NFL Rumors: Former scout says Bears could use doomsday device at QB

The Chicago Bears could shock the world with a completely bonkers NFL Draft plan.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears have two fairly simple options laid out ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Option one: the Bears can use the No. 1 pick on USC's Caleb Williams and trade incumbent QB Justin Fields for a major haul.

Option two: the Bears can trade the No. 1 pick for a major haul and keep incumbent QB Justin Fields.

Both options are at least defensible. There are strong proponents on both sides of the debate. But, according to former NFL scout Greg Gabriel, there is a third, far more unexpected option that Chicago is exploring. If the Bears do ultimately invest in this third no-longer-mystery option, GM Ryan Poles will feel the heat beneath his seat burn hotter than ever. It's the kind of bold idea only a truly confident GM can pull off — the kind that, if it fails, could set the franchise back another five years.

According to Gabriel, the Bears are "looking to trade both" the No. 1 pick and Justin Fields, using the first-round pick they acquire from the trade down to land their next QB.

It's safe to say nobody has seriously thought about that possibility. It's almost too much to comprehend.

Bears could trade No. 1 pick and Justin Fields before selecting rookie QB

We will see where the chips ultimately fall — I'm hesitant to fully embrace this as a clear and unambiguous sign of Chicago's intensions — but the mere possibility of such an outside-the-box approach from the Bears' front office is equal parts tantilizing and terrifying.

On one hand, it's a pretty interesting concept for those less enthused by Caleb Williams as a prospect. Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are both major talents. Both are probably better "prospects" than Fields at this point, at least in terms of arm talent. Factor in the contractual benefits of a rookie QB, compared to Fields' looming extension, and it's an even better thought.

The Bears are expected to receive at least a second-round pick as the foundation of a Justin Fields trade package, maybe even a late first-round pick. As for the No. 1 overall pick, the Bears can probably land a haul similar to the massive payout from Carolina last spring. Add the two packages together, and no team is better equipped with future draft capital and trade ammo than Chicago.

On the other hand, the optics of such a double-trade are tough. If it doesn't work, the Bears look like fools. Plain and simple. Williams has been held up on a pedestal as an elite QB prospect for years now. Fields is right there in the organization. If he leaves and experiences success somewhere else, the presence of Williams helps justify the move. If both Fields and Williams thrive elsewhere, however, the Bears run the risk of cementing the increasingly negative reputation around their franchise.

It's also a matter of who actually wants to trade up with Chicago. If the Bears can't stay in the top-3, then the talent disparity gets rather severe. There is a ton of risk associated with banking on Maye or Daniels, but J.J. McCarthy? Bo Nix? The Bears would be toeing a dangerous line at that point.

Both Poles in the front office and Matt Eberflus on the sideline are fighting for their jobs at this point. If the Bears don't nail the QB situation this offseason, we should expect foundational changes in the near future.

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