Friday, April 12, 2024
spot_img

Justin Fields trade grades: Steelers earn high mark after acquiring QB from Bears for 2025 sixth-round pick

Once again, the Pittsburgh Steelers have fleeced the Chicago Bears in a trade. On Saturday, the Steelers acquired quarterback and former first-round pick Justin Fields from the Bears for a 2025 sixth-round pick, less than two years after Pittsburgh traded Chase Claypool to Chicago in exchange for a pick the Steelers ultimately used to draft cornerback Joey Porter Jr

After three seasons, the Bears are moving on from Fields and will surely use the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft to select former USC quarterback Caleb Williams. The Steelers will reportedly have Fields back up Russell Wilson, who is hoping to reboot his career following two rocky seasons in Denver. Pittsburgh traded former starting quarterback Kenny Pickett to Philadelphia shortly after signing Wilson. 

Below are grades for the trade that capped off a wild first week of NFL free agency. 

Bears 

Six teams inquired about Fields, according to ESPN, but the majority of those teams envisioned Fields as a backup. The Bears were hoping to get something similar to what the Jets received when they traded Sam Darnold in 2021 to the Panthers (a 2021 sixth-round pick, 2022 second and fourth-round picks) but had to pivot when they weren’t getting the offers that they had hoped for. 

Consider what Pittsburgh got in the Pickett trade: a 2024 third-round pick (No. 98 overall) and two 2025 seventh-round picks while giving the Eagles Pickett and a 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 120). The fact that the Steelers got considerably more for Pickett than the Bears did for Fields is nothing short of mind boggling. 

It’s worth noting that pick the Bears acquired in this trade will improve to a fourth-round pick if Fields plays 51% percent of Pittsburgh’s offense plays this season, according to ESPN. But with Wilson entrenched as the starter, that would require either an injury to Wilson or Fields replacing him for a performance-based reason. 

Grade: D- 

Steelers 

The Steelers will spend less than $4.5 million this season for Fields and Wilson. That’s an incredible deal for one quarterback, let alone two. This will continue to give the Steelers the ability to sign more players to their roster having already signed Wilson, linebacker Patrick Queen and safety DeShon Elliott

A week ago, Pickett was still the Steelers’ starting quarterback, as Pittsburgh was busy looking for his competition. Well, there won’t be a competition in Pittsburgh now, not with Wilson entrenched as the starter and Fields backing up him. Fields, however, doesn’t appear to mind the situation he’s entering. He has told people since being traded that he is excited for his new beginning, via Sports Illustrated

This was a low-risk move for Pittsburgh. They gave up little to acquire a quarterback who still has untapped potential. Fields wasn’t set up for success in Chicago, yet he continued to improve and in 2022 recorded the second-highest rushing total by a quarterback in NFL history for a single season. 

Grade:

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.