Bears declare Andy Dalton their starter even after taking Justin Fields

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The Bears traded up to No. 11 to select their next franchise quarterback, Justin Fields. It comes four years after they traded up to No. 2 overall to select Mitchell Trubisky, which came six weeks after they signed free agent Mike Glennon to a three-year deal.

History does repeat itself.

The only difference is free agent Andy Dalton signed a one-year deal six weeks ago, so the veteran quarterback knew he was a bridge quarterback.

The only question now is how long Dalton stays the starter.

“Matt [Nagy] has spoken to Andy Dalton tonight; that communication and clarity for us is really important,” General Manager Ryan Pace said Thursday night, via Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Andy is our starter, and we’re gonna have a really good plan in place to develop Justin and do what’s best for our organization and win games.”

Glennon started four games in 2017 before a 1-3 start sent him to the bench. He never played another down for the Bears.

The lesson? As long as the Bears win, Dalton will remain the starter.

Sooner or later, though, the job will belong to Fields.

“We just have to let it play out,” Pace said. “One of the best feelings in the world would be, ‘Hey, we’re rolling. We’re playing really good football. We’re winning, and we’re looking over there and we’re seeing this guy and we all know — everyone in the building knows — hey, we’ve got a guy.’

“As these guys come into this, even all the experiences they have at the college level, growing and watching tape, reading defenses, working in the huddle. It’s just so new for these guys, but it’ll be a daily process, a daily evaluation. But we’re excited to let that play out.”

The Bengals’ selection of Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall choice last year made Dalton expendable in Cincinnati. The Bengals cut him, and he spent last season in Dallas.

18 responses to “Bears declare Andy Dalton their starter even after taking Justin Fields

  1. Declaring Dalton the starter is a good idea. The last thing they should do is throw him to the wolves too early.

  2. What a trans-formative day for the Chicago Bears. Bears fans have gone their entire lives without seeing a QB with an elite skill set, unless they were alive to see Sid Luckman play. The long drought has ended. This reminds me of the Eagles when they drafted Donovan McNabb and the course of the franchise shifted but this represents an even greater change.

    The top 3 moves of the 2021 draft are #1 Bears finally getting a franchise QB, #2 Colts stealing the best player by far left on the board in DE Kwitty Paye and giving up not much to get Carson Wentz and #3 the Eagles give up a round 3 pick to leapfrog the Giants who undoubtedly were going to take Devonta Smith and get a future 2022 round 1 pick to take the same player they would have taken at #6.

  3. Back when it was the norm for first round rookie QBs to sit and learn as opposed to get thrown to the wolves right away, there were a lot less busts. Unless that’s just my “back in my day” memory kicking in.

  4. Yeah…. Fields isn’t a franchise QB kinda guy and his chances of usurping Dalton are about the same as Carfail Jones getting picked up by the Pat’s and leading them to a SB. In other words, slim to none.

  5. Andy Dalton is their starter until Week 1 and they realize that Justin Fields is ready to go.

  6. The mess in Chicago continues. Neither Pace or Nagy understand how to build a team using the draft picks they get on their own so why not give me for the future so that draft day is not such a big issue at any time for the Bears.

  7. Which isn’t really smart, Dalton is a fine backup, but at this stage of his career he’s a bad starter.

  8. Fields will be the starter sooner than later. You have to kind of wonder about the Bears and QB’s, though? Trubisky was their #1 just 3 yrs ago, and just when he seemed to be coming on and playing well in their system last season, decided to dump him for Dalton? Fields is a great talent, but will they handle his career properly?

  9. What’s the point in posturing? They didn’t draft him that high to sit on the bench.

  10. Fields has his work cut out for him to succeed in Chicago. Was Mcmahon the last drafted QB to play 5 seasons for the Bears?

  11. The biggest concerns I have about Fields aren’t physical. He’s good to go talent wise and plenty tough. It’s the recurring themes in his scouting reports about inability to make pre-snap reads and call protections, resulting in him taking more sacks and hits than he needs to. He’s playing against big-boy defenses now and can’t just run out of trouble like he could against Rutgers or Illinois. His mental game and situational awareness will need to be on point before he’s ready to take the reins.

    On the plus side, if Aaron Rodgers does in fact exit the NFC North it makes it gives Nagy a lot more margin to keep Fields on the bench until he (presumably) can fill in some of those gaps in his development.

  12. Hard to find two guys less alike than Dalton and Fields. Seems like any offense that would be great for one wouldn’t work for the other. And I’ve never been sold and Nagy’s offense period, regardless of QB.

  13. Over the last few years, there is just something wrong with the Bears draft philosophy. You build a great team buy putting the right building blocks into place. You don’t throw bricks blindly and hope you building will stand the test of time. You need a strong foundation and a plan.

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