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Justin Fields never believed Bears were going to draft a QB at No. 1

Bears quarterback Justin Fields is entering an important third season, where the expectation is he’ll take the next step forward in his development.

But there was a time earlier this offseason when many wondered if he’d be back with Chicago.

After all, the Bears had the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, where general manager Ryan Poles could have his pick of quarterback. Ultimately, Chicago decided to stick with Fields moving forward in 2023.

There was plenty of speculation surrounding Fields’ future until the Bears traded the top pick to the Carolina Panthers. But did he ever believe Chicago was going to draft a quarterback with the first overall pick?

“No. Not really,” Fields said Tuesday.

If anything, the Bears’ actions this offseason have proven that they had no intentions on moving on from Fields. Sure, they did their due diligence on the quarterbacks in the 2023 draft class, and Poles refused to deny that Chicago wasn’t considering a quarterback before trading the No. 1 pick.

But Poles also spent the offseason building around Fields, whether that was acquiring wide receiver DJ Moore in the trade of the top pick or shoring up the offensive line with Nate Davis and rookie Darnell Wright.

While there’s plenty of pressure on Fields in a pivotal third season — including a potential contract extension — it certainly helps that Chicago has put their faith in Fields.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “The coaches trust me, I trust them. Everybody in the building knows the kind of leader and person I am. I’m just excited to be able to lead this team and to be able to reach new heights.”

If Fields takes that next step forward, there’s no telling how far this team can go.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire