Anonymous NFL exec says Bears were ‘bullied’ in Justin Fields trade: report

Anonymous NFL exec says Bears were ‘bullied’ in Justin Fields trade: report originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

In March, the Bears finalized the Justin Fields era in Chicago, trading him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick.

According to an anonymous NFL executive via The Athletic, he believes they “gave up” on the trade.

“They almost got bullied or gave up,” an exec said to The Athletic. “Their asking price was probably too high initially, and then when they realized the seats got filled, they had to lower their ask. I don’t understand why you would make that trade because if somebody has an injury or doesn’t get the quarterback they thought they were going to get, the ask will be higher.”

It’s true, the return the Bears received for Fields was underwhelming. Initially, reports indicated the Bears were expected to yield potentially a second-round pick, or a Day 2 pick at least, for Fields.

But the Bears didn’t compromise their trade value for no reason. According to a recent report from ESPN, the Bears received “at least one better offer” for Fields from a team with a surefire starter.

In Fields’ case, they wanted to put him in the best position possible. During the NFL Scouting Combine, Ryan Poles told the media in the event of a trade that would send Fields away from the Bears, they wanted to “do right by” him.

What does that mean? It means a couple of things. First, it meant trading him as quickly as possible — ideally before the March 13 start of NFL free agency. Second, that meant sending him to a team of his preference.

The Bears checked off those boxes, in essence, trading him on March 16 and to the Steelers, which was one of the four teams on his preferred destination list. The other teams included the Vikings, Falcons and Raiders.

The free-agent quarterbacks hurt the Bears’ chances of yielding a strong return for Fields, including Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield and Russell Wilson. Cousin and Wilson took up two starting spots on Fields’ preferred list with the Falcons and Steelers, respectively.

All in all, the focus behind trading Fields was on Fields himself.

The Bears could’ve waited past the draft and even into training camp to see if any openings appeared for the fourth-year signal caller. That likely would’ve increased Fields’ value, giving the Bears a chance to receive a better return.

Instead, they chose to do right by Fields, finding him a new home of his preference with enough time to prepare for the upcoming season. They also sent him to the Steelers, giving him a chance to overtake Wilson, should he falter as the starter, or the team opts not to sign him back from his one-year deal.

I’d argue the Bears weren’t “bullied” in the trade market for Fields, but knew they wanted the best for their quarterback, who might’ve stayed in Chicago if the Bears didn’t have the No. 1 pick with Caleb Williams on deck for them to draft.

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