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Former NFL GM Says Bears' Quarterback Decision Is Clear

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields warms up before a game. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2021.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 7: Quarterback Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes warms up before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on November 7, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

In all likelihood, when the Chicago Bears offense takes the field for the first time on Sunday, Sept. 12 at the Los Angeles Rams, it will be Andy Dalton and not Justin Fields under center.

Fields, the first-round pick out of Ohio State, is the future at quarterback for the Bears. However, the team brought in Dalton as a veteran presence, and would probably prefer for him to start to allow Fields to develop and not rush him along. Putting him up against Aaron Donald and the Rams' D in Week 1 would really be throwing Fields into the deep end.

Even so, we've seen rookie quarterbacks thrive in that situation. Russell Wilson famously won the Seattle Seahawks job as a rookie, and hasn't looked back. ESPN's Mike Tannenbaum, the former general manager of the New York Jets, thinks that the team should fully commit to playing Fields. Of all quarterbacks, he cites former Bears first rounder Mitchell Trubisky as an example for why.

"I think Justin Fields should play from day one unless he doesn’t understand the offense,” Tannenbaum said ESPN's Get Up this morning. “There’s such a massive gap in talent. And Greeny, if we go back a couple years ago, Mitch Trubisky in 2018 was third in total QBR because he could throw it and make plays with his feet, just like Justin Fields can."

"This is a good team. This is a playoff team with representative quarterback play," he continued. "And as long as he knows the offense, Justin Fields give them a significant better chance to win. That's how big of a difference there is between Fields and Andy Dalton."

ESPN's Dan Graziano says that the head coach Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears are "not averse" to starting Fields, but they won't hand Dalton the job if Fields beat him out straight up. It may not happen Week 1, but it would be a bit of a surprise if Fields doesn't make an appearance at some point this fall.