Ryan Poles: The trade at this time was what was best for Justin Fields and us

The Bears showed their hand Saturday night. It remains to be seen whether their presumed selection of USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick proves to be a winner.

But they saw enough from three years with Justin Fields to seek an upgrade.

The Bears agreed to a third-day pick in 2025 from Pittsburgh for Fields, the No. 11 overall pick in 2021. The sixth-rounder will become a fourth-rounder if Fields plays 51 percent of the offensive snaps for the Steelers this season.

It's obvious the trade market was underwhelming for Fields, and instead of waiting, the Bears cut their losses and moved on to the future.

The Bears announced the trade Saturday night.

"We have engaged in multiple trade conversations in recent weeks and believe trading Justin at this time to Pittsburgh is what is best for both Justin and the Bears," Bears General Manager Ryan Poles said in a statement. "Today we spoke to Justin to inform him of the trade and the rationale behind it for us as a club. We want to thank him for his tireless dedication, leadership and all he poured into our franchise and community the last three years and wish him the best towards a long and successful NFL career."

Fields, who completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 6,674 yards with 40 touchdowns, 30 interceptions and an 82.3 passer rating and rushed for 2,220 yards and 14 touchdowns on 356 carries, penned a goodbye letter to Chicago.

“Can’t say thank you enough to the city of Chicago for taking me in and embracing me,” Fields wrote on social media. “Thank you to the entire Bears organization and ownership for allowing me the opportunity to be part of such a historic franchise. But most of all thank you to my (sic) all my brothers that I played with. You all were the reason I attacked each day the way I did. I can’t thank you all enough for what y’all have meant to me over the last 3 years through the ups and downs. I wish each one of you nothing but success.

“Ready for this next chapter!”