The suitors for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields are building, and recent developments have made an AFC North squad among the favorites to deal for him.
Adam Schefter of ESPN did a hit on “The Pat McAfee Show” Monday, February 12. During that appearance, the NFL insider mentioned that Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is enamored with Fields.
“Mike Tomlin is a big fan of Justin Fields,” Shefter said. “We’ll keep that in mind during the offseason and the coming weeks.”
Steelers Part Ways With Former Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky
GettyFormer Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Schefter’s report came just hours before news broke that the Steelers decided to part ways with former Bears signal-caller and backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, per Pro Football Talk.
Trubisky’s exit leaves Kenny Pickett as the team’s only QB under contract beyond March 13 — the official start of free agency. Mason Rudolph, who replaced Trubisky following an injury to Pickett last season, is set to test the free-agent market this spring.
Pittsburgh’s circumstances under center are certain to result in the Steelers adding at least one quarterback this offseason, if not multiple. The question is whether the team is looking for a starter to replace Pickett, a player to compete with him or someone to serve as his backup.
The Steelers fired former offensive coordinator Matt Canada mid-season in 2023 and have since hired Arthur Smith in that role. Smith served as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in each of the past three seasons.
Schefter acknowledged to McAfee Monday that Pittsburgh likes Titans QB Ryan Tannehill given his shared history with Smith in Tennessee. The 35-year-old Tannehill will become an unrestricted free agent in March.
However, Schefter also noted a trade for Fields as a viable possibility for the Steelers and mentioned Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson as a candidate as well.
Bears May Be Able to Push Justin Fields’ Trade Value Up to 1st-Round Pick in Deal With Steelers
GettyQuarterback Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears.
The choice to pursue Fields in a trade could come down to what the Steelers are willing to pay to get him, as well as the price the Bears are willing to accept.
The latest buzz around the NFL has largely been that Fields carries second-round trade value and any deal for him is likely to rotate around such a pick in 2024. However, Fields is a bonafide starting-caliber quarterback in the league with big-time arm and leg talent.
He will play next season, his fourth in the league, at just 25 years old and has two years of cost-control potential remaining due to the fifth-year team option on his contract that Chicago can exercise this offseason. If a trade happens, Pittsburgh would retain the same right to that option and could keep Fields under contract through 2025.
The Steelers own the No. 20 overall pick in the first round, which they might feel is a bit high for Fields. However, they don’t pick in the second round until No. 51, which is undoubtedly too low for the asset to stand on its own.
Chicago will probably try to figure out a way to get the 20th selection from Pittsburgh, which could take the Bears throwing in a late-round draft asset of their own alongside Fields.
But the fact remains that Fields has accomplished more and has a higher ceiling than any quarterback in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers aren’t in position to draft a top prospect to run their offense. All of that renders Fields a sensible trade target, and Tomlin’s love for the quarterback won’t hurt either.