The moment when it was announced that the Chicago Bears had selected quarterback Justin Fields in the first round of April's NFL draft, the team's fanbase exploded with excitement. After all, it's been a long time since they've had a young quarterback with that much potential.
Expectations for Fields in 2021 were tempered because former Dallas Cowboys QB Andy Dalton joined the Bears with the promise that he'd be the team's starter for the year. However, Dalton hasn't looked great at Chicago's minicamps, leading to some wondering if Fields could wind up as the starter sooner than later. Unfortunately, that doesn't look to be the case — not yet, at least. Instead, Bears head coach Matt Nagy might be making a mistake with his plan for his rookie signal-caller.
Chicago Bears Rumors
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer wrote in his weekly "Monday Morning Quarterback" column that Nagy's plan is for Dalton — instead of Fields — to work with the Bears' staters for the remainder of minicamp and into training camp.
" I’ve been told the Bears’ plan is to keep Andy Dalton with the first team and work Justin Fields with the second team now and into camp. Which means seeing him with the first team at all would be newsworthy."- Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated
If Dalton continues to have a poor showing at the Bears' practices, it would be a major mistake to keep him with the starters and Fields with the second team. It's understandable why Chicago may not want to throw their rookie into the fire before he's ready, but it's not like Fields is just some ordinary prospect. The former Ohio State Buckeye recorded 5,373 passing yards and 63 touchdowns in 22 games with the school, also adding another 867 yards and 15 TDs on the ground. Meanwhile, Dalton is turning 34 years old this year and may not have that much more left in the tank.
Assuming he gets to see the gridiron this season, Fields has the 2nd-best odds to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award at +500, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. He only trails Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (+270) in that department.
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