During the 2022 NFL offseason, the Chicago Bears underwent some major changes. They revamped the front office and coaching staff, letting go of general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy. Ryan Poles was named the replacement general manager and Matt Eberflus is taking over as head coach.
They are stepping into a tough situation as the Bears have one of the weakest rosters in the NFL. The roster is going to take some time to revamp, as the focus this offseason was clearing some cap space, which resulted in some veterans leaving.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson departed as a free agent, signing with the Los Angeles Rams and weakening an already weak wide receiver group. EDGE rusher Khalil Mack was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers as the roster purge began.
One reward of a poor season is to pick high in the draft, but the Bears didn’t even have that luxury as they were without a first-round pick. The pick was traded to the New York Giants during the 2021 NFL Draft so that the Bears could trade up and select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
Transitioning to the NFL is difficult enough, but when you are thrown into a situation such as the one Fields entered with the Bears, it is virtually impossible to succeed. As a rookie, Fields had the second highest pressure percentage in the league at 36 percent and was hit 11 times per game. That was the fourth highest in the league.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum expressed concern for how the Bears are handling Fields. He believes they are doing to him what the expansion Houston Texans did to David Carr.
“I think it’s reckless what [the Bears are] doing.”
Chicago has done very little to set Fields up for success heading into his second season in the NFL. The offensive line is a bit of a mess and the wide receiver position is lacking household names. Outside of Darnell Mooney, no one in the group has caught more than 42 passes in a season.
Records don’t matter in the preseason, but the Bears are 2-0 in the preseason, which at least shows a little bit of promise. If Fields can make it through this season, brighter days should lie ahead. However, as Tannenbaum cautions, could the damage be done to Fields by the time the Bears are ready to field a competitive roster?