The Bears may keep Justin Fields — and draft Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams

The Chicago Bears offseason centers around one major question: What to do at quarterback? Should the team draft for need, or trade Justin Fields and select Caleb Williams?

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Bears are considering having both signal-callers on the roster.

“The Bears have talked about the idea, as unlikely as it seems, of carrying both quarterbacks,” Schefter said during ESPN’s Super Bowl pregame coverage. “Taking the guy at 1, and keeping Fields. Now, will they get to that? It’s hard to imagine that, but that is a conversation that’s come up within the organization.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport also reported that the Bears have asked for “a historical haul” to move up to No. 1 overall.

“It would take a historic haul, something crazy for the Bears to move off of the No. 1 overall selection,” Rapoport said. “That bit of knowledge contains wide-ranging ramifications. First of all, that is an indication, absent some sort of wild draft compensation for someone trying to move up for Caleb Williams, that is a sign they will likely take a quarterback No. 1.”

Is this just part of the Bears’ plan to up their asking price on both Fields and the No. 1 pick? Most likely, but it’s still a smart move if they decide to go through with it. Fields is coming off career highs in passing yards, completion percentage, and success rate. He is still not a great passer, but he is also continuing to improve every year. Even taking Williams No. 1 overall at least gives Chicago a chance to make a complete evaluation on Fields’ future before moving on.

Sitting rookie quarterbacks is also proving to be a pretty smart strategy at the moment. Both quarterbacks starting in Super Bowl LVIII – Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy – began their rookie season on the sideline learning under a veteran. The same goes for this year’s MVP Lamar Jackson, or breakout first-year starter Jordan Love.

It’s not perfect in every case. Josh Allen played through some ugly years before his third-year breakout and started every game. Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud immediately tore up the NFL without needing to sit. It’s not necessary for everyone. It’s just smart practice to allow a player out of college get comfortable with the scheme and pro-level timing before getting thrown to the wolves.

Plus, having as many swings at the quarterback position is smart. The Arizona Cardinals weren’t happy with Josh Rosen, so they took Kyler Murray No. 1 the very next year. The New England Patriots have drafted a quarterback in six of the last 10 drafts, with five of them starting games in their NFL careers.

Having an elite quarterback is every team’s dream. Considering the Bears’ only Hall of Fame quarterback retired in 1950, they need every chance they can get to find their guy.

This post was originally published on DeadSpin

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