REPORT: Justin Fields Wanted The Chicago Bears To Trade Him To The Pittsburgh Steelers Before 2024 Season

A new report Sunday afternoon is pushing the narrative that the Chicago Bears took a hit in draft capital to trade Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers at the 2021 first-round draft pick’s request. On Saturday evening, the Bears traded Fields to the Steelers in exchange for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick.

Justin Fields Chicago Bears Justin Fields

The Chicago Bears left draft capital on the table for Justin Fields

REPORT: Pittsburgh Steelers Plan To Extend Recently Acquired QB After Justin  Fields Trade With Chicago Bears
Jan 7, 2024; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
If Fields plays 51 percent of the Steelers offense snaps in the upcoming season, Pittsburgh will send Chicago a 2025 fourth-round pick. The Bears didn’t receive as much for Fields as they had expected in February when they thought Fields would fetch at least a Day 2 draft pick.Ezoic

According to Courtney Cronin with ESPN, on Saturday evening, the Bears left an offer on the table for Fields that would have given them better draft compensation than what the Steelers did when they agreed to the trade. The report is a big talking point in Bears circles because it means general manager Ryan Poles took a worse deal for the Bears and helped the Steelers.

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) in action against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network is backing up Cronin’s report. Four additional teams talked to the Bears about trading for Fields. However, Fields’ representation wanted him traded to the Steelers. Rapoport is claiming the Bears “did right” by Fields.

It’s a sloppy report by Rapoport. It’s unclear if the quarterback’s representation asked for Fields not to be traded to any of the additional four teams who asked about Fields or if Rapoport is saying Fields’ representation asked the Bears not to trade him to the one team on Saturday that had a better bid than the Steelers.

Rapoport has been somewhat untidy this week when reporting on the Bears and Fields. On Monday, at the start of the free agency negotiating period, when quarterbacks started signing with new teams, Rapoport claimed the Bears had “really not yet engaged” in trade talks with other teams.

The report seemed to help Poles save face at the time, and very few people believed in its veracity—except for die-hard Fields fans who used it as evidence the team was not planning to trade him.

The Bears and Steelers had been talking for weeks

Bears trade Justin Fields: Experts hand out grades for Chicago
Justin Fields
Jan 7, 2024; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Monday’s report was proven untrue on Saturday evening when Poles released a statement following Fields’s trade to the Steelers. Poles wrote that the Bears had been in conversations for “weeks” with the Steelers and that he believed trading Fields to the Steelers was best for both Fields and the Bears.Ezoic

Sunday’s report is another PR gift for the Bears front office. It echos Poles’ words at the NFL Combine in February when he said he wanted to “do right” by Fields this offseason and trade him as quickly as possible if the Bears intended to draft a quarterback.

Instead of the speed of the trade, Poles focused on the destination. And he hurt the Bears’ draft stock as a result. Fields and his agent hurt his value for future contract negotiations, which is an odd thing for an agent to want to do.

Good for Fields, though. During a podcast appearance in February, Fields’ eyes lit up when answering questions about the Steelers and their stadium a couple of times. However, after the move the Steelers made on Monday, Fields will have a hard path to climb to unseat Wilson as the starter for Pittsburgh.

But, after all, there is a reason Fields’ representation wanted Pittsburgh.

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