Raiders are expected to trade their first-round pick for disgruntled Bears star
Aidan O’Connell, the Raiders’ rookie quarterback, has shown some promise. But, alas, the more he plays, the more we notice the flaws—he holds the ball too long, has a tendency to overthrow, may be overly aggressive, and virtually never runs. That could be one of the reasons we’re hearing Las Vegas speculations regarding future quarterbacks. Bleacher Report has an intriguing trade involving the Bears and Justin Fields with the Raiders.
Much would have to fall into place for the Raiders to complete a Justin Fields trade. To begin, the Bears would need to secure one of the top two draft picks in order to select either USC’s Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye.
Second, the Raiders front office, which is presently managed by interim GM Champ Kelly and coach Antonio Pierce, would have to see enough of O’Connell to realize he is not their guy going forward. Third, the Raiders must be certain that they prefer Fields over the second-tier quarterbacks — and there are some outstanding ones — in this year’s draft, because Fields is expected to cost a first-round choice.
What if all of that happens? So seeing Justin Fields traded to the Raiders makes sense.
‘Looking for a Franchise Quarterback’?
Assuming all of the aforementioned conditions are met, here’s how the article’s author, Alex Ballentine, views the justification. Remember, Chicago possesses Carolina’s first-round pick this year, and the Panthers’ 1-9 record has been boosted by the Giants’ miraculous win over Washington on Sunday.
With their own pick, the Bears are 3-8 this season and could easily enter into the No. 1 pick conversation. They’re only one game away from the No. 2 pick. The Raiders are in position for the 14th pick with a record of 5-6. The Raiders would almost certainly have to include that as the key draw in a Justin Fields trade.
“If that’s the case, any team who is on the hunt for a franchise quarterback but won’t have the draft pick to take the top two options could be in play,” Ballentine said in a statement.
“The Raiders made an offseason move for Jimmy Garoppolo, but with Josh McDaniels out of the picture, they are a good candidate.” Fields would provide them with a dynamic, potential quarterback around whom a future head coach might build.”
The Bears’ problem would become the Raiders’ problem if Justin Fields was traded.
The major question for the Raiders, or anyone interested in acquiring Justin Fields, is if he is worth it. This season, the Bears are 1-6 with Fields as the starter, and as the Raiders are well aware, Chicago went 2-2 with undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent at the helm.
Fields is 6-26 as a starter in his career. He has established himself as the best running quarterback in the league—and one of the top runners in general—having rushed for 1,143 yards with an astounding average of 7.1 yards per carry last season. But without Fields as a passing threat, the Bears were too predictable, and they’ve tried to force him to throw more this season.
While Fields has improved as a passer, he is still average at best, as evidenced by the team’s record.
Earlier in the season, it appeared like Justin Fields would be traded since he was plainly dissatisfied and attacked the team’s coaches for making him “robotic.” He later “clarified” his remarks, saying he didn’t mean to attack the coaches.
O’Connell has also struggled, and according to the Pro Football Focus grading system, he ranks 35th out of 38 quarterbacks with a 50.6 mark. It would make sense for the Raiders to look for another quarterback if O’Connell does not improve.
But a trade for Justin Fields? As brilliant as he is, it appears that the Raiders would be allowing the Bears to solve their own problem while creating a new one for themselves.