It appears the door remains open for the Chicago Bears to trade Justin Fields, which should be something the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take full advantage of.
As the NFL Combine gets underway in Indianapolis, the prospects in this year’s class won’t be the only ones hard at work. General managers from every team are together in the same place this week, which means it’s prime time for some wheeling and dealing ahead of free agency and the upcoming draft.
Specifically, the Chicago Bears continue to leave the door open on a potential Justin Fields trade and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be all over it as long as both front offices are in Indy together.
It’s worth mentioning that the Bears haven’t outright said they’re going to trade Fields and take either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud with the No. 1 pick, but they’re not closing the door on such a scenario despite being given numerous chances to do so.
Buccaneers should take advantage of Bears refusing to commit to Justin Fields
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the latest update is that Chicago remains non-committal to Fields, with general manager Ryan Poles essentially saying that Fields is their quarterback until he’s not.
“Asked about Justin Fields being their starter, Bears GM Ryan Poles says, “That’s the plan right now.” They’ll continue to evaluate all the draftable QBs before making a firm decision,” Rapoport reported.
Smoke-and-mirrors, an NFL Draft tradition unlike any other.
Of course, this can also be interpreted as the Bears trying to control the trade narrative and continue to drive the price for the No. 1 pick higher. That’s the line that Chicago appears to be walking, as it’s clear both Houston and Indianapolis want to draft franchise quarterbacks and both want to beat their division rival to the best guy.
Houston is rumored to be going all-in for the No. 1 pick and could offer a massive trade package to make sure they get their guy. PFF’s Mike Remmer estimated that the Texans could get a deal done with the No. 2, No. 33, and No. 104 pick in this year’s draft (which seems light since the Bears would probably want next year’s first as well).
All of this is to say, the Bears are trying to drive a hard bargain and are flirting with a scenario the Bucs could convince them to make a reality. Tampa Bay could offer the No. 19 pick and next year’s first for Fields and come away feeling good about landing a franchise guy they’ll have fewer questions about than one the team would draft.
Sure, Caleb Williams and Drake Maye could be future superstars but Fields is a more proven entity. There’s risk involved no matter what route is taken, but Fields has demonstrated an ability to be a star in the league and if the Bears are willing to cut bait on that then Tampa Bay should be there to help them out.
Trading two first-round picks is steep, but the Bucs are already rumored to be looking at a quarterback next year so they’d essentially be drafting Fields with the pick they’d likely be spending on a quarterback anyway. If ownership wants to take another big swing in the post-Brady era, taking advantage of the Bears messing around with Justin Fields and trading for him to be the franchise guy is exactly that.