Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Bears GM Ryan Poles Doesn't Rule Out Trading Justin Fields: 'I Have No Master Plan To Present'

INDIANAPOLIS — Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Boles didn't explicitly say he was trading Justin Fields when he met with the media at the NFL scouting committee on Tuesday.

But he didn't rule that out either.

The more he talked about Fields, the more it became clear that moving him was a real option or consideration by the Bears, who have the first pick in the NFL draft and could select USC star QB Caleb Williams.

“It depends on what opportunities present themselves.” Boles said. “Just saying, I think you know me pretty well by now, and if we go down that road, I want to do right by Justin. No one wants to live in the gray. I know it's embarrassing. I don't want to be in that position either. So we'll gather information, we'll move as quickly as possible, we're not going to rush, and we'll see what presents itself and what's best for the company.

Everything is on the table for the Poles and the Bears, who aren't going to reveal much of their plan on Tuesday.

“Contrary to reports out there, I don't have a master plan to present to everyone today,” he said. “It's an opportunity to continue to gather information, learn about different players in the draft, hear what opportunities might come up, and then at the end of the day, we're going to make the best decision. The Chicago Bears can.”

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Last year, the Bears were in the same spot — holding the No. 1 pick and Fields. Although this method is “unique,” Boles said the process will remain the same.

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“I would say our approach is basically the same, we have to look at every option and decide what's best for our team,” he said. “Obviously, we picked up a trade last year and I think that helped our team a lot. So, again, we'll dive deep and see how it plays out.

Fields was often praised by his teammates, especially receiver TJ Moore. Boles said that's part of the Bears' evaluation as they consider their options.

“He's a leader,” Boles said. “Everything our guys said is true, it's no surprise that our guys said what they said. I feel the same way. I think sometimes this whole thing gets — if it's Justin and another guy, I have to look at it a little bit differently. I take it for granted.

“That's why that guy is so important when evaluating all the guys that come into that position. But it's my job to think long term and a lot of our guys don't see that. It's not their job to do that, they're protecting their guy, and I think that speaks to our culture in that locker room. I think.

The NFL, however, seems to be waiting at the poles. At the very least, teams are starting to feel him. It started in the Senior Bowl.

“I know people are hanging around,” Boles said. “I haven't had any big-time conversations with anyone. But everyone wants to take the temperature of what's going on.

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Boles has had conversations with cornerback Jaylen Johnson's representatives. Johnson, who went to the Pro Bowl last season, is set to become a free agent. Bolles prefers to avoid using the ownership tag.

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“We feel like we did a good job and show him the respect he deserves based on his production through his career and an emphasis on the turnovers he created last year,” Boles said. “Our expectation is that he's going to continue to be with the Bears.

“When I say come strong, I mean the cash flow is strong, the guarantees are strong, the tenure is strong for him; Being his age, there's a good opportunity to go back on the market and continue to make money and play well and hopefully be with the Bears for a long time, so I'm excited about that.

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(Photo: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

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