Justin Fields, Russell Wilson trades

Blockbuster NFL Trades: Justin Fields and Russell Wilson Shake Up the League in High-Profile Moves

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In a significant move, the Chicago Bears have sent Justin Fields, the former quarterback from Ohio State, to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This information was shared on Saturday night by a source with knowledge of the transaction.

The Bears are set to receive a conditional pick in the 2025 draft as part of the deal, according to another source familiar with the trade’s specifics.

This trade hints strongly at the Bears’ plans to pick a quarterback in the upcoming draft, possibly Caleb Williams from USC, with their first overall selection.

The trade, which has yet to be officially announced by the teams involved, was first brought to light by the NFL Network. The individuals discussing the matter chose to remain anonymous.

Fields expressed his gratitude towards Chicago, the Bears organization, and his teammates in a heartfelt message on X.

“I’m deeply thankful to Chicago for welcoming me with open arms,” he shared. “A huge thanks goes to the entire Bears organization and its owners for giving me the chance to be part of such a storied franchise. Above all, I’m grateful to my teammates who inspired me to give my all every day. Your support through both good times and bad means the world to me. I wish you all nothing but success.”

“Excited for what’s next!” he added, looking forward to his future.

Fields is expected to serve as backup to Russell Wilson, a nine-time Pro Bowler, who just signed a one-year contract with the Steelers. Following Wilson’s addition, Pittsburgh also moved Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Selected 11th overall in the 2021 draft by the Bears and then-general manager Ryan Pace, Fields faced challenges in his rookie year under coach Matt Nagy. Despite showcasing his athleticism and arm strength, his development as a passer did not meet the team’s expectations over the past two seasons with coach Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles.

In his career, Fields has surpassed 200 passing yards in just 13 of 40 games and has only one game with over 300 passing yards. This season, he showed some improvement in the pocket, throwing for a career-best 2,562 yards, but his passer rating of 86.3 placed him 22nd in the NFL.

The Bears had the opportunity to trade the No. 1 pick for a significant return but chose to draft a quarterback, with Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, being a strong candidate. Williams impressed with 72 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions over two seasons at USC, following a year at Oklahoma.

Just two days before the trade, the Bears acquired Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers, marking their second star receiver trade in as many years.

Fields now gets a fresh start with the Steelers.

Pittsburgh has completely overhauled its quarterback lineup in the past month, parting ways with Pickett, Mitch Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph.

Steelers President Art Rooney II emphasized the need for postseason victories in January. While the team supported Pickett after a season that ended with him as Rudolph’s backup, changes were inevitable with Trubisky likely leaving due to salary cap reasons and Rudolph becoming a free agent.

The Steelers, a team known for its stability, have made rapid changes, a move not typical for them.

Wilson is set to start in Week 1, giving Fields the opportunity to learn from offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and restart his career.

Fields brings mobility to the team, a quality Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has long sought. Pickett struggled to make a significant impact in his first full season, leading to more questions about the team’s quarterback position.

With the new league year just beginning, the Steelers’ quarterback situation looks very different.

The question now is whether Wilson can rediscover his winning form from his time in Seattle and if Fields can fulfill the potential the Bears saw in him when they drafted him 11th overall in 2021.

Acquiring Wilson and Fields for a modest investment shows Pittsburgh’s strategy to bolster their team without breaking the bank.