A 6th. That was it. A 6th that could become a 4th with unlikely to meet conditions. Yikes.

The Bears had a young QB who still has a ton of potential if you remove him from the mess that Chicago put him in. They had the #1 overall pick and a chance to start over with the best QB prospect in years. They could see who wanted him, and shop him to the entire league. All they got was Pittsburgh throwing a pity 6 for him to sit behind Russell Wilson for one year after Kenny Pickett threw a tantrum and demanded out. The conditional 6th rounder isn’t even for this upcoming draft but next year.

What happened? Does the league in general think that badly of Fields? Fields isn’t Zach Wilson, Fields has talent and potential. Was it the 5th year option and decision on payment offputting? Maybe, but you can’t tell me that he still isn’t worth a dice roll over Desmond Ridder or Sam Howell. The Jets got more for Sam Darnold when they traded him to Carolina. I guess maybe Carolina just gets fleeced by everyone. Fields would have been a great backup for Philly, why did the Eagles go for Kenny Pickett instead? Fields is better than Pickett and Philly paid more for the disgruntled tiny-handed Pitt boy than Pitt paid for Fields. The Cowboys paid more for Trey Lance! Remember Trey Lance? I assume he’s still alive though I don’t know for sure.

Maybe the truth is that Chicago didn’t have any real leverage because everyone knew Fields was available so nobody tried hard to get him. I’m personally kinda surprised the Vikings didn’t get him. Sam Darnold is not a long-term solution and the Vikings do not have a high enough draft pick to compete for one of the better prospects. Fields seemed like a decent stopgap for cheap there, but I guess not. Surely the Colts could use a backup that could operate a similar system to Richardson? Nope, Joe Flacco. The Jets? A mobile QB learning behind Rodgers would certainly be beneficial but nah, the Jets went Tyrod (which is a fine choice, btw). Fields felt like he could have gone to half the league if he was seen as backup caliber with long-term potential.

Several teams did indeed inquire about Fields but Chicago did Fields a solid by sending him to his preferred destination. That may be true, but it sounds like PR cover. I’d love to know which teams were in play here and I can’t imagine they made offers much better than the Steelers did. Fields has no ties to Pittsburgh as far as I can see so I’d also love to know why that was his “preferred” landing spot. There’s just no way to deny that a conditional 6th rounder (can become a 4th if he plays 51% of snaps) is simply much lower than the Bears probably could have gotten.

Well, I guess welcome to the Caleb Williams era!