Last week, I examined the positives of moving forward with Justin Fields and trading off the top overall pick (for the second year in a row). This week, I will examine the benefits of going in the opposite direction, which has already become somewhat of a foregone conclusion. It’s easy to see both sides of the argument, and I am admittedly still on the fence about what route is in the franchise’s best interest. However, I am no longer uncertain about what I think Ryan Poles will do, as I fully expect him to trade Fields in the coming weeks and move forward with Caleb Williams come draft time.

The Bears’ faithful is still seemingly split down the middle regarding the split down the middle on the subject (and there is little question the debate has brought out the worst in the fanbase). However, most have become willing to see eye-to-eye on the fact that Williams is as rare of a prospect as they come. He possesses all of the skills that teams covet from their starting quarterback and a few more special attributes on top of them. If they didn’t have a signal-caller who has only scratched the surface of what he could become, the decision would be a no-brainer (and many still believe it is).

Fields’ flashes have rivaled anyone in the league over his three years at the helm, but he has yet to arrive as an elite passer. While you can make countless excuses for the level of talent and quality of coaching he has had around him; you can’t change the past mishandling on the part of the Bears’ brass. The fact of the matter is he is a year away from a contract extension, and the front office doesn’t know how to accurately value him. Getting stuck in a situation like the one the Giants are in with Daniel Jones would be a potentially crippling development for a team that can build a serious contender in the coming years if they play their cards right.

I have been an avid Fields supporter every step of the way, but something I’m not willing to make an excuse for is his occasional hesitation to pull the trigger on open receivers. It is a conundrum. There are times where he looks poised and decisive, and he can sling it with the best of them in those moments. However, there are also instances where he seemingly has no idea what he’s looking at, and that is a serious concern for someone who has seen as much in-game action as he has. I assume this is the biggest reason that another team hasn’t coughed up the desired compensation for him yet.

While Williams also can hold on to the ball too long at times, it always seems like he has a purpose when doing so. He has a knack for keeping his eyes downfield and making splash plays in situations where most (practically all other) quarterbacks would have taken a sack. That is just the tip of the iceberg, though. He possesses a slew of characteristics only shared with some of the league’s best signal callers. With that said, none are more impressive than his ability to make off-platform throws, which has led many to compare him to the closest thing the league has seen to Michael Jordan in the NBA, Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes is a unicorn. Any player who gets compared to him will almost certainly fall short of reaching that status. I already wrote about my disdain for the ‘Generational Talent’ title a few weeks back (and I am certainly not backing down from that stance), but there is a reason he is held in such high standing by so many. He is a highly talented player with all the tools to become one of the league’s best signal-callers. He is the type of guy with enough potential to raise the level of talent around him (like Mahomes has done in Kansas City). Despite being a significantly talented player in his own right, Fields has proven to not be that caliber of player.

Another factor to consider when analyzing the quarterback decision is what the Bears’ backup plan would be if they moved on from Fields. Next year’s quarterback class is.. headlined by Shadeur Sanders, Quinn Ewers, and Jalen Milroe. For comparison’s sake, they would probably be ranked behind J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, and Michael Penix as prospects this year. Not great. They would be able to get a boatload of picks if they moved off the top pick, but their options would be limited if they wanted to move on from Fields next offseason.

Many were worried about the type of player they would be getting if they went forward with Williams. He has (unfairly) been painted as selfish and overly emotional. If the Combine was any indication, those concerns should be all but dead and buried. He handled himself extremely well while fielding idiotic questions about his competitive drive and was extremely personable in virtually every interaction. He was the last person to leave the field (which the toxic faction of the Fields supporters managed to take issue with) and supported his peers as they ran through drills even though he wasn’t competing in them.

You could make a case that the Bears are a better team than virtually any team picking at the top of the draft in league history. They won seven games last season and were three incredible choke jobs away from ten wins and a Wild Card appearance. It’s impossible to not be excited about the potential of adding a player like Caleb Williams to the current roster, and he has a real chance to break the quarterback curse that has plagued the city since Sid Luckman was at the helm.

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