Never would I imagine that we could be having this conversation after the hype-filled offseason that surrounded Justin Fields and the Bears.
Yet here we are, and it’s barely October. Bears fans knew after a disappointing loss at the start of the season to their divisional rival – the Green Bay Packers – that they were in for a rough ride this season. Yet, now, even some of the most loyal Bears fans are throwing in the towel after the team’s recent blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and a blown 28-7 lead to the hapless Denver Broncos.
To fans and viewers of all kinds, the offense flat-out looks chaotic, and overall, the team just looks bad. Once again, they are setting themselves up for a prime position in the 2024 NFL Draft to replace Justin Fields with a top young QB. The Bears chose Fields over all the Quarterbacks in the 2023 draft class, and I don’t think fans can handle another season with the limited upside that Fields’ provides in Chicago’s offense.
The Bears’ best chance of getting the most value out of Fields at this point is trading him mid-season. The Bears cannot afford to pin themselves against the wall again by having a franchise QB (Fields) and the ability to draft another one No. 1 overall (Caleb Williams), hoping to maintain peak value for both players. Many teams weren’t willing to send their maximum offer for the first-overall pick in 2023 due to other organizations almost daring the Bears to pick a quarterback or waste the pick on another position.
The Chicago Bears MUST Trade Justin Fields To Save the Franchise
Why not send Justin Fields to his childhood favorite team, the Falcons, to help lead a run-heavy offense with Arthur Smith and all the weapons that Atlanta has to offer?
Justin Fields Trade Suggestion:
- Chicago Bears: Justin Fields (QB)
- Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Ridder (QB), 2024 Second-Round Pick (via ATL), 2025 Fourth-Round Pick (Via ATL)
Some of the Bears fanbase and analysts are heavily behind going all-in on having a bad season to bring in USC Quarterback Caleb Williams. However, not everything is as easy as that may seem for Chicago.
Two words: Eli Manning. The story of Manning refusing to go to the Chargers on draft day is one for the NFL history books and, apparently, human history as well. It is bound to repeat itself when those positioned in powerful roles don’t learn from others’ mistakes. Manning had all the right in the world to not want to play for the Chargers after how they treated Ryan Leaf. Williams would have all the right not to want to play in Chicago following their recent mismanagement of Justin Fields.
The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner still has the ability to return to USC to avoid being drafted by a team he wouldn’t want to play for. Given his pedigree, it makes sense that he wouldn’t want to commit to playing for a team that would have had the first-overall pick back-to-back seasons. Williams would be a dream come true for Bears fans & the franchise quarterback that Chicago has always dreamed of having. However, what is a dream come true to Bears fans could, unfortunately, be a nightmare for a prospect like Williams.
I apologize, Bears fans, but you’re gonna have to think of another solution to fix this issue than drafting Williams…
The Caleb Williams Sweepstakes
Williams already holds a lot of power right now in the Chicago Bears organization, and he hasn’t even committed to the draft yet. If Williams returns to college, the Bears are stuck between a rock and a hard place. But if he commits to the draft and doesn’t want to play in Chicago, that trade package alone for the No. 1 overall pick could be an organization-shifting trade package.
So, if the Bears traded Justin Fields at the 2023 trade deadline, and they’re not getting Williams during the draft, does that mean I’m suggesting that the Bears run with Desmond Ridder in 2023? Of course not. To answer who will start in 2024 for Chicago, you first have to answer which organization will trade the world to the Bears for a generational prospect like Williams.
Let’s look at the checklist.
- The team is projected to hold a top-10 Pick in the 2024 NFL Draft
- The team has no future quarterback or has a quarterback with limited upside in a tough division
- The head coach didn’t draft the current quarterback
- The head coach isn’t on the hot seat
There are always a few variables that can go into trades like this, but when it comes to quarterbacks, these are my key factors for deciding if it’s time to be investing in other options at the position.
A few teams hit one or two of these categories, but the only team that hits all four categories, in my opinion, is the New York Giants.
Caleb Williams, Welcome To New York, It’s Been Waiting For You
I’m sure you’re already asking, why would the Giants trade for Caleb Williams after they just paid Daniel Jones this past offseason? Let’s look at the checklist again.
- The team is projected to hold a top-10 Pick in the 2024 NFL Draft ✅
Starting out the season 1-2, the Giants are currently fourth in the NFC East.
- The team has no future quarterback or has a quarterback with limited upside in a tough division ✅
The Giants are contenders, but they can’t consistently beat two of three of their divisional opponents, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.
- The head coach didn’t draft the current quarterback ✅
Brian Daboll was brought in to turn Daniel Jones into Josh Allen, but he didn’t draft him.
- The head coach isn’t on the hot seat ✅
Daboll is the reigning 2023 Coach of the Year and has the full support of the Giants organization.
