NFL Rumors: Justin Fields trade favorite might not be Falcons after all

Although the Atlanta Falcons have been a rumored landing spot for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, NFL insider Adam Schefter indicates there's a more likely trade scenario with an AFC North team.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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It seems that the Chicago Bears have figured out their future at the quarterback position, and it's one that doesn't involve struggling starting quarterback Justin Fields.

With the Bears expected to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Bears are expected to trade away Fields. Although the Bears are looking to move on from Fields due to his inconsistencies, the 24-year-old quarterback is still considered to be an upgrade at the position for other NFL teams.

The Atlanta Falcons have been touted as a potential trade partner interested in fielding an offer for Fields, but NFL insider Adam Schefter has indicated that there's a more likely trade partner that could make an offer for Fields.

Pittsburgh Steelers could make a trade for Justin Fields

"There's been a lot of speculation on Atlanta," Schefter said on SportsCenter. “I think Atlanta will be something of a surprise right now to trade for Justin Fields. There’s been some conversation about the Pittsburgh Steelers, maybe something can be figured out there." 

Schefter also mentioned possible interest from the Las Vegas Raiders, but he noted that there aren't many NFL teams where Fields would be an ideal fit. Plus, the Bears are faced with a time crunch: with free agency looming around the corner, the team only has until March 13 to find a suitable trade partner.

“The Las Vegas Raiders might have some interest, but there’s not this huge number of teams lined up to trade for Justin Fields as the Bears look to find a home for him before free agency begins in about 10 days,” Schefter said.

If the Bears do send Fields to the Steelers, it wouldn't be the first time Pittsburgh has ended up with a former first-round pick quarterback from Chicago. Unfortunately for the Bears, Fields' career has gone the way of Mitch Trubisky, his predecessor who was also plagued by inconsistency. Trubisky, who was famously drafted before Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft, struggled to find his footing in Chicago.

After his rookie contract was not renewed for a fifth-year option, Trubisky signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills before spending the 2022 and 2023 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a backup quarterback. Trubisky was the one who initially relieved starting quarterback Kenny Pickett when he was injured in Week 13 this past season, losing the Steelers' Week 14 and Week 15 matchups. Trubisky's two passing touchdowns in these games compared unfavorably to his three interceptions, and it's a similar story for Fields in terms of turnovers and inconsistent play. Trubisky's two-year deal with the Steelers ended early when the team released him on Feb. 12 — likely to make room for a new quarterback addition.

Schefter's prediction aside, there's been varying expectations around whether or not the Steelers might trade for Fields. Steelers owner Art Rooney recently said that the team was unlikely to make any blockbuster trades, yet Schefter recently told Pat McAfee that the Steelers will pursue a quarterback in the offseason. Schefter also noted that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is a vocal fan of Fields who attended his pre-draft Pro Day at Ohio State in 2021. Another factor that makes Fields appear to be a likely candidate is the fact that current backup quarterback Mason Rudolph has hinted at his potential departure from Pittsburgh.

While Fields' future outside Chicago remains unknown, the Bears seem determined to start afresh in 2024 with roster and coaching updates. The team has already hired six new coaches, including assistant running backs coach Jennifer King, the first female coach in Bears history. Ideally, the Bears' determination to recruit the best coaching talent also extends to its roster-building, as it might be the most coveted team in the NFL Draft with two top-ten selections.

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