ahead of free agency, one of them might bite and offer up a better deal than after free agency opens.

"I think that that's why if you're the Bears there's some urgency to get moving on this because if you're going to get the best return, the best return is probably going to be available to you right now rather than three, four, five weeks from now," Breer said.

Fields recently unfollowed the Bears on Instagram, forcing outsiders to believe he's on his way out. He explained later to "The 33rd Team" that his reason for unfollowing the Bears was strictly to declutter his timeline before going on vacation.

During the same interview, he expressed his dismay with the continued talks and debates between him and Williams. He would prefer to be notified as soon as possible about whether or not he'll be traded, so he can harness his undivided focus on the offseason.

But where would he prefer to play? Fields was candid about wanting to stay in Chicago.

"Yeah, of course. Of course, I want to stay," Fields told the St. Brown brothers on "The 33rd Team." "To be honest, bruh, I be tryna like ... with all the talk [about Caleb Williams, his trade rumors, etc.] it's hard to just, you know, be in one place. But I can't see myself playing in another place.

"If it was up to me, I would want to stay in Chicago. I love the city. The city's lit. The fans there, they're great. It's a business. I ain't got no control over it. Whatever happens, happens."

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