Option No. 2: Trading for Justin Fields
Last year, the Chicago Bears had the 1st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. With questions surrounding QB Justin Fields, many speculated whether or not they would select either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. However, Chicago decided to give Justin Fields another year under his belt and build around him by trading the number 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers.
Fast forward a year later, the Chicago Bears once again have the 1st overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft thanks to the deal they made last year with the Carolina Panthers. GM Ryan Poles will once again have to decide whether or not they should move off Justin Fields. This time around, there is a large consensus on who the number 1 overall pick is. Caleb Williams is the closest thing we've seen to Patrick Mahomes.
One important nugget to keep in mind is that Ryan Poles did not draft Justin Fields, so he has no allegiance toward him. While he has been loyal to him, if there was ever a time to move off him, it is now. Similar to Seattle, they will be weighing the option of either paying their quarterback or looking to draft one that will have a cheap contract over the next five years. Of course, the ultimate goal is to build a Super Bowl-contending team and the Bears have the luxury of picking the path that best suits them.
Obstacle No. 1: Draft capital it will take to acquire Justin Fields
In the event Chicago decides to select a quarterback with the number 1 overall pick and move off Justin Fields, what will it take to acquire him?
If Seattle were to be considered a potential suitor for Fields, it would mean they are moving off Geno Smith. Unfortunately, the Seahawks do not have their second-round pick in this draft due to the Leonard Williams trade made with the Giants before the trade deadline. However, they do have two third-rounders.
The issue becomes how hot of a market will Fields have. If multiple teams are interested, chances are Seattle will miss out on him unless they get desperate and offer their first-round pick (which I highly doubt happens). If his market is quiet, Seattle can be a player and get a potential steal of a deal. One of the reasons he might not have a huge market and why Chicago might want to move off him is due to his contract.
Obstacle No. 2: The contract Justin Fields will be seeking
Justin Fields will be entering his 4th season in the NFL. That is around the time quarterbacks start looking for their extension. The first time they can cash out on a big contract might create some cause for concern for other teams. Is Justin Fields worth $200 million? It would only be plausible to think he wants north of $40 million/per year based on what other quarterbacks have been getting.
Is it worth moving off Geno Smith and giving Justin Fields all that money? If he's not the guy, it can handicap this team and their future plans. Or, the Seahawks can trade for him, pick up his 5th year option and give him two years as their starter to prove whether or not he's worth the money while continually building around him.
If Fields is not willing to play without a contract extension, the Seahawks can turn to the draft and go back to what created all their success -- selecting a franchise quarterback.