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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

Bears GM hints at timeline for Justin Fields trade decision

Justin Fields with a headband on

Sep 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears still have two months to figure out what they want to do with the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, but it sounds like they could come to a decision much sooner than that.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles spoke with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday about the team’s big quarterback question. He spoke highly of Justin Fields and was asked if Chicago is motivated to make a move prior to the start of free agency in the event that they decide to trade Fields. Poles indicated he would prefer to have clarity by then.

“Yeah, again, it just depends on what opportunities pop up,” Poles said. “I will say this: I think you guys know my well enough now. If we go down that road, I want to do right by Justin as well. No one wants to live in gray. I know that’s uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation, either. So, we’ll gather that information and move as quickly as possible — we’re not gonna be in a rush — and see what presents itself and what’s best for the organization.”

Teams are permitted to begin talking with free agents on March 11. Players can then sign contracts beginning March 13. If the Bears want make a decision on Fields before the start of the legal tampering period, they have fewer than two weeks.

While Poles may genuinely want to do right by Fields, free agents are also going to want to know Chicago’s plans before signing. There are some players who might be more inclined to sign with the Bears if they keep Fields. Others may prefer to play with consensus No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams.

There should be plenty of offers for Fields in the coming days. We know of at least one AFC team that is said to have real interest in the former Ohio State star.

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