Bears want to 'do right' by Justin Fields if QB is traded, GM Ryan Poles says

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles has been in this position before. He has the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and several suitors have approached him to see what it would take to move to the top of the board.

Unlike last year, however, Poles must address the future of the franchise via the quarterback position. Justin Fields has been in the league for three years and shown flashes. But there are blue-chip quarterback prospects, such as USC's Caleb Williams, in the pool.

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"Again, it just depends on what opportunities pop up," Poles said. "I will say this: I think you guys know me well enough now. If we do go down that road, I want to do right by Justin as well. No one wants to live in the gray. I know that's uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to be in that situation, either."

Chicago traded the top pick to the Carolina Panthers last year for receiver DJ Moore and a handful of draft selections, including the Panthers' 2023 first-round choice. After the Panthers went 2-15 in No. 1 pick Bryce Young's rookie year, the Bears found themselves in the same position at the NFL combine 12 months later.

"It's unique, right?" Poles said. "I would say our approach is exactly the same in the sense you have to look at every option and decide what is best for our team."

Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears walks off the field after a loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 07, 2024 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears walks off the field after a loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 07, 2024 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Fields' teammates have offered public support for the 2021 No. 11 overall pick throughout the past several months as trade rumors remain a constant. Poles was asked if he has thought about having to explain a potential deal to the rest of the Bears locker room.

"He's a leader. Everything our guys have said is true," Poles said. "And (I'm) not surprised that our guys have said what they have said. I feel the same way."

Poles said that he would love to have the deal in place before free agency and referred to doing right by Fields multiple times.

"It's got to help our organization significantly ... we saw what it did last year, and I'm looking for that type of return," Poles said.

Poles said the most important thing, to him, about evaluating quarterbacks is spending time with them.

"You look for examples of dependability and leadership, ownership," he said, "I think it's hard these days to find people that (say), 'Hey, this is wrong.'"

Fields, who will turn 25 on March 5, has shown improvement as a passer throughout his first three seasons in the league. In 2023, he missed four games with a right thumb dislocation and scored 20 total touchdowns (four rushing). Fields rushed for 1,143 yards in his second pro season.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus fired former offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and brought in Shane Waldron, who coached Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith during the 10-year veteran's best NFL seasons, to run the offense.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Justin Fields trade: Bears want to 'do right' by QB in potential deal