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NFL Draft

Who is Bears’ QB1: Andy Dalton or Justin Fields?

  • The Draft Network
  • August 4, 2021
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The buzz upon exiting the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft centered around the Chicago Bears. That was a welcome change because lately, the search for a franchise quarterback hasn’t been positive for the team. The most recent example was back in 2017 when they traded up a spot for who they thought at the time was their quarterback of the future to build around, Mitchell Trubisky. That never proved to be true, as he never improved after a promising second season.

Admitting their fault and moving on from the Trubisky era, the franchise once again took a swing on a first-round signal-caller. The buzz around this selection seems to be a bit different than the Trubisky pick, though. Trading up for former Ohio State Justin Fields, the mantra and energy surrounding Halas Hall has a different feel. 

Prior to trading up to the No. 11 overall selection and acquiring the pick from the New York Giants, the team bought themselves insurance by signing Andy Dalton to a one-year, $10 million deal that can reach as much as $13 million if he’s able to reach certain incentives. An enticing deal for the long-time veteran who displayed some promising play last season in Dallas during the absence of Dak Prescott following a season-ending ankle injury.

After a disappointing 8-8 record a season ago, all eyes are centered on Bears head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace as the regime enters their fourth year together. There are some that believe that the trade-up for Fields brought the two an immunity for the upcoming season, but with the defensive pieces that the team has in place and the always high expectations of the fan base, everyone wants to see some type of improvement throughout the team.

With Dalton’s experience, many expect him to open the season as the Week 1 starter. Facing immense pressure to hold off the one player that everyone within the organization and fan base is eager to see, Dalton would have to replicate what he once was during some of his best seasons while with the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The Bears should strictly be worried about doing what’s in the best interest of the team. Considering his upside and added dimensions that he brings to the offense, if that’s starting Fields during the season-opener against the Los Angeles Rams, then the Bears shouldn’t hesitate with having the rookie under center.

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