Justin Fields is getting a fresh start away from the Chicago Bears with reports indicating the team has traded the former first-round pick.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bears are trading Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 6th-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. The pick reportedly contains conditions and could eventually net the Bears a 4th-round pick if Fields plays 51% of the plays this season.

Originally, Chicago GM Ryan Poles had talked about a desire to finalize the situation prior to free agency, but that never materialized. Now, Fields lands with a Pittsburgh team that has overhauled the quarterback room after signing Russell Wilson and trading away Kenny Pickett.

According to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, team sources in Pittsburgh have indicated there will be no battle for the starting QB position. Wilson is expected to be the starter for Mike Tomlin and new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith while Fields will be the backup to begin the year.

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Why it might work out for Fields

Let’s be clear on one thing: The Bears never did Fields any favors in Chicago. Yes, the franchise traded up to draft him, but the organization was widely the most ill equipped to try and develop the former Ohio State star.

The Bears drafted Fields into a win immediately situation facing head coach Matt Nagy but with an incomplete roster. The results were widely expected, and they quickly thrust Fields into a new coaching staff under Matt Eberflus.

To his credit, Fields showed some strong strides during the 2022 and 2023 seasons, but there was never a future for him in Chicago in 2024 and beyond. Part of that has to do with the Caleb Williams scenario.

If the Bears kept Fields, he would no longer be simply playing to prove his worth as an NFL player. He would always be fighting to prove he was worth more than Williams outright and worth more than Williams on a rookie deal. Fields might be, but that type of scenario is not one designed for a young QB to flourish.

Now, Fields heads to Pittsburgh as a backup QB in what is undoubtedly a disappointing move. However, it’s one he can use to his advantage.

Prior to the Steelers signing Wilson, Fields was linked as a potential option for the franchise to pair within Arthur Smith’s system. The fit still works, and Fields can use the 2024 season to his advantage.

For all the concerns about Wilson’s tenure with the Denver Broncos, he remains a veteran with a Super Bowl win under his belt and a host of success at the NFL level. Serving as a backup to Wilson for a year doesn’t have to be a hindrance to Fields if he approaches it with the right mindset.

Anytime a first-round QB doesn’t work out, there is some level of disappointment, but Fields can still use a fresh start to jumpstart his career moving forward.