Peter King says this season is 'biggest year' for Bears' Justin Fields

Peter King: This season is 'biggest year' for Justin Fields originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears enhanced their roster in a multitude of ways this offseason.

They took to free agency and added Nate Davis, T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds. In the draft, they notched a starting right tackle and bolstered their defensive line in the early rounds. They also snatched DJ Moore from the Panthers via trade for the No. 1 overall pick.

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Now, all eyes are on Justin Fields.

"I just think it's the biggest year for Justin Fields," Peter King told Waddle & Silvy on ESPN 1000.

RELATED: Why Tice thinks Bears have top-end QB situation in NFC

That doesn't have to be a negative thing for Fields.

Yes, he's underperformed in the passing game through both seasons of his young career. He's only passed for just over 4,000 yards in his career, barely more touchdowns than interceptions, and hasn't exceeded the 60 percent completion percentage mark.

But with an upgraded roster at his disposal, most seem to believe he's due for a breakout year.


"I think he's gonna be a pleasant surprise," King said. "I know how much he loves this game and I know how hard he works at this game."

Let's not forget, the Bears come with insurance this season.

They have two first-round picks in next year's draft via their own and the Carolina Panthers' first selection. Should Fields not live up to expectations, the Bears could be on the hunt for a new signal caller as quickly as next summer.

King believes Fields is privy to that thinking, too.

"In my opinion, he knows exactly what is expected," King said. "And he understands he's not the quarterback of the Bears for the next five years; unless he grabs it right now and takes it. I believe he understands completely if he has a subpar year . . . they're likely gonna be in pursuit of a quarterback next year."


This is a major evaluation year for Fields, as King alluded to during his radio conversation. Anyone would agree Fields' production through the air – as it stands through his first two seasons – is not sustainable output for an NFL quarterback.

He's done historic damage on the ground, racking up the second-most season yards by a quarterback on the ground ever last season. But, it's a passing league, and the Bears stockpiled a wide receiver room and offensive line capable of helping Fields' game.

Another reason this season is largely important for the Bears' future is that Fields is eligible for an extension next offseason via his rookie contract.

The entire NFL just watched Jalen Hurts receive the league's most lucrative deal by way of a five-year $255 million contract. And yes, he just finished his third season in the league, just as Fields will this time next year.


King smartly compared Fields' situation to that of one quarterback who went through similar trials and tribulations this past year. Yet Fields comes with arguably more optimism.

"I think you're gonna watch him for 17 games this year, however many games he plays, and I think by the end of the year you're gonna know," King said. "I think what'll happen with him is the kind of year the New York Giants had with Daniel Jones."

The Giants and Jones found themselves at a similar impasse the Bears might discover down the line. New York was forced to decide between paying their quarterback or star-studded running back Saquon Barkley.

In the end, despite an arguably subpar season from Jones, they paid their quarterback. Jones inked a four-year $160 million deal with the Giants.

Can Fields earn the right to a larger contract than Jones, or one equally as lucrative as Hurts'?

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