There was a conversation that the Cardinals were deciding between Kyler Murray and Williams, resulting in an easy answer of going with Williams and trading the maximum contract attached to Kyler Murray. If that’s the case, we should keep that same energy when it comes to Daboll and Jones, who hasn’t shown that he is in the same tier of QB as Murray.
Another huge variable in play with everything involved in a potential Caleb Williams trade is the New York media. This past offseason, the Giants were overshadowed by the buzz of two of their divisional opponents and the third selling theirs. They also had to become the secondary NFL team in their own city, with the whole town talking about Aaron Rodgers and the Jets. I think the Giants are ready to make a move to become that No. 1 team again in New York. The Giants need electricity, and Caleb Williams could bring that.
Caleb Williams Trade Suggestion
- Chicago Bears: Daniel Jones (QB), 2024 First-Round Pick (via NYG), 2025 First-Round Pick (via NYG), 2026 First-Round Pick (via NYG)
- New York Giants: 2024 First-Round Pick (via CHI) – Caleb Williams (QB)
Whenever these types of trades come to mind, I analyze them team-by-team and player-by-player to see if everyone involved is walking away better than where they came into it.
Let’s take a look at how each of these moves could factor in the outcome of future NFL seasons:
Justin Fields (QB, Atlanta Falcons)
Sometimes, players regress because they’re not enjoying football like they used to. Maybe playing for his childhood favorite team could provide a spark in Fields that turns the trajectory of his career around.
In this scenario, the Falcons could walk away with a franchise quarterback with a ton of rushing upside. He would be the ideal fit for an offense that finished third in rushing in 2022 before they drafted Bijan Robinson and without even giving up a single first-round pick to get him.
For Bears fans, is this the most exciting outcome possible? No, but get over it. Since the Bears have become such a bottom-of-the-barrel franchise that even the Lions are more respected than them, Chicago needs a culture change in a bad way.
Fans should be happy that they’re walking away from two seasons of being the worst team in the NFL with their first-round picks through 2026, Carolina’s 2024 first-round pick, OT Darnell Wright, WR D.J. Moore, Carolina’s 2025 second-round pick, DB Tyrique Stevenson, QB Desmond Ridder, Atlanta’s 2023 second-round pick, Atlanta’s 2025 fourth-round pick and a franchise QB of Daniel Jones locked in for the next few seasons.
The Bears need to focus on culture right now, and I think Jones being the “Jared Goff‘ in the Chicago Bears culture change would do wonders for the organization. Chicago fans can blame failed quarterbacks, head coaches or just not being able to beat the Packers’ former Hall-of-Fame quarterback. Yet, at some point, when you haven’t been looked at as a top-tier franchise since the ’80s, you have to realize that the fish is probably rotting from the top down.
Having a surplus of draft picks to build your team around while you figure out what made the Chicago Bears great originally is how they can recreate that success. I believe this is the only way to dig this franchise out of mediocrity.
Daniel Jones (QB, Chicago Bears)
Jones has proved himself to be a starting quarterback in this league, but I don’t think he can appropriately be called a superstar player with the limited ability that he brings. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t believe he is a good QB. Not everyone needs to be a Patrick Mahomes or a Josh Allen. Jones could help be an impactful locker room leader for a rebuilding Bears team and a player that fans can rally behind.
Plus, his current contract is a lot more justified in being competitive against the NFC North than getting paid that much to be at the bottom of the NFC East. Jones got the contract that many didn’t think he would get this summer. But does it matter where he plays at this point now that he’s earned his payday?
New York Giants
Although they finally turned things around culture-wise throughout the organization, the Giants still have a long way to go before the rest of the league starts circling the dates when they have to play the blue team in New York. Although Jones has shown that he can be a starter in this league, I don’t necessarily think he’s the franchise QB for the Giants in the long haul.
Giants fans might be skeptical about giving up their franchise quarterback as well as three first-rounders for an unknown prospect. However, if we went back in time and the Rams could’ve unloaded Jared Goff‘s contract with three firsts for a rookie phenom instead of doing two first-rounders and a third-rounder in the Stafford deal, I think collectively, everyone would say it was a smart idea.
Caleb Williams (QB, New York Giants)
I mean, is there a situation in which Williams doesn’t win here? No, but there are situations where he can really maximize his profits with all the talents he has. Being the face of an NFL franchise, as well as a future face of the league in one of the biggest cities in the world, could provide more opportunities for Williams than Name Image Likeness (NIL) ever could.
Williams would still get drafted first overall in 2024 but to a franchise on the upswing in this scenario. Even if Williams doesn’t live up to the Mahomes-like hype that he’s already received, he’ll be going to an organization that has been willing to stick with average to above-average quarterback play, not hesitating to give them big contracts and longer chances at the helm of the franchise.
Thanks for reading my opinion on a possible Justin Fields trade. For more content, find me on Twitter, @hoovtube.
*Featured Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel – USA TODAY Sports*