Justin Fields

Bears' Tyler Scott reveals moment his heart broke for Justin Fields last season

Justin Fields earned everyone in the Bears' locker room's respect for how he handled the 2023 season

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LAS VEGAS – When the Bears drafted Tyler Scott in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the speedy Cincinnati wide receiver and Ohio native was beyond excited to play with Justin Fields.

Scott watched Fields play at Ohio State and admits he was a bit starstruck when he first became teammates with the Bears’ quarterback. But Scott quickly developed a connection with Fields and, like most of his Bears teammates, was in awe of how the 24-year-old signal-caller handled the constant questions about his future with the franchise.

So, when Fields said goodbye to the Chicago media and Bears fans after their season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers, that left Scott heartbroken.

“He’s a pro,” Scott told NBC Sports Chicago last week at Super Bowl 58 Radio Row in Las Vegas. “Even through this whole situation of like not knowing if he’s going to be back and having to be the face and leader of a franchise and having to lead a team and go out and deal with all that. He’s handled it like a complete pro. You couldn’t go about this a better way than he has.

“At the end of the season, he kind of gave a little like, well if I’m not here, goodbye, basically. It hurt. It hurt. At the end of the day, we’re football players but we’re also human beings. You develop relationships with these guys, you get to know them and see what they are about and see the type of character that they have. To see that and hear that and to know, ‘Man, I don’t know what it’s like to be in that position and to have to feel those emotions and be in that state of mind.’”

With the Bears owning the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft via the Carolina Panthers, Fields faced weekly questions about his uncertain future.

After what could be his final start as a Bear, Fields was asked if he felt his play down the stretch was good enough to earn general manager Ryan Poles’ trust to remain the Bears’ franchise quarterback.

Fields, as always, offered an honest assessment of a situation that is out of my hands. After a finishing flurry, Fields’ defense finished with a dud in Lambeau Field.

"All I can control is what I did do,” Fields said in the bowels of Lambeau Field after the loss. “I gave it my all. Whether it’s here or not, I have no regrets.

"To the City of Chicago, love ya’ll. Appreciate the fans and the support from all the Bears, you know, and in case this is my last rodeo with ya’ll, appreciate ya’ll for everything.”

A little more than a month since Fields’ goodbye, all signs point to the Bears moving on from him and drafting USC star Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick.

Scott, like many of his teammates who have been supportive of Fields, understands the NFL is an unfair business, and there’s a good chance that the Bears will have a different quarterback in 2024.

But what Scott saw firsthand is that Fields is a special playmaker, one who he believes will thrive wherever he takes his next snap.

Scott remembers a play in Week 17 against the Atlanta Falcons where Fields broke three tackles to turn what looked to be a sack for a huge loss into a 13-yard gain and a first down.

“He’s explosive,” Scott said. “Such a playmaker. I was on the other side of the field. It looked like he was about to be sacked, so the guy that was guarding me, we were just kind of jogging. Then we saw him break out, and the guy guarding me goes, ‘Damn! He got out of that?’ I was like, ‘Man, I guess.’ ‘How did he get out of that?’ ‘Man, I don’t even know.’

“We’re jogging across the field and he’s like, ‘Man, this dude is crazy.’”

That explosive playmaking with his legs is what injected hope into a fan base starved for sustained quarterback success. It was the flicker of promise that created the belief that a superstar had finally fallen into their lap.

The discussion around Fields never got the nuance it deserved. He was polarizing and captivating. He deserves credit for enduring a horrible situation for a young quarterback, continuing to grow, and developing into a starting-caliber NFL quarterback who hasn’t reached his ceiling. But the consistency as a passer never materialized to force the Bears to pass on a potentially generational talent in Williams.

The NFL is unfair.

Two things can be true: Justin Fields deserved better from the Bears, and he needed to be better to leave no doubt that he’s the quarterback the franchise has spent decades trying to find.

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