Should Patriots consider this potential asking price for a Fields trade? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Chicago Bears have a decision to make at quarterback in the coming weeks and months.
They invested a first-round pick (No. 11 overall) from the 2021 NFL Draft in Justin Fields, who has enjoyed an up-and-down tenure in Chicago but has shown flashes of really impressive play. The Bears also will have the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, giving them the chance to select a franchise quarterback such as USC's Caleb Williams or UNC's Drake Maye.
The debate really comes down to whether the Bears think Fields is capable of being a franchise quarterback on a winning team. If yes, then it makes sense to trade the No. 1 pick and stockpile assets to continue the team's rebuild. If no, then trading Fields and selecting a quarterback No. 1 overall is the path.
What would Fields' value be on the trade market?
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler provided some insight in a story published Tuesday.
"The consensus in an informal poll of league evaluators is that Fields would be worth a second- or third-round pick in a pre-draft trade," Fowler wrote. "When compared to former top-10 picks recently traded, that's better than Trey Lance, whom Dallas acquired from San Francisco for a fourth-round pick, but slightly worse than Sam Darnold, who, along with a sixth-round pick, went from the Jets to Carolina for second- and fourth-rounders."
Should the Patriots consider trading for Fields if the asking price is a second- or third-round selection? It's worth exploring, at the very least. The Patriots need a new starting quarterback after watching Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe mostly struggle this season.
If the Patriots don't get a top-three pick -- they are in the No. 3 spot entering Week 18 -- then it will be pretty tough for them to land a top QB prospect in the upcoming draft. In that scenario, the trade and free agent markets would be the best places to look for a quarterback upgrade.
Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien had a lot of success with Deshaun Watson as head coach of the Houston Texans. Fields, as a dual-threat quarterback, has some of the same skills as Watson. The Ohio State product has completed 61 percent of his pass attempts for 2,414 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games this season, in addition to 630 yards and four more touchdowns on the ground. He ran for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Justin Fields was in playmaker mode on Sunday 🕹️ pic.twitter.com/wjgDG7TWTW
— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2024
The Patriots would need to tailor their offense to fit around Fields and give him enough talent at the skill positions to be successful, which is something they didn't do for Jones.
The ideal scenario for the Patriots is getting the No. 2 or No. 3 pick and drafting a quarterback -- likely Maye or LSU's Jayden Daniels. But if they finish with the No. 4 pick (or worse), then a trade for Fields is at least worth considering.