Spielman: Fields has all the ability to be franchise guy


Somehow after a season when quarterback Justin Fields experienced growth and nearly set a NFL single-season rushing record for the position, there is a quarterback controversy.

There are people saying the Chicago Bears should (or will, *cough* Waren Sapp) trade Fields and draft Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick.

And others, like Mel Kiper Jr., say you don't.

RELATED: Warren Sapp's Justin Fields trade rumor only start of Bears' offseason circus

Add former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman to that list.

On Football Night In Chicago and former Bears head coach Dave Wannstedt asked Spielman to compare Fields to this draft class' headlining quarterbacks, Alabama's Young and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud.

"I think Justin Fields is a guy that has all the ability in the world to be a franchise guy. And if you can build around him like Philly did with Jalen Hurts," Spielman said. "Because I think Justin Fields is even a better runner and has better speed than Jalen Hurts. I think Justin Fields has improved as a passer.

"The guys in the building and the coaches in the building know exactly what he can and can't do. And when they go through and talk about all these quarterbacks, they're going to make a comparison to Justin. But if I was in their situation, I would really take advantage of potentially getting a ton of draft capital to be real to rebuild this roster."


Trading down for draft capital is a popular strategy amongst Bears fans.

The leap Hurts and the Eagles took this season has been a common comparison this offseason as well. The team and fans are hopeful Fields takes a similar leao in his third season. The Eagles have a tremendous offensive line and made a big trade for wide receiver A.J. Brown to add a weapon for Hurts last offseason. They also drafted wide receiver DeVonta Smith in 2021 and had tight end Dallas Goedert in place already.

Much of this offseason centers around giving Fields weapons and protection.

Spielman also noted that drafting a quarterback would reset the learning curve between passer and coaches, setting the team back, noting Fields has a head start there.

And he painted a picture of a cautionary tale if the Bears gave up on Fields too soon.

"You want to give Justin Fields the tools around to actually find out what he can do, because God forbid you traded Justin Fields to let's say a San Francisco 49ers with all those weapons around him. Imagine if Justin Fields was with that football team or what he could potentially do," Spielman said.

"He's too young to say he's a bust. But I do think he's trending in the right direction, that it says he's going to be a franchise quarterback in Chicago. Those other guys, you know, they may have been ahead of him a little bit at this point, but his two years and what he has shown so far in Chicago, Chicago is all trending upwards."

And finally, Spielman says none of these quarterbacks jump out as a can't pass prospect.

"I think there's a lot of good guys, especially these top three quarterbacks, that teams are going to be picking apart over the next couple of months here before the draft. But I don't know any one of these guys you would say is a Trevor Lawrence or a Andrew Luck or a Peyton Manning, one of those type of guys," Spielman concluded.

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