Chase Daniel talks Justin Fields trade, Caleb Williams – NBC Sports Chicago

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Former Bears signal caller Chase Daniel joined NBC Sports Chicago’s “Football Night in Chicago” on Tuesday to express his thoughts on the Justin Fields trade and Caleb Williams’ prospects.

Daniel is a staunch Fields fan who had hoped the Bears would keep Fields and trade the No. 1 pick down to build around him. He believes Fields will only improve by playing with the team Ryan Poles and the Bears have built this offseason.

“If you put the pieces around Justin that you’re putting around the No. 1 pick, I think he’s going to be even better,” Daniels said. “He’s got a lot of comfort in the pocket. He’s processed things at a much higher rate. He’s won over the locker room. He’s won over the city.”

Former Bears QB Chase Daniel joined Football Night in Chicago and talked about how things could have turned out if the Bears had kept Justin Fields

This is true. Fields was in the hearts of all his teammates in the locker room, as well as the City fans. They are all attracted to the same thing. Everyone can appreciate and respect his work ethic, leadership and tenacity.

And it’s also true that Fields is likely to be improved by the additional changes the Bears made this offseason. They notably acquired Keenan Allen, D’Andre Swift, and Gerald Everett. They also re-signed Jaylon Johnson and signed Kevin Byard to replace Eddie Jackson on defense.

Instead, the Bears opted to trade him to the Steelers in exchange for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick, which could turn into a fourth-round pick if Fields plays a minimum of 51% of the snaps with the Steelers this season.

Initially, most were skeptical that the Bears could return a second- or third-round pick for Fields. But alas, according to Daniels, the Bears traded him to Pittsburgh for a sixth-rounder, which is too little in terms of return.

“Why couldn’t you maybe hold on to him for a few more months?” Daniel asked. “I understand that your franchise and your job is to try to take care of a player in Justin Fields and put him in the right position… But if you put him in training camp, maybe the preseason, maybe the second or second half of the season, In Week 3. … There were 13-14 different starters that got hurt last year. Your trade value has gone up tremendously.”

Former Bears QB Chase Daniel joined Football Night in Chicago and talked about how much more the Bears could have gotten for Justin Fields

A recent report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that Fields could have been traded to one of four different teams outside of the Steelers who offered the Bears assets for Fields. Instead, Fields and his representation requested that he be sent to Pittsburgh, where a return to the Bears was eventually compromised to appease Fields.

But in the context of timing, it’s hard to suggest Fields and the No. 1 overall pick can co-exist in the same environment, assuming the Bears draft a quarterback. As Daniels said, Fields has won over the emotions of the locker room, which will make it harder for them to accept the newcomer while Fields would theoretically remain in the building.

Certainly, if the Bears had waited until after the NFL Draft or at the beginning of the season, would they have gotten a better return for Fields? no question. But the Bears didn’t make that promise to Fields at the NFL Combine when they said they planned to “do right” by him.

This meant getting him to his desired destination as quickly as possible so he could start the next chapter of his career as quickly and easily as possible. This doesn’t happen if you stick to it because of the lure of a better price.

Nevertheless, the Fields trade opened the door for the Bears to take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Who will he be? All signs point to USC’s Caleb Williams.

Daniel suggests the Bears could become a lethal team next season, with the pieces ready to support Williams or any quarterback.

“I think in terms of being the No. 1 pick for a team in the last decade, the pieces around him are probably the best,” Daniels said. “…For me, in terms of the players around him, the staff and the defense, it’s easily on top. So he better play well and you better play well right away.”

Former Bears QB Chase Daniel joins Football Night in Chicago to talk about the high expectations for Bears’ projected first-overall draft pick Caleb Williams.

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