Source: Bears told Andy Dalton he’ll be the Week One starter

USA TODAY Sports

The answer has been hiding in plain sight. And we’ve confirmed that the thing hiding in plain sight is true.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Bears already have promised quarterback Andy Dalton that he will start the season as the starting quarterback.

The clue comes from this statement from Dalton: “I knew the situation I was going into, regardless of if they drafted somebody or they didn’t. I was on a one-year deal, and I was going to be the starter.”

He stopped short of saying that’s what he was told by the team. But we’re told that’s what he was told by the team.

So he really is, as the team’s Twitter account declared on March 24, QB1. Thus, in Week One against the Rams on Sunday Night Football, the Chicago quarterback won’t be the QB who wears No. 1 — rookie Justin Fields.

That meshes with coach Matt Nagy’s personal experience. Prior to his final season in Kansas City, the Chiefs traded up to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes sat and learned the game for all of his first season, eventually playing in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Broncos.

The same approach is likely for Fields, sitting and watching and learning before being thrust into action. The fans may clamor for the rookie, but the team’s long-term best interests arguably are best served by waiting.

Regardless, Dalton’s status for Week One was set when he signed. He was told he’ll be the starter to start the season. It’s no guarantee he’ll be the starter at the end of the season. The bye week comes in Week 10, after a tough four-game stretch against the Packers, Buccaneers, 49ers, and Steelers. That could be the time to make the change, if the change is going to be made in 2021.

Or maybe Nagy really is committed to playing Dalton all year long. Although Alex Smith had far more equity with the Chiefs (and the 2017 Chiefs started fast), Nagy and G.M. Ryan Pace have tied their careers to Fields. Given that Nagy served as offensive coordinator for the team that drafted Mahomes and sat him for most of a season, it could be that Dalton is the starter not only for Week One of the 2021 season, but for a lot longer than that.

30 responses to “Source: Bears told Andy Dalton he’ll be the Week One starter

  1. Field’s gets the chance to learn from a real pro. Not like Rodgers in Green Bay who looks at other QB’s as a threat.

  2. If Fields doesn’t play until 2022, it will be for a new Coach/GM. He may not start week 1 but look for him to start at latest by midseason.

  3. Better luck in 2022, Bears fans. Hopefully for your sakes with a new GM…

  4. He also said this in his first press conference in March, after he was signed by the team.

  5. I actually believe we may not see Fields for a while. No one is discussing this but I think Pace and Nagy have been given handshake agreements if not actual contract extensions that guarantee they’re back for at least ’22 regardless of how this season goes. Their seats aren’t as hot as a lot of people think.

  6. Then Justin Fields takes over in the 1st quarter of Week 1 and keeps that spot until 2030…

  7. Makes absolutely no sense. Why would the Bears promise that? Not like Dalton is any good.

  8. There’s a difference between a promise that is guaranteed and a promise that is based on projected expectations. Andy Dalton may fully be expected to be the week one starter, but that is not guaranteed.

  9. If the Bears were smart, they would start Dalton the entire year. Fields was a bad pick

  10. bassplucker says:
    June 3, 2021 at 5:15 pm
    I actually believe we may not see Fields for a while. No one is discussing this but I think Pace and Nagy have been given handshake agreements if not actual contract extensions that guarantee they’re back for at least ’22 regardless of how this season goes. Their seats aren’t as hot as a lot of people think.
    ——————————————-

    This would be the smart approach. The Bears spent a lot to move up for Fields and they should be thinking long-term with him. It shouldn’t just be about Nagy and Pace keeping their jobs. Guaranteeing Pace and Nagy that they’re safe for 2022 allows everything to develop under a plan beyond rushing Fields into the starting job before he’s ready.

  11. Condition: Dalton throws 3 INTs AND the Bears are down by 21 halfway through the 3rd quarter.

    Result: If this condition arises, then no matter how far into the season it is, we will see Fields come in.

  12. I am OK with him sitting the whole year for the sake of being a world beater for the next 15. The Packers will no longer have a stranglehold on the Bears after this season.

