THE CHICAGO BEARS ARE FAILING JUSTIN FIELDS!
End of the article, nothing else needs to be addressed (insert sarcasm). There seems to be the prevailing argument from those in the national media. This hot take is ignorant at best and disingenuous at worst. So, let us explore all the moves that Ryan Poles has made. Compare this current (pre-season) version of the team to the 2021 Chicago Bears team.
I believe the offensive line is more talented and has more depth than the 2021 version. Let’s start at left tackle, the most crucial position on the offensive line. With limited picks and assets, Ryan Poles identified and drafted a starting blind-side defense in the 5th round. One, two, three, foe… FIF! With savvy veteran Cody Whitehair entrenched at left guard, Poles smartly signed veteran center Lucas Patrick to a fair deal. This move was highly underrated due to Patrick’s deep understanding of the offensive system the Bears are installing. More on the offensive system later.
Ryan Poles attempted to sign Ryan Bates away from the Bills, but the Bills wisely matched the deal. Bears’ twitter expressed anger, fear, and loathing in the form of 140 characters over this vacant position for months. Ryan Poles heard your cries and signed veteran guard Michael Schofield! He subsequently lost his job to the younger, more talented Teven Jenkins, who’s finally healthy and on a mission to decapitate defenders.
Poles were not done fixing the broken offensive line and signed veteran tackle Riley Reiff to compete with 2021 fifth-round pick Larry Borom. The Bears also drafted four offensive linemen in the 2022 NFL draft. Those were just the moves that the Bears made on the offensive line. Entering the 2022 season, the Chicago Bears already had a terrific trio of offensive players on the roster. Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, and David Montgomery. All three of them were top producers in their perspective positions. With a solid core of young offensive players, he supplemented them by signing the solid Byron Pringle and the seldom-used Equanimeous St. Brown. Then in the draft, he selected one of the most electric wide receivers and kick-returners in the SEC in Velus Jones. Poles still weren’t done and traded a 2024 seventh-round pick for N’Keal Harry.
Many have lamented over the selections of Gordon and Brisker. Some have said to shift spending to the offense instead of the defense. My reply is, “why not both?” The genuine championship contenders in the NFL have explosives offenses and good to great defenses. Some franchises have elected to overspend on mediocre offensive weapons and drafted receivers high (The Bears didn’t have that option) while neglecting the defense. Guys like Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence will be forced to win Sunday shootouts because of their poor defenses.
Justin Fields can develop at his own pace while the team leans on a strong running game, defense, and special teams. The Jags will already be in salary cap hell since they decided to pay Christian Kirk like a prime Randy Moss. The Jags are projected to be almost $17,000,000 in the red, according to overthecap.com. The Jets are not that better off with a measly $2.4M in cap space.
The Chicago Bears are projected to have over $100,000,000 in space heading into the 2023 offseason. Ryan Poles assembled a competent coaching staff and put together a competent NFL roster after he inherited a team in cap hell and only had five draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Bears aren’t contenders, but neither are the Jets and Jags. But Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears have put Justin Fields in a much better position than Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence. The Chicago Bears are not failing Justin Fields.