The Chicago Bears have the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, which gives GM Ryan Poles plenty of leverage this offseason.
But one of the downsides — perhaps the only one — to having the top selection is having to deal with speculation about quarterback Justin Fields’ future.
Case in point, former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum, who appeared on ESPN’s Get Up! to share what’s gearing up to be a repetitive hot take this offseason: The Bears should trade Fields.
“I would trade Justin Fields,” Tannenbaum said. “And I’m taking nothing away from him. I think he has a chance to be good, maybe a top-ten quarterback. But, if you can get at least a first- and a third-round pick, which I believe you can, because so many teams need a quarterback, I’m going to draft Bryce Young, who I think is going to be a better quarterback than Justin Fields.
“And when I do that and get at least a first and a third-round pick, I’m resetting Bryce Young’s rookie contract and I’m going to be able to get at least four starting-caliber players.”
Tannenbaum made a comparison to the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence. Only, it’s not in regards to building around Fields.
“A great illustration of this, guys, is what happened in Jacksonville,” Tannenbaum said. “Trevor Lawrence is on his rookie deal. They go out and get guys like Christian Kirk, Brandon Church, Evan Ingram amongst others.
“So if I could turn Justin Fields basically into six quality players and get Bryce Young who I think will be the better player, I’m making that move if I’m the Bears.”
The only problem with that is the Bears have swung and missed on quarterbacks in the past. There’s no guarantee Young will become a star. Chicago has one in Fields, who carried the entire offense with a deficient roster around him.
Poles said he plans on Fields being the starter next season and that he has to be “absolutely blown away” to consider taking a quarterback with the first overall pick,.