Bears GM Ryan Poles Talks About Difficulty Trading Justin Fields

Key Takeaways:
– Bears GM Ryan Poles found it extremely difficult to deal QB Justin Fields due to their personal rapport
– Poles considered Fields to be a good person and a strong team player
– As the Bears GM, Poles decided to honor Fields’ wish for a preferred destination, even if it meant a lesser trade return
– The move of trading Fields might buy Poles good will and could influence free-agent decision making in the future
– Poles is strategizing for a run of success starting as early as 2024

Bears general manager Ryan Poles has been part of several difficult decisions, including sending quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although trade decisions are a part of being a GM, Poles found it particularly challenging to let go of Fields, who he said “worked his butt off” and handled the ups and downs of the season very well.

Fields’ Trade: A Difficult Decision

Fields’ trade was one of the most challenging decisions Poles has had to make since taking the helm of the Chicago Bears two years ago. Poles recalled joking with colleagues, wishing Fields were more problematic as an individual which could have made the trade decision easier. The GM’s fondness for Fields made the move all the more arduous.

Fields’ Preferred Trade Locations

ESPN’s Brooke Pryor reported on March 29 that Fields provided Poles with four preferred destinations: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Minnesota Vikings. Even though an undisclosed team offered a more lucrative trade for Fields, Poles decided to turn it down. Poles made a commitment to Fields and ended up trading him to the Steelers for a conditional 2025 sixth round pick. The decision to go through with a lesser return from the Steelers meant that Poles was upholding his pledge to “do right” by Justin.

Impact of Trade Decision

Despite not getting the optimal return for Fields, Poles’ decision could have a positive impact on the team in the long run. His demonstration of a commitment to the personal preferences of his players might endear him to future teammates and free agents. Poles underlined that tough decisions are part and parcel of leading a successful team. As a strategic planner, he is aware that managing a better team could lead to more players vying for space under the salary cap.

Gearing Up the Bears for Success

Looking forward, Poles has the Bears set for a successful run in 2024. His decision to trade Fields has allowed the team to free up considerable spending power. With the clock reset on the quarterback contract, the team has the luxury to focus on landing USC signal-caller Caleb Williams, a touted prospect often compared to Patrick Mahomes. The extra room in the budget, thanks to Fields’ trade, will help the Bears build a robust team around Williams.

The Chicago team doesn’t only have an attractive prospect in their sights. It has a decent pick number in this year’s NFL draft. It also managed to acquire pro bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers. Poles, through his tough but strategic decisions, has managed to create an opportunity for a stronger, more competitive Chicago Bears team in the near future.

In conclusion, Poles albeit the bittersweet trade of Fields, is paving the way for a brighter future for the Bears. His demonstration of loyalty toward players not just generates goodwill but leaves a significant footprint for others to follow.