Justin Fields for Lamar Jackson? One pundit thinks it's the right deal originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Trade Justin Fields or keep him?
We're barely a week removed from the end of the 2022 NFL season and it already feels like this argument has been played out ad nauseam. And it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.
Most recently, Fox Sports' Nick Wright pitched the idea of the Bears trading away Justin Fields, but with a unique spin.
His pitch, trade Fields to the Baltimore Ravens for Lamar Jackson. Straight up. One for one.
The crux of it is Wright doesn't think the Ravens and Jackson are interested in extending their union. And he notes the Ravens' offense needs a mobile quarterback ready to plug in play. He also notes they don't seem to be interested in paying Jackson a huge contract.
Enter Fields, a mobile quarterback on his rookie deal.
"The hardest part about trading Lamar is going to be the Ravens feel like we can win right now," Wright notes. "[The Ravens] might have the best defense in the league. So are [they] really going to trade Lamar for the fourth pick in the draft plus other picks to [the Indianapolis Colts] and have to kind of start over on that side of the ball?
"What about one for one Lamar, for Justin Fields?"
Wright also notes the Bears have more cap space than anyone in the NFL and can afford to give Jackson a massive contract.
"I think both teams have a long meeting about. That is the best one I can come up with," Wright said.
A lot of the trade Justin Fields conversation has centered around keeping the No. 1 overall pick to draft Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud to replace Fields at quarterback.
Wright notes that by trading Fields for Jackson, their quarterback position is still solved and the Bears still would maintain the option of flipping that pick for more picks or talent.
And that is ultimately why Wright believes this is a win-win deal for Chicago and Ravens. And for Baltimore a better deal than anything other teams looking for quarterbacks, like the Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks, could offer. Or that they could find in free agency, like Jimmy Garoppolo.
But why would the Bears do this?
Surely the Bears would also like a quarterback on a rookie deal. And if they paid Lamar Jackson a massive deal, they'd have less money to add talent around him and on defense. That problem isn't going away with Jackson coming in. They'd just have less cap space to work with.
And what about Jackson's injury and ability to stay healthy? That's a concern.
Lastly, if the Ravens felt they could win with Fields instead of a former league MVP, why wouldn't the Bears?
We already know the Bears and Ravens are willing to work out a deal. The Bears traded linebacker Roquan Smith to the Ravens a little over two months ago. This probably won't be one.
And while some Chicago fans might scoff at the idea, and some perhaps would welcome a Fields-Jackson trade.
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