If the Bears plan to trade Justin Fields, they should do it sooner rather than later to extract as much value as possible.
At least, that's what NFL expert Albert Breer suggests the Bears do.
"If Chicago wants to extract the best value it can for Justin Fields, it’d be preferable to get the process of finding a trade partner off the ground between now and the beginning of March," Breer wrote in his latest mailbag.
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"Once the league year starts, quarterback spots across the NFL will start to fill up. Kirk Cousins will decide on a home. Baker Mayfield will, too. And so will scores of others. So if the Bears drag their feet on this, they could miss the market at the position. ... That’s why I’d bet that Fields could be moved around the time of the NFL Scouting Combine or so … if I were a betting man."
The new league year begins on March 13. The NFL scouting combine will commence a little over two weeks before that, between Feb. 27-March 4. Would the Bears be willing to part with Fields by then?
Breer says he'd be surprised if the Bears made the first pick available for trade. He also said it's "even odds" for the Bears to pick USC's Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick. The dominant prediction this offseason is that the Bears will draft Williams and part ways with Fields.
Certainly, Fields will have several suitors, including the Las Vegas Raiders, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons. That's pure speculation, but those quarterback-hungry teams slot low in the 2024 NFL draft, unlikely to obtain a top-tier signal caller.
Remember, Fields' value isn't premier, but solid for a quarterback they would no longer roster. NBC Sports Chicago's Bears Insider Josh Schrock wrote this in his most recent mailbag about Fields' value.
"I don't think he's going to fetch them a first-round pick. I've talked to several people around the league, and most of them place his value at a Day 2 pick, but they didn't rule out that price rising if multiple teams are interested and get into a bidding war."
How quickly will the Bears part with Fields if they opt to draft Williams? Stay tuned.