Next Pats Podcast

Bears insider gives insight into potential Justin Fields trade asking price

Should the Patriots consider a Justin Fields trade?

NBC Universal, Inc.

The best option for the New England Patriots in their search for a franchise quarterback is selecting one with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

They are guaranteed to get one of the top-tier quarterback prospects in this year's class -- USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye or LSU's Jayden Daniels.

But there are other paths to finding a franchise QB. One of them is through the trade market, where Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields might be available.

What would the asking price be for Fields?

ESPN's Bears reporter Courtney Cronin joined Phil Perry on a new episode of NBC Sports Boston's Next Pats Podcast to discuss that topic and much more.

🔊 Next Pats: Why Justin Fields is THE BEST bridge QB option for the Patriots | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"It sounds like a second- to third-round pick is the absolute starting point for Justin Fields," Cronin said. "I know the idea has been floated out there that maybe they could get a first-round pick for Justin. They're not getting New England's first-round pick for Justin Fields, but that second-round pick, (the Bears) have a void right there because they sent theirs, which was the 40th overall pick, to the Washington Commanders in exchange for Montez Sweat.

"They need to bridge that gap because they go from No. 1, to No. 9 to No. 78. There's a lot of good players that would be off the board by the time that they get there in the third round. So recouping that draft capital is where all the conversations have to start when it comes to (Bears GM) Ryan Poles and potential teams that are looking for Justin Fields."

The Patriots, at least from a draft pick standpoint, are the type of team the Bears should want to make a trade with because their second- and third-round picks are near the top of those rounds. New England owns the second overall pick in Round 2 (No. 34) and the fourth overall selection in Round 3 (No. 68).

The real question is whether Fields is worth giving up a high second- or third-round pick. Does he have the potential to be a franchise quarterback?

"I think he has the tools," Cronin said. "You can win with Justin Fields, and every team will have a different viewpoint of, 'Can we be the people who get the most out of him?' And sometimes there's a level of arrogance about that in the NFL that because it didn't work here, it's going to work here.

"There are things he needs to do in his game that he has to clean up. The situational football that (Bears head coach) Matt Eberflus talked about yesterday when he was asked, 'Now that you've done this for a few years, what do you look for when you evaluate a quarterback?' And a lot of it actually kind of spoke to things that Justin struggled with, the third downs, the end-of-half situations, a two-minute drive, turnovers in the fourth quarter.

"Those are things that have been with Justin over the last couple of years. Now, did he get better in those areas? Yes, but there still is that giant question mark. And I remember I had one general manager tell me this as I was writing a piece on the conundrum the Bears face, is that if there's indecision, that's a decision. You already know if you don't have clarity, then you do have clarity on the quarterback situation if you are the Bears sitting on the No. 1 overall pick."

The Patriots saw plenty of end-of-half struggles, third-down issues and fourth-quarter turnovers from their quarterbacks last season. It's one of the reasons why they sunk to last place in the AFC with a 4-13 record.

Fields has tremendous talent, but the top-tier quarterbacks who will be available to the Patriots with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round are all better talents than the Bears QB. Fields also would be due for an extension after the 2024 season, which would be expensive. Drafting a quarterback and paying him on a rookie contract for five years would allow the Patriots to spend valuable salary cap space on other roster weaknesses.

If the price drops on Fields, maybe the Patriots should consider it. But if the ask from the Bears is a high second- or third-round pick, the Patriots would be wise to walk away.

Also in this episode:

  • How much has J.J. McCarthy’s stock risen in Indy?
  • Why Justin Fields is THE BEST bridge QB option for the Patriots
  • Courtney Cronin on why a Justin Fields trade is most likely
  • Can Fields be a franchise QB?
  • Is there a chance the Bears DON’T take Caleb Williams?!
Contact Us