For anyone hoping that Justin Fields can take over the starting quarterback job for the Chicago Bears as a rookie, we’ve got a recent quote from head coach Matt Nagy that you should check out. As of right now, there will not be a competition this season — or at least not in Week 1.
Nagy recently joined The Cris Collinsworth Podcast, and the question of Fields being the opening week starter was brought up. The fourth-year head coach immediately shot down that possibility, saying that Andy Dalton is his starter.
“No. Andy is our starter,” Nagy replied, via NFL.com. “Again, I can’t predict anything. You know how it goes. There’s so many things that can happen between today and that Week 1, but Andy is our starter and Justin’s our No. 2. And we’re going to stick to this plan.”
Well, that’s a bummer. But why are Nagy and the Bears so dead set on the quarterback depth chart in June? Nagy says he didn’t make Dalton any promises when he signed one-year, $10 million deal with the team back in March. But based off his comments, he sort of did without using the words.
“Promises, as we all know, can get pretty crazy. But what we told Andy is that he’s our starter and he knows that, and that’s what Justin knows, that’s what Nick [Foles] knows, the rest of our coaches. We tell these guys knowing that there’s got to be a start so that’s where we’re at,” Nagy explained. “And now, all three of them are gonna be the best quarterback they can be and then that gets into this plan that we keep talking about and it takes a little bit of time.
“There was no promises but we told him, I specifically told him, ‘You’re our starter.’ So, that’s that.”
Sure, Nagy may not have told Dalton, “I promise you’re the starter,” but he did straight up say, “You’re the starter.” I mean, that’s pretty much the same thing. Maybe those assurances are why Dalton was willing to sign with Chicago in the first place, and going back on that could leave egg on Nagy’s face.
That’s unfortunate news for Fields.
Granted, Fields can still earn the starting job at some point in 2021. Well, as long as Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace aren’t planning to take the Alex Smith-Patrick Mahomes route with the Ohio State product. That worked out for Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, but is it the move here?
I guess that all depends on how Dalton plays. This Bears team doesn’t have to be as bad as many are making it out to be.
To make matters worse, Foles is still lingering on this roster and getting paid handsomely to do so. It would cost Chicago $14.5 million in dead cap for 2021 to move on from the former Super Bowl winning quarterback. Yikes.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.