Bears’ Quarterback Situation in 2021: Justin Fields, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton Facing Major Turmoil

Chicago Bears quarterbacks Nick Foles, left, Andy Dalton, center, and Justin Fields, right, stand on the field during minicamp at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


The Justin Fields era is over in the Windy City as the Chicago Bears traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this offseason to pave the way for No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams.

Fields had a chaotic tenure in Chicago, and according to a recent report, it got off to a terrible start early in his rookie season.

Details Emerge on 2021 Bears’ ‘Toxic’ QB Room

After being taken with the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, things got rocky quickly for Fields in Chicago.

According to Tyler Dunne, the quarterback room that featured Fields and two veterans, Nick Foles and Andy Dalton, experienced a lot of turmoil. A big reason was head coach Matt Nagy’s plan to play the quarterbacks.

Going into the season, Nagy wanted Fields to sit behind Dalton for the year, but that changed early after Dalton suffered an injury that led to Fields starting his first game in Week 3. Additionally, Fields didn’t mesh well with the veterans and had lots of friction with Foles.

According to Dunne, the environment of the quarterback room with those three was “f—— toxic as hell.”

“They never were together. It was always Andy and Nick walking side by side and Justin always 15 yards behind them,” a source told Dunne.

Dunne also detailed that there were several arguments between the quarterbacks. This included Foles attempting to teach Fields something, but noticed him not paying attention.

“At that point, Foles was done trying to play mentor. The two could not stand each other,” said Dunne.

Ultimately, both Dalton and Foles were out of Chicago after the 2021 season, leaving just Fields. Additionally, the Bears cleaned house and brought in new general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus.

“One source plugged into the Bears locker room says the widely-held narrative that Fields was a strong leader is inflated, citing the quarterback as ‘a surface level dude’ who didn’t develop authentic relationships with teammates,” said Dunne.

“He called reports that teammates love Fields ‘[expletive]’ adding that the quarterback carried himself with an undeserved aura and lacks emotional intelligence for someone who’s been a quarterback so long,” Dunne also said.

How Will Fields Mesh With Russell Wilson?

A big takeaway from Dunne’s report was Fields’ resistance to mentorship from veteran quarterbacks.

Now in Pittsburgh, Fields will sit behind another veteran, as Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has already announced that newly acquired QB Russell Wilson will be their starter this season.

Tomlin, however, is very bullish on Fields’ potential.

While Tomlin mentions that Fields will have the opportunity to sit and learn behind Wilson, will the former Bears quarterback be more receptive to advice from an established quarterback this time around?

Despite his disastrous two-year stint in Denver, Wilson is more than qualified to be a mentor for Fields. In 12 seasons, Wilson has built quite the Hall-of-Fame caliber resume — he is a nine-time Pro Bowler with a Super Bowl ring as well.

This time around, however, Fields should be given the benefit of the doubt.

In 2021, Fields was coming off being a top-15 pick in the NFL Draft and figured he was going to be the Bears’ franchise quarterback for the long haul. Now, he comes to Pittsburgh in a contract year after his fifth-year option was declined, hoping to revitalize his career.

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