Justin Fields remains on the trade block though the Chicago Bears have not been able to find a suitor for the young quarterback quite yet. With the beginning of NFL’s free agency starting next week, Fields’ market remains unclear with the Bears expected to draft Caleb Williams No. 1 overall.

During a Monday interview with Pat McAfee, NFL insider Adam Schefter admitted the market for Fields has not been “as robust” as both partiers were likely anticipating. He also said the Bears had been hoping to move Fields prior to the start of free agency, but that deadline is approaching quickly.

“I don’t think the market for Justin Fields is as robust as the Bears and he had thought, so that’s going to be interesting to see what they do. I know they talked about hoping to move on from him if they were comfortable with a QB in this draft by the start of free agency,” explained Schefter. “Which, by the way, opens this time next week.”

By all accounts, the Bears are sold on the ability of Williams and the chance to reset the rookie quarterback clock instead of paying Fields in the near future. Fans can track the latest NFL Draft odds at ESPN Bet, and be sure to prepare for March Madness with Tradition’s Ohio sports betting apps!

Why Justin Fields’ market hasn’t developed

At the end of the day, all it takes is one team to like the idea of Fields to make a trade happen. There are likely some teams interested in his potential, and ESPN’s Mike Greenberg put it succinctly on “Get Up.”

“I would trade a third-round pick to Chicago for Justin Fields right now so fast, it would make your head spin,” said Greenberg.

Greenberg has a point. After all, a third-round pick for Fields, considering the development he has shown in the past two seasons?

It seems like a no-brainer until you dig deeper.

First, remember that NFL decisions do not occur in a vacuum. Sure, a third-round pick doesn’t sound bad for Fields for any team needing a QB, but the financial aspect of the discussion still applies.

Why is Chicago likely to deal Fields away? Yes, Williams is a generational talent, but paying Fields is part of the equation. If the Bears want to reset the rookie clock, other teams will similarly be hesitant to trade draft assets and prepare to pay Fields a long-term deal with questions surrounding his game.

Then, there’s the issue of free-agent quarterbacks on the market. Two semi-prominent names that will be available include Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson, and a cost analysis will undoubtedly be performed by teams mulling the idea of a free agent or acquiring Fields.

Who is the best QB of that trio? It’s a subjective question, and the cost of each will be heavily considered. Ultimately, some teams may feel a veteran presence and ability to retain draft picks is the way to go, and there is undoubtedly value to be had in that move.

The likely path forward

Chicago GM Ryan Poles has publicly talked about the idea of wanting to trade Fields before free agency (provided they intend to take Williams), but that doesn’t mean a trade will take place. In fact, considering what we currently know, the market for Fields may heat up after free agency.

For any team considering Wilson or Cousins (or any other veteran), missing out on those options could spur teams outside of the top picks in the draft to re-evaluate pursuing Fields. For now, there are simply too many variables in play for teams to have a likely firm grasp on the cost that will be needed to acquire Fields.