Justin Fields reportedly had ‘toxic’ relationships with veteran Bears QBs

Justin Fields’ time with the Chicago Bears is now over, but it appears his tenure in the Windy City started off poorly with a bit of an icy start, long before things came to an end after three seasons.

The quarterback didn’t get along with veterans Andy Dalton and Nick Foles during his rookie season in 2021, having a relationship that was “toxic as hell” with them, according to a report from Go Long. Foles and Fields, particularly, “could not stand each other” as there was an instance when the former tried to teach something to the latter, but Fields wasn’t listening, Go Long added in its report. 

Former Bears director of player personnel Josh Lucas actually gave credence to the report back in February, explaining that things didn’t work out with Fields and the veteran quarterbacks behind the scenes during his rookie season.

“We thought having two vets with him would really help him with Andy and Nick and that was not cohesive at all,” Lucas told Windy City Gridiron at the time

Lucas added that while he liked that Fields “knew he was the best and should be out there,” he thought he could’ve stood to learn from Dalton and Foles.

“The part you don’t like about it is that there’s a teachable moment in every point of practice,” Lucas said. “There’s teachable moments in the building during the day, how you carry yourself as a quarterback. There’s teachable moments at press conferences. There’s teachable moments every snap on Sunday. When you’ve got two guys that have won as much as Nick and seen as much as Andy, and you don’t take that information in, because you’re a little standoffish and a little abrasive, you’re wasting that opportunity.”

Fields didn’t start right away after the Bears traded up to select him with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, with them opting to start Dalton instead. However, Fields wound up becoming the team’s starter in Week 2 following an injury to Dalton. He eventually passed for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions, with 450 rushing yards and two rushing scores in 12 games, missing some time due to injuries.

Fields kept his job as the Bears’ starting quarterback following the 2021 season as the team let Dalton and Foles go in the ensuing offseason, and he remained in that role through the end of the 2023 season. The Bears ultimately moved on from Fields after he threw for 2,562 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions with 657 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in 2023, as they landed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, selecting Caleb Williams.

Questions about Fields’ ability to work with veteran quarterbacks come as he’s set to work behind one again with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fields was traded to Pittsburgh in March after the team signed Russell Wilson in free agency. Head coach Mike Tomlin said shortly after those acquisitions that Wilson would be the team’s starting quarterback entering offseason workouts.

Did the Chicago Bears handle the Justin Fields situation the right way?

Did the Chicago Bears handle the Justin Fields situation the right way?

Tomlin has also said Fields will get a chance to compete for the starting job, adding that Wilson’s work ethic is something that “a younger guy like Justin could learn” from. He believes that will be the case.

“Just from my conversations with Justin, I know he is excited about working alongside Russell and maybe learning some of those veteran tricks of the trade and things that [Wilson] picked up from being in this league for over a decade,” Tomlin told reporters in March.


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