Bears 'all in' Justin Fields, but here's how Chicago's moves compare to recent teams with sophomore quarterbacks - New Style Motorsport

New Bears general manager Ryan Poles said Friday that the team is “totally committed” to second-year quarterback Justin Fields. Not surprising, considering Chicago just a year ago was traded to select Ohio State’s No. 11 product overall. But there’s a reason the Poles had to confirm it: The team’s actions this offseason haven’t necessarily heeded the young signal-caller. The Bears’ new regimen will tell you there’s more than one way to build a team and develop a franchise QB, but if you’re still skeptical that they built a proper supporting cast for Fields in 2022, recent history suggests your concerns They are valid.

In the last three years, including 2022, there have been 14 instances of drafted young QBs entering their second seasons with early experience and as unquestioned starters. Regardless of Fields’ own imperfections as a prospect, it’s entirely possible he enters 2022 with the least help — and the worst projected offensive lineup — among the 14.

Here’s a look at how his fellow young QBs have been helped offensively by their respective clubs:


justin fields


WR Byron Pringle, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, TE Ryan Griffin

WR Velus Jones Jr.


trevor lawrence


WR Christian Kirk, WR Zay Jones, TE Evan Engram, OG Brandon Scherff



mac jones


WR DeVante Parker, OT Trent Brown

OG Cole Strange, WR Tyquan Thornton


zach wilson


TE CJ Uzomah, TE Tyler Conklin, OG Laken Tomlinson

RB Breece Hall, WR Garrett Wilson


davis mills


RB Marlon Mack, WR Chris Conley, C Justin Britt, OG AJ Cann

Green Kenyon OG


joe burrow



WR Ja’Marr Chase, OT Jackson Carman


justin herbert


TE Jared Cook, C Corey Linsley, OG Matt Feiler

OT Rashawn Slater, WR Josh Palmer


Tua Tagovailoa


WR Will Fuller, C Matt Skura

WR Jaylen Waddle


Jalen hurts



WR DeVonta Smith, OL Landon Dickerson


Daniel Jones



OT Andrew Thomas


kyler murray


WR DeAndre Hopkins



Dwayne Haskins



RB Antonio Gibson, WR Antonio Gandy-Golden


drawn lock


RB Melvin Gordon, OG Graham Glasgow

WR Jerry Jeudy, WR KJ Hamler, C Lloyd Cushenberry


gardener minshew


RB Chris Thompson, TE Tyler Eifert

W. R. Laviska Shenault

We’re not comparing apples to apples here. As these moves are completely offensive, they do not represent justified investments on the other side of the ball; Chicago, for example, made two compelling additions to its defense in Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker through this year’s draft, much like, say, the 2020 Giants put in a lot of effort on defense during Daniel Jones’ sophomore year. Some teams’ additions may also seem only marginally more impressive than the Bears’; the Patriots, for example, aren’t necessarily getting rave reviews for making DeVante Parker the “shiny new weapon” for Mac Jones.

This, however, is where the context of each team’s supporting cast comes in. The Patriots also have Damien Harris, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry starting at skill positions. The Bengals entered 2021 with Burrow ready to pitch to not only Chase, but also Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and CJ Uzomah. The Chargers lineup already included Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. The Eagles had Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and a Super Bowl-proven offensive line. The Cardinals already had Kenyan Drake, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk when they added Hopkins in 2020.

The Bears? His projected offensive lineup, for Fields’ second season, is as follows: RB David Montgomery, WR Darnell Mooney, WR Byron Pringle, WR Velus Jones Jr., TE Cole Kmet, LT Teven Jenkins, LG Cody Whitehair, C Lucas Patrick, RG Dakota Dozier, RT Larry Borom. Perhaps it’s an improvement over his 2021 team, which went 6-11 as Matt Nagy’s regimen reached the finish line. Perhaps new coordinator Luke Getsy will allow Fields to utilize his dual-threat athleticism. Perhaps new coach Matt Eberflus will keep the defense spirited. But it’s awfully hard to look at the guys directly around Fields and believe that the Bears a.) are serious about putting the quarterback in the best position for 2022, or b.) came close to doing just that.

Nor is it a question of money; the Bears currently own more than $16 million in salary-cap space, with a league-leading $117.6 million projected to be available in 2023. Jets or Jaguars next offseason. By then, though, they’ll be halfway through Fields’ rookie contract, and a year closer to the deadline to exercise the quarterback’s fifth-year option.

It’s possible that Fields’ own talent will lift the Bears above expectations in 2022. It’s possible (but unlikely) that Chicago has a blockbuster addition waiting up its sleeve. They may remain competitive for other reasons. But if Bears fans complain that his team didn’t adequately help their young star quarterback step up, let them. Ultimately, the quarterback and supporting cast should help the man under center go from a hopeful face to a confirmed face of the franchise. It’s safe to say that, right now, Fields has a bigger task than some of his peers in terms of making that leap.

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