  13. I like Dalton. I think he’s going to create some excitement in Chicago.

  14. Play Fields whenever he is read. Game 1 or Game 17. I don’t care what anybody has said to Dalton.

  15. If the Bears get through the pre-season, and Fields looks way better, they’ll do what Seattle did with Russell Wilson. They had just signed a free agent to a big money contract, and then drafted Wilson in the 3rd round as a backup. When it was obvious Wilson was heads and shoulders above the other guy, the Seahawks kept their promise to their fans, their owner, and the rest of the players on the roster. The promise to try to win. That’s the only promise that matters.

  16. “The promise to try to win. That’s the only promise that matters.”

    Can’t like this enough.

  17. Best case scenario. Bears win 10 games with Dalton, make the playoffs and then 2022 it is Strawberry Fields Forever!!

  18. Andy was 50-26 as a starter his first 5 yrs in the league with five straight plAyoff yrs

  19. Smart move by the Bears. Dalton is a “professional QB”, meaning he can learn a playbook and execute an offense. He can teach Fields how to break down game film and how to read an NFL defense. That kind of education from a seasoned veteran like Dalton is priceless for a rookie QB. Dalton knows his time as starter is limited and has to win to keep his job. If Dalton is awful out of the gate, then they can throw Fields into the fire and see how he does.

  20. Dalton can be in the top 25 all time in yards passing this season. He is by far the best QB on the Bears and the best QB that ever suited up for the Bears (better than Jim McMahon, Dave Krieg, Jay Cutler, Sid Luckman, George Blanda, Johnny Lujack, etc). He can play at a high level for 6 more years.

  21. vashonartist says:
    June 3, 2021 at 7:48 pm
    I like Dalton. I think he’s going to create some excitement in Chicago.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Dalton plays poorest in big games. 0-4 playoff record with 1 TD vs 6 INTs. In 10 seasons, never had a higher completion rate thenTrubisky had last season and only one season with a higher QB rating. You already know what you’re getting with Dalton. Like it or not, he is not an upgrade over Trubisky. Dalton is now 5 seasons removed from what people are expecting from him.

  22. dabears70 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 7:26 pm
    I am OK with him sitting the whole year for the sake of being a world beater for the next 15. The Packers will no longer have a stranglehold on the Bears after this season.


    Awful lot of confidence for a QB from OSU. Hint: OSU may have a worse track record for QBs in the NFL than the actual NFL Bears do. Bears gotta Bear though.

  23. bike1122 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 11:47 pm
    Andy was 50-26 as a starter his first 5 yrs in the league with five straight plAyoff yrs

    ——-
    And zero playoff wins. If Andy Dalton is the answer then you are asking the wrong question

  24. dejadoh says:
    June 4, 2021 at 1:05 am
    Dalton can be in the top 25 all time in yards passing this season. He is by far the best QB on the Bears and the best QB that ever suited up for the Bears (better than Jim McMahon, Dave Krieg, Jay Cutler, Sid Luckman, George Blanda, Johnny Lujack, etc). He can play at a high level for 6 more years.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    That’s for the laugh this Friday morning, I needed it.
    High level? High level? Who has ever feared playing Andy Dalton?

  25. Hopefully they told it to him personally. Never thought the guy was very bright. They will not win with him and he is a poor example for fields to be following.

  26. Without trying to be cute here, does anyone really think that Andy Dalton will survive through Halloween when every other week you have…

    Week 1 @ Rams
    Week 3 @ Browns
    Week 5 @ Raiders
    Week 7 @ Bucs
    Week 9 @ Steelers

    No chance Dalton comes out of the fist 9 weeks without missing time, and his Bears career is over the minute he misses a game. Not saying that is what he deserves, just the truth. I cannot see him staying healthy.

  27. Who cares what Dalton’s playoff record is, the Bears aren’t making the playoffs. Rookie LT who didn’t play LT in college, aging defense that lost their CB1. Sure Goldman is back, but Trevathan and Quinn looked old and slow and Mack hasn’t had double digit sacks in 2 seasons. If you look at their schedule, there’s not too many cream puffs like the 2020 Jax, Titans and Giants. Let Dalton take the lumps and groom Fields to at least have a fighting change in 2022.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.