Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles didn’t go out and acquire a big talent in free agency or via trade to help quarterback Justin Fields during free agency. With that, many were disappointed as the main goal is to build around the former Ohio State quarterback.
And now the national media is using that as a narrative that the team doesn’t believe in Fields just yet.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is skeptical the Bears management has faith in Fields, saying on the Dan Bernstein Show the Bears might be taking a “step back.”
“There’s a fine line between deliberately and strategically taking a step back and tanking,” Florio said during the appearance. “But it feels like the Bears are deliberately taking a step back. And the problem is, usually teams do that when they don’t have a quarterback they believe in, because part of the setup is, ‘We will be so bad, we end up with a quarterback who becomes our franchise foundation.’ Maybe that’s the hidden message here, that the new regime doesn’t believe in Justin Fields. Because if they did, would they be tearing everything else down? Or would they be trying to build everything else up? Because what happens is if the team stinks, Justin Fields is going to have a rough year, and fans will be like, ‘Well, we wasted a couple first-round picks on him, on to the next one.’ So, maybe if there’s truth to the idea — and it sure looks like it — that they’re deliberately tearing everything down, it could be that this is just step one toward moving on from Justin Fields at the appropriate time, which could be as soon as next year, if they would trade him to someone else and then begin their search for whoever the next franchise quarterback is going to be.”
That seems to be a stretch to make the comment in mid-April, as the NFL draft is still two weeks away and the Bears could very well add receivers early on.
Poles has added to the offensive line and wide receiver positions but they haven’t been moves for elite players. Poles seems to be freeing up cap space that will allow the Bears to go after better free agents in 2023 when they can be more competitive.
It could be detrimental to the team’s long-term success to overpay for a player this season when there are still a lot of gaps on the roster. Matt Eberflus and Fields will likely be in rebuild mode this season.
It’s unlikely the Bears hired Poles and Eberflus on the condition they don’t help aid in the development of a player that they spent two first-round picks on. More unfair, that they would judge a rookie based on the failure of the offense most deem to be Matt Nagy’s fault. The Bears still might regret losing Mitchell Trubisky.
In two weeks we should have a better idea of where the team’s future is headed, hopefully, with Fields under center for seasons to come.
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