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#pounditSaturday, December 4, 2021

Here is how Bears plan to handle Justin Fields-Andy Dalton situation

Andy Dalton

The Chicago Bears signed Andy Dalton earlier this offseason and immediately labeled him their starting quarterback, which is why many were surprised to see them trade up and draft Justin Fields in the first round on Thursday. However, that does not mean their plans for the veteran have changed.

After the Bears drafted Fields with the 11th overall pick, general manager Ryan Pace told reporters Dalton remains the team’s starter. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “SportsCenter” Sunday (via Bleacher Report) that the GM is not simply blowing smoke and that Chicago’s brass thinks very highly of Dalton.

According to Fowler, the Bears want to take things slowly with Fields and believe “stable, veteran quarterback play can get them over the hump and back into the playoffs.” They are confident Dalton can win 10 games as their starter in 2021.

That meshes with what Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Saturday, which is that the Bears’ ideal scenario would be to replicate what the Kansas City Chiefs did when they took things slow with Patrick Mahomes and had him play behind Alex Smith.

The Bears were ruthlessly mocked (see the best tweets here) for publicly labeling Dalton their “QB1” and then drafting Fields. If Dalton doesn’t play well, there will be immense pressure to give Fields a shot in 2021.

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