One of the most fascinating teams to watch in the 2023 offseason is the Chicago Bears. Not only do they have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, they also have the most cap spot after the official 2023 salary cap was announced earlier in the week.
A big topic of discussion, as in seemingly every offseason, concerns the Bears’ QB position. On Wednesday, the Vikings’ rivals confirmed they will sign on their young QB and Justin Fields, who was selected in the 2021 first round. The news was relayed by Dov Kleiman after being reported by Albert Breer:
For the first two years of Fields’ career, Chicago was anything but competitive on the NFL landscape. In the 25 games he has started, the Bears are 5-20 overall. That being said, much of the blame for Chicago’s struggles can be pinned on the talent surrounding Fields.
In 2022 in particular, the Bears’ defense was ripped from their former glory in the late 2010s, and traded both Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn in 2022. Overall, the Chicago defense ranked last in points allowed and 29th in yards allowed en route to a 3-14 record.
Of course, Fields was far from dynamic himself as a passer, but over the course of his sophomore NFL season he looked much more comfortable as a QB1. Overall, Fields threw for 4,112 yards, 27 TDs, and 21 INTs in his first two seasons while completing 59.7% of his passes.
Those numbers are pretty staggering by themselves, but they don’t tell the whole story about Fields’ first 27 games as an NFL player. He also added 1,563 yards and 10 TDs as a rusher, including 1,143 yards and 8 TDs in 2022.
If the Bears actually trade down from the first overall pick (I think they might trade twice), they can get a boatload of picks from a QB-needy team, especially considering Houston and Indianapolis could be in a fight for this one top spot.
All in all, the Bears are unlikely to go from being No. 1 overall to a Super Bowl contender. However, Chicago has the most assets of any team in the league between draft picks and salary caps. Combine that with the rebuilding of the Vikings defense and the potential of a trade with Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North will be an intriguing division to watch as the offseason progresses.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of the College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. He also earned minors in history, human biology, and journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys training for marathons, playing video games, and cheering for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. You can find more of his opinions on his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.
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