The Chicago Bears' future at quarterback is officially secure after first-round pick Justin Fields reportedly signed a fully guaranteed four-year, $18.8 million rookie contract on Friday, the Bears announced.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network first reported the news Thursday.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace traded the No. 20 overall pick, a fifth-round pick and a first- and fourth-round pick in 2022 to the New York Giants for the right to select Fields at No. 11 overall.
And now the organization knows the 22-year-old will be in Chicago for at least four seasons.
"We had multiple plans tonight, and the way the board was falling, we got excited when the quarterbacks came off that way and Justin continued to fall," Pace told reporters after the draft. "For us, it was just executing our plan at the right spot in the draft and being patient with that, which sometimes can be difficult."
Pace will just have to hope it works out better than the last time he traded up in the draft to grab a quarterback.
In 2017, the GM traded the No. 67 pick, the No. 111 pick and a 2018 third-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers to move from the No. 3 spot to No. 2 in order to select Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina. Despite earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2018, he was unable to hold onto the starting job and did not have the fifth-year option on his rookie deal picked up after the 2020 season.
Chicago will look to avoid the mistakes it made with its last franchise QB as Fields enters the fold, though.
That begins with the former Ohio State star likely riding the bench to begin his NFL career.
Pace signed veteran Andy Dalton on a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason and believes the 33-year-old provides the Bears with their best option at QB1 until proved otherwise. Nick Foles also remains in the mix and could force Fields to third on the depth chart.
"Andy is our starter," Pace said. "And we're gonna have a really good plan in place to develop Justin and do what's best for our organization and win games."
Fields will attempt to force the issue of his playing time, and reward Pace for trading up to grab him, now that he's officially a member of the Bears with a signed contract—one the Bears GM hopes to be in a position to renew this time.