With Super Bowl LVIII in the books, we can now turn our attention to the biggest questions of the 2024 NFL offseason — like what the Chicago Bears will do with quarterback Justin Fields and another No. 1 overall pick.
Chicago was in this exact same situation last year and famously traded down with Carolina in a deal that sent the Panthers’ first-round 2024 pick to the Bears, as Chicago passed on QBs Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud and stuck with incumbent starter Fields instead. This time around, however, with a crop of elite signal-callers available that many evaluators consider superior to last year’s class — including Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels — Chicago is reportedly much less willing to part with that top pick.
The Bears themselves added fuel to the speculation that Fields would be on the move after dropping a hype video to social media after the Super Bowl’s conclusion Sunday that signified the team was “on the clock” — and only briefly featured Chicago’s current franchise QB.
Meanwhile, Fields’ college football teammate Jaxon Smith-Njigba went viral last week when he gave an awkward answer to a question about new Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. Smith-Njigba, who played with Fields at Ohio State in 2020, just completed his rookie NFL season with Seattle, where Waldron ran the offense before leaving to replace Luke Getsy as the Bears’ offensive coordinator.
When asked about Waldron, Smith-Njigba hesitated for several seconds before offering a few words of praise.
If the Bears do decide to move on from Fields, it stands to reason that the former first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft would draw interest from several teams. Despite missing four games with a thumb injury in the middle of the season, Fields set a career high in completion percentage and passing yards last year as the Bears finished 7-10, a four-win improvement from 2022.
In fact, one of those teams could be Pittsburgh. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who left 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett on the bench in favor of Mason Rudolph down the stretch of the 2023 season, is a fan of Fields, according to a recent report from ESPN. Pittsburgh will reportedly seek to add a veteran QB this offseason to compete for the starting job, with Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson also potential options.
Pickett suffered an ankle injury in Week 12 this past season but did not take his starting job back upon recovering, as Rudolph started the Steelers’ final four regular-season games and their wild-card round loss to Buffalo.
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