After three seasons and 38 starts, the Justin Fields era has come to an end for the Chicago Bears.

In a high-profile trade that many around the NFL were awaiting, Bears general manager Ryan Poles dealt Fields on Saturday to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round draft pick. If he’s on the field for 51% of snaps next season it becomes a fourth-round pick.

The move comes six days after the free-agency negotiating window opened and after an eventful game of musical chairs occurred with quarterbacks around the league, leaving Poles in limbo as he sought a trade partner.

The trade now gives Fields clarity on his future and a new start. The deal also positions the Bears to draft a potential franchise quarterback in April, with many around the league sensing Poles will choose USC’s Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick.

Fields threw for 6,674 yards, rushed for 2,220 more and accounted for 54 total touchdowns in his three seasons with the Bears. In some regard, he became a victim of circumstance with the Bears having the No. 1 pick, which Poles acquired as part of last year’s trade of the 2023 No. 1 selection to the Carolina Panthers.

The Bears will continue the process of assessing and getting to know Williams better in the weeks ahead. They also will continue to vet the quarterback draft class, diving deeper in their evaluations of North Carolina’s Drake Maye, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy and others.

Fields, whom the Bears traded up to select at No. 11 in 2021, rode a roller coaster through his three seasons in Chicago, delivering intoxicating flashes of playmaking brilliance but also stumbling through long stretches of inconsistency that ultimately pushed Poles and coach Matt Eberflus to change directions at quarterback.

Fields didn’t have the ideal setup with the Bears. As a rookie, an early season injury to veteran starter Andy Dalton thrust him into the QB1 role far earlier than the Bears had planned. Then, after the Bears finished 6-11 and missed the playoffs in Fields’ first season, the organization opted to clean house in the front office and coaching staff, replacing GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy with Poles and Eberflus.

Fields was forced to adapt to new coaches and a new offense in 2022, a year that also saw a major roster teardown.

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