CHICAGO – The Bears have traded quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.

The Steelers sent a sixth-round pick in 2025 that will convert into a fourth-round pick if Fields plays 51% of the snaps this season, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Fields, who will complete his third season with Chicago in 2023, will find himself in a quarterback room with Russell Wilson, who signed a one-year contract with the Steelers on Friday.

Fields is not expected to compete with Wilson for the starting job, a team source told ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. Instead, Fields is expected to learn from the Super Bowl winner and nine-time Pro Bowler in Pittsburgh.

In a social media post Saturday, Fields thanked the Bears organization and the city of Chicago “for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a historic franchise.”

Two weeks ago, Bