Bears GM Ryan Poles doesn't rule out trading Justin Fields: 'I don't have a master plan to offer'

INDIANAPOLIS — Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Bowles didn't explicitly say he was trading quarterback Justin Fields when he met with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday.

But he did not rule that out either.

The more he talked about Fields, the more it became clear that moving him is a real option or scenario being considered by the Bears, who have the first pick in the NFL draft and could select star USC QB Caleb Williams.

“It just depends on the opportunities that arise.” said the Poles. “I'll say this, I think you guys know me pretty well now, if we go down this path, I want to do right by Justin too. No one wants to live in grey. I know it's uncomfortable. I don't want to be in that situation either. So I'll We gather information, we will act as quickly as possible, we will not be in a rush to see what is best and what is best for the organization.

Everything is on the table for the Poles and the Bears, and Tuesday won't be a big reveal of his plan.

“Contrary to reports, I do not have any major plan to present to everyone today,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us to continue to gather information, get to know the different players in the draft, listen to opportunities that could arise, and then at the end of the day, we'll make the best decision we can.” The Chicago Bears could.

Last year, the Bears were in the same place – ranked No. 1 in pick and field. The Poles said that although this time is considered “unique”, the process will be the same.

“I would say our approach is exactly the same in terms of, we have to look at every option and decide what is best for our team,” he said. “Obviously we opted to trade last year and I think that helped our team a lot. So, again, we'll dig deep and see how it goes.”

Fields was often praised by his teammates, especially receiver DJ Moore. Poles said this is part of the Bears' evaluation as they consider their options.

“He's a leader,” said the Poles. “Everything our guys said is true, and we weren't surprised by what our guys said. I feel the same way. I think sometimes it all becomes — it's Justin versus somebody else and I have to look at it a little differently. I take that into action.”

“That's why the person is so important when we're evaluating all the guys who might get to that position. But it's also my job to think long term and a lot of our guys don't see that. It's not their job to do that and they're defending their guy, which I think is It speaks volumes about our culture in that locker room.

But it seems the NFL is waiting for the Poles. At the very least, teams are starting to feel it. I started in the Senior Bowl.

“I know people were kind of walking around,” Poles said. “I haven't had these big conversations with anyone. But everyone wants to take the temperature of what's going on.

The Poles have held talks with cornerback Jaylon Johnson's representatives. Johnson, who went to the Pro Bowl last season, is set to become a free agent. Poles want to avoid using the franchise tag.

“We feel like we did a really good job of sitting at the table strong and showing him the respect he deserves just in terms of his production over his career and really focusing on the sales he had last year,” Bowles said. “Our expectation is for it to continue as it has been with the Bears.

“When I say come strong, it means the cash flows are strong, the collateral is strong, and the term is strong for it; Given his age, there's a really good chance he can get back on the market again and continue to make money and play well and hopefully that will continue with the Bears for a long period of time, so I'm excited about that.

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(Photo: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

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