Justin Fields trade possibilities: Which teams make most sense as landing spots for Bears QB?

Justin Fields' future was always going to be a primary plot line of the NFL’s 2024 offseason – however it seems the speculation is ramping up sooner than most expected given the annual scouting combine hasn't even begun taking measurements. Thank you, social media.

Fields found himself explaining on "The St. Brown Brothers" podcast with current Chicago Bears teammate Equanimeous St. Brown and his brother, Detroit Lions All-Pro WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, why he had unfollowed the Bears on Instagram.

"It's something that I don't want to spend my time on,” Fields said in part. “I'm about to go on vacation.”

Maybe a permanent one from Chicago.

After all, this comes at a time when there’s rampant buzz that the Bears, who hold the No. 1 pick of the upcoming draft for the second consecutive February, are poised to move on from Fields in order to select the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, former USC quarterback Caleb Williams. A year ago, Chicago stuck with Fields – he has shown numerous flashes as a run-pass threat despite an uneven supporting cast in the Windy City – and traded the top pick of the 2023 NFL draft to the Carolina Panthers, who played so poorly with rookie QB Bryce Young that the Bears wound up back atop the board. Now, given Williams’ talent – frequently and unfairly likened to three-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes’ – and the opportunity to reset their quarterbacking pay scale with a half-dozen or more seasons of contractual control, the rumors around Chicago and its current quarterback will likely persist much longer this year.

Said Fields: "I'm tired of hearing the talk. I just want it to be over."

Soon, Justin. Soon. Probably.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) scrambles for yards in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) scrambles for yards in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field.

If the Bears do indeed decide to move on from the man they dealt up to draft in 2021, these seven teams could be logical trade partners:

7. Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith has been an excellent bridge over the past two seasons, yet it still doesn’t appear like the 33-year-old is the ultimate destination – particularly after his production dipped and Seattle went from wild-card entry to out of the playoffs from 2022 to 2023. It would be easy enough financially to move on from Smith. The question might be whether GM John Schneider – never one to shy away from a gutsy move – would potentially turn over the 16th pick of the draft to Bears GM Ryan Poles given he has no second-rounder to offer.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Though there seems to be momentum for a longer-term union with Baker Mayfield on the heels of a surprising NFC South title, the Bucs currently don’t have a QB1 under contract. However their relative success in 2023 might cost (at least) the 26th pick of the draft if GM Jason Licht decides it’s sensible to pivot to a more athletic option like Fields, who certainly has more upside and less miles on him than Mayfield.

5. Las Vegas Raiders

They play in an exciting city fresh off a successful Super Bowl staging. They’ve got an exciting new coach in Antonio Pierce, who galvanized the team after replacing Josh McDaniels midway through last season. What they don’t have is an exciting quarterback and probably not one who’s the long-term answer ... unless you’re an Aidan O’Connell truther. Pierce and newly hired GM Tom Telesco – he enjoyed an 11-year tenure with the Chargers in large thanks to the relative stability provided by QBs Philip Rivers and Justin Herbert – might only get one shot at addressing the position in a meaningful way. Would they rather have a semi-proven player like Fields or, say, roll those Vegas dice on somebody like Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy with the 13th pick of the draft?

4. New England Patriots

It appears Mac Jones maxed out as a rookie – not that it was fair teaming him with two offensive coordinators and a pair of substitute teachers during his three seasons to date. With New England picking near the top of every round this year, including third overall, Poles could request several potential compensation packages to send Fields, who was drafted four spots before Jones, to Foxborough as the Pats continue to seek Tom Brady’s long-term successor.

3. Washington Commanders

A team that picks second overall – which feels awfully rich for Fields, whose rookie contract runs two more years assuming his fifth-year option for 2025 is picked up – might have just that much more juice to outbid New England in the event a bidding war materializes. Fields’ skill set would certainly seem to fit new OC Kliff Kingsbury’s offense well enough while providing an apparent upgrade to interception machine Sam Howell.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

They’re unfailingly in the postseason mix with HC Mike Tomlin calling the shots, yet haven’t actually won a playoff game in seven years. Diminished play, starting with now-retired Ben Roethlisberger’s late-career descent to the effective demotion of Kenny Pickett (a first-rounder in 2022) late last season, suggests it’s time to reboot behind center. Significantly switching gears at quarterback might cut against the DNA of an organization that values stability so deeply. But with Mitchell Trubisky already released and 2023 savior Mason Rudolph, who’s never shown enough in six seasons to be considered Big Ben’s permanent replacement, about to hit free agency, this could be the perfect time to take a big swing at remedying the problem – especially at a juncture when even talented young passers seem to move more freely around the league.

1. Atlanta Falcons

They've been shaping up as the ideal landing spot for Fields for some time. He’s a Georgia native who could join a club with a popular new head coach, Raheem Morris, in place while inheriting an offense that’s loaded with weaponry and seemingly only devoid of a worthy triggerman. Imagine Fields hitched to WR Drake London, TE Kyle Pitts, RB Bijan Robinson and an underrated offensive line. Might even be worth the eighth overall pick for a club that was skewered for not pursuing Lamar Jackson a year ago but seems to be one bold move from becoming a perennial favorite in the eminently winnable NFC South.


Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on X, formerly Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Justin Fields trade rumors: Do Falcons make most sense for Bears QB?