Everybody Anxious to Trade Justin Fields Except the One Guy Who Can

Everybody is anxious to trade Justin Fields except the one guy who can, GM Ryan Poles. Each time an NFL quarterback is signed, traded, or cut, another team is linked to Fields. There’s a lot of speculation, but nothing from a credible source.

The latest speculation has Fields going to the Steelers, who recently traded Kenny Pickett to the Eagles. Philadelphia was interested in acquiring Chicago’s heavily-maligned quarterback but determined that Poles’ price point was a little too high. That’s why they pivoted to Pickett.

The Steelers were reportedly interested in Fields at one point, too, right about the time of this year’s NFL Combine, but also balked at the cost. Is any of this adding up yet?

Fueling the rumors is a video in which Mike Tomlin once said he liked Fields, though that was a few years ago before the fourth-year quarterback entered the NFL.

It’s also worth noting Pittsburgh GM Omar Khan doesn’t share Tomlin’s enthusiasm. Mind you, he never dismissed the notion, but he did sign Russell Wilson. The nine-time Pro-Bowler is playing for the league minimum in Pittsburgh because Denver is paying his current contract. A decision on Fields’ fifth-year option is due May 2 and it’s a handsome sum at $25.644 million. I can’t speak for Khan, but I’ll bet he prefers to find Wilson’s backup and protégé in the draft. Who might that be? How about Michael Penix Jr., who has been compared to Wilson and Tua Tagovailoa?

The Steelers could also trade up if they prefer Bo Nix or J.J. McCarthy. Pittsburgh has four top-100 selections in this year’s draft and 10 overall picks in 2025. I don’t think they have the assets to get into the top three but nothing is impossible.

The Fields rumors escalated thanks to this article by Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now. Although Farabaugh writes that “multiple league sources” have confirmed Pittsburgh’s interest in Chicago’s quarterback, he offers no quotes or credible names. Alyssa Barbieri of Bears Wire sourced Farabaugh in a similar post, so that makes him her source. I ask again, is any of this adding up?

In what amounts to little more than a nothing burger, Farabaugh tries to inject a little fat into his post with the following paragraph, where he once again cites “multiple sources.” He also links to another piece he published a few weeks ago. That’s good writing, though.

“According to multiple sources, the market Fields has in the NFL was described by sources as ‘lukewarm…’ And the difference between the trade occurring to most teams at this point is the price that Chicago believes is fair for Fields.”

I understand writers sometimes have to protect their sources, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. It’s just more speculation. I’ll stop short of calling it fictional, but it is at least suspect.

In her piece, Barbieri added “Ultimately, it sounds like general manager Ryan Poles envisioned a more demanding trade market for Fields. But with Fields entering the final year of his rookie deal — and the fifth-year option playing a role — teams haven’t been willing to pay the high price Chicago has been asking for.”

That, essentially, is why Fields is still with the Bears. Poles has probably received several offers for Fields and wasn’t interested in any of them. The report from the Eagles confirmed it. Additionally, no trade involving the Ohio State product has been close to imminent thus far.

But everybody wants Caleb Williams, so the rumors will continue each time an NFL executive lifts an ass cheek and trades for a quarterback with a shelf life of one year or less.

The excitement of Williams (potentially) coming to Chicago has created a Beatles-like fanaticism that has left grown men fawning over the USC standout like a potential prom date. Check out Danny Parkins of Chicago’s 670 The Score. It’s almost adorable embarrassing. Do better, Chicago! Parkins is among several radio celebrities who want to run Fields out of town on a rail.

I have no idea if Poles wants to keep or trade Fields, but I do know nothing is going to happen until Williams has his Pro Day on March 20. I doubt Chicago’s GM will lower Fields’ asking price once Williams completes his workout, shares his medicals, and interviews with the team. Doing so would remove any leverage Poles would have if he wanted to trade the pick. Keeping Fields’ value high similarly escalates the value of this year’s No. 1 selection. If the Bears decide they like Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels more, improbable according to most analysts but not impossible, selling low on Fields also means selling low on 1.01.

What does all of that mean? A whole lot of baseless speculation until someone meets Chicago’s price for Fields, or until Poles trades his prized pick.

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