Justin Fields’ Contract Makes Him Incredibly Tradeable If the Bears Want a New QB With No. 1 Pick
The most likely outcome of the Chicago Bears No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is that the team moves back, lets another team take a QB at the top of the draft, and the Bears take the best defender on the board. However, rumors of a Justin Fields trade persist. The QB showed promise last season but didn’t prove beyond a shadow of a bout he is a true QB1. And with the incredibly attractive Justin Fields contract, the Bears could get a nice return and start over with a rookie signal-caller.
Why the Bears would consider trading the Justin Fields contract
When the Bears drafted Justin Fields No. 11 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, it marked the second time in six years the franchise traded up for a first-round quarterback. And it was ultimately a move that got general manager Ryan Pace, and head coach Matt Nagy fired.
That’s when new GM Ryan Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus came in and inherited Fields as the franchise QB.
They also inherited the Justin Fields contract, which is a standard rookie deal that is a fully-guaranteed four-year, $18,871,957 pact with an $11,085,060 signing bonus and an average annual value (AAV) of $4,717,989.
Now the Bears’ No. 1 pick is on the horizon, and Poles and Eberflus may be tempted to put their own mark on the organization by drafting a top QB prospect like Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, or Kentucky’s Will Levis.
As teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, and Buffalo Bills proved in recent years, there is nothing more valuable than a legit NFL QB on a rookie contract.
For Chicago, they could start the rookie QB contract clock over by using the Bears’ No. 1 pick to draft a new franchise quarterback. And for the team that traded for Fields, they would get a signal-caller with a $2,375,632 and a $3,233,448 cap hit the next two seasons and control of the fifth-year option on the Justin Fields contract, which will be a reasonable number compared to the top QB salaries these days.
With these numbers involved on both sides, the Bears have to be at least considering a Justin Fields trade ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.
What teams could make a Justin Fields trade?
When looking for a team to make a trade and take on the Justin Fields contract, you have to look at franchises that need a young QB but that don’t have a top pick to easily acquire one during the 2023 NFL Draft.
Taking out teams that will likely sign or trade for veteran signal-callers this offseason (like the Las Vegas Raiders of New York Jets), the teams that could have interest in a Justin Fields trade include the Tennessee Titans, Washington Commanders, and basically the whole NFC South, minus the Atlanta Falcons.
Also, the Miami Dolphins (depending on Tua Tagovailoa’s health), Seattle Seahawks (depending if they can re-sign Geno Smith), and Baltimore Ravens (depending on what happens with the Lamar Jackson contract) could be in the mix as well.
Would one of those teams give the Bears a first-round pick in a Justin Fields trade? If so, the offer may be too good to refuse.
Of those teams mentioned above, the Seahawks picks at No. 5 and No. 20, the Carolina Panthers at No. 9, the Titans at No. 11, the Commanders at No. 16, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 19, the Ravens at No. 22, the New Orleans Saints at No. 29, and the Dolphins don’t have a first-round pick in 2023.
Realistically, the Bears won’t get a top-10 pick for Fields. But starting with the Titans at No. 11, it is possible. That means there are five to seven potential destinations for the Justin Field contract if Chicago decides to cut ties and draft a QB with the Bears’ No. 1 pick.