HomeFootball DirtJustin Fields' future uncertain after OC hire

Justin Fields’ future uncertain after OC hire

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After successfully revitalizing Geno Smith’s career, Shane Waldron was understandably one of the hottest offensive coordinators on the NFL coaching market. With Waldron at the helm, the Seattle Seahawks were No. 7, No. 11, and No. 13 in DVOA offensive efficiency in each of the last three seasons, respectively. Convincing him to coach for any team likely meant giving him a full blessing to do whatever he pleases with his personnel and his scheme.

Enter the Chicago Bears and what once again might be the most fascinating quarterback conundrum of the NFL offseason. Armed with the No. 1 overall pick (courtesy of the Carolina Panthers), the Bears and Waldron now have a multitude of options available to them.

One Waldron idea would be to keep Justin Fields, hope he continues progressing in the fourth year of his career, and trade down for another massive haul of draft capital and players. It’s not a bad idea, considering Chicago has the No. 1 overall pick and All-Pro caliber receiver D.J. Moore specifically because it traded down from the top selection last spring. Running that set-up back for a quarterback could set up the Bears with a litany of superstar, franchise-changing talent.

The other main path is trading Fields away to a team willing to build around his talents (and pay him) before drafting one of Southern California’s Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. While the Bears are undoubtedly at fault for much of his shortcomings, Fields’ progression has been disappointing three years into his career, calling into question whether it’s even worth trying to continue building around him when there are two surefire “clean slate” passing prospects now available to them.

Ever since a smashing Heisman campaign in 2022, Williams has long been regarded as the Next Big Thing in pro football. Considering most young quarterbacks play for terrible teams with little talent or infrastructure, Williams would benefit from the exception. He’d get the pleasure of developing with a merely mediocre Bears team on the ascent while getting coached up by a respected rising offensive mind like Waldron. Maye doesn’t have nearly the same hype, but most of the same sentiments would apply to him in Chicago, too.

Of course, there’s also this note about Waldron. He shares an agent with Bears general manager Ryan Poles, head coach Matt Eberflus, and Williams’ USC coach Lincoln Riley. It might not necessarily mean anything, but the connections are there:

Only time will tell how the Bears proceed with their quarterback situation for the future. Whatever one thinks about Waldron and their plans probably … just confirms your priors.

Fans couldn’t decide what Shane Waldron’s hire meant for Justin Fields



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