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Ryan Poles Rapidly Erasing Justin Fields Market

Analysis: Bears need to find Ryan Poles and wake him up, so they can get Justin Fields a new place to play before he winds up in the UFL.

While the Bears personnel boss was letting another free agent get away, this time Danielle Hunter to the Houston Texans, his coach was out working.

Matt Eberflus was the only head coach at the Oregon pro day watching tackle Taliese Fuaga and quarterback Bo Nix, among others.

In fact, Albert Breer of reported no GMs in attendance, either, with free agency underway.

If you're a Bears fan, you probably need to be reminded exactly what a free agent is: This is when players out of contract can sign with your team. The teams with the most cap money supposedly have the advantage and can sign veteran players who can make a difference.

Poles' difference-makers to this point are former Eagles and Lions running back D'Andre Swift, tight end Gerald Everett from the Chargers and safety Kevin Byard, the former Eagles and Titans safety. So, he brought in two of Howie Roseman's discards and a tight end who has played in Shane Waldron's offense back in 2021.

No pass rushers, no defensive tackles, no wide receivers.

Oh, there was also Packers safety Jonathan Owens, famous because he's the husband of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. 

It's not quite like having Taylor Swift's boyfriend on the team but Owens will have to do for now considering the Bears no longer have Eddie Jackson and can always use help on special teams.


Anyway, there was the trade for center/guard Ryan Bates but that wasn't part of free agency. Nor was the signing of Byard.

The trade for Bates was a fifth-round pick, which didn't seem like a big issue. Considering how few actual impact players they're signing in free agency, maybe that fifth-round pick should have been kept.

So what exactly has Poles been doing with the money if he's not signing people who matter?

And don't suggest they're going to stash it away toward that new lakefront domed stadium. That's not allowed.

And what exactly is he doing in general if he's not out in Oregon and not signing anyone of consequence, because he definitely is not spending all of his time plotting out the future for that man living in gray, Justin Fields. He's taking so much time on this that Fields won't just be living in the gray, he'll have gray hair by the time this is resolved.

According to a report by Adam Schefter, the rest of the league just doesn't regard Fields as a quarterback worth trading for and the market doesn't exist for him. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Bears haven't been "actively shopping" Fields because they plan to do a full evaluation of all the quarterbacks in the class before they decide what to do with Fields. Albert Breer of had suggested this would be the case before free agency even started.

While the Bears have been busy evaluating, a funny thing has happened.

Everyone else got their quarterback.

Then they started getting their backup quarterbacks.

  • The Bills locked up Mitchell Trubisky before free agency.
  • Jacoby Brissett is set for the Patriots along with whoever they draft. 
  • The Jets needed someone behind Aaron Rodgers and signed Tyrod Taylor. 
  • Jameis Winston signed with the Browns to back up Deshaun Watson, leaving Joe Flacco to go back to his couch or look elsewhere for work. 
  • Mac Jones was shipped for a gum wrapper by New England to Jacksonville to back up Trevor Lawrence. 
  • Gardner Minshew signed with the Raiders for $25 million over two years, definitely not backup money, and they have a backup in Aidan O'Connell. 
  • The Giants signed Drew Lock, who actually knows Waldron's offense. 
  • Washington brought in Marcus Mariota and already has Sam Howell and possibly the second QB to be drafted.
  • Apparently the Vikings will start Sam Darnold after his one-year, $10 million deal.


If they don't send Fields to the Vikings, the Broncos or a few others, Fields might not even have a backup role. Trading him to the Vikings doesn't seem like a viable option. They're in the divsion, if teams even think of that in these days when players are busy helping each other up off the ground and are buddies with their rivals.

Hey, the Packers could use a backup. That would really be the ultimate slap in the face when Jordan Love suffers an injury and Fields comes to Chicago to lead the Packers to a win.

Whatever happens, it sounds as if it won't occur until the week after March 20 at the earliest because they need to do the physical exam of Caleb Williams before they even know who the quarterback will be.

At that point, everyone can expect to see Poles spring right into action just like he did when he saw Bates available in a trade earlier.

Poles is without a fifth-, sixth- or seventh-round pick this year. 

Considering where the market has gone, it's possible they might get a Day 3 pick in return for Fields, so that would solve one problem.

Or, if things keep going the way they are, Biles won't be the only one  watching Caleb Williams playing quarterback at Bears games next year. 

Fields could be doing it, too.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven