Justin Fields trade grades: Steelers earn high mark after acquiring QB from Bears for 2025 sixth-round pick

Steelers Score Big in Justin Fields Trade, Securing QB for a 2025 Sixth-Round Pick

In a surprising move, the Pittsburgh Steelers have once again outmaneuvered the Chicago Bears in a trade deal. This Saturday, the Steelers welcomed quarterback Justin Fields, a former first-round pick, into their fold, giving up a 2025 sixth-round pick in exchange. This trade comes less than two years after the Steelers sent Chase Claypool to the Bears, using the pick they received to draft cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

The Bears have decided to part ways with Fields after three seasons. They are now setting their sights on Caleb Williams, a former USC quarterback, planning to use their No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft for him. Meanwhile, the Steelers have plans for Fields to serve as a backup to Russell Wilson, who is looking to revitalize his career after two challenging seasons in Denver. This decision followed closely after the Steelers traded their former starting quarterback, Kenny Pickett, to Philadelphia, shortly after acquiring Wilson.

The trade has sparked a lot of discussions, especially considering the outcomes of the first week of NFL free agency.

When it comes to the Bears, six teams showed interest in Fields, but most viewed him as a backup option. The Bears had hoped for a deal similar to the one the Jets got for Sam Darnold in 2021 from the Panthers, but the offers didn’t meet their expectations. Comparatively, the Steelers received a better deal for Pickett than the Bears did for Fields, which is quite astonishing. The condition of the trade states that if Fields plays 51% of the Steelers’ offensive plays this season, the Bears will receive a fourth-round pick instead. However, with Wilson as the starting quarterback, Fields playing that much would require unforeseen circumstances.

Grade for the Bears: D-

On the Steelers’ side, they are getting an incredible deal, spending less than $4.5 million this season for both Fields and Wilson. This strategic move allows the Steelers more flexibility to sign additional players, having already brought on board Wilson, linebacker Patrick Queen, and safety DeShon Elliott. With Wilson as the starter and no competition for the spot, Fields is entering a new chapter, reportedly excited about his fresh start according to Sports Illustrated. This trade is seen as a low-risk move for Pittsburgh, offering them a quarterback with potential yet to be fully realized. Despite the challenges in Chicago, Fields showed improvement, notably achieving the second-highest rushing total by a quarterback in a single NFL season in 2022.

Grade for the Steelers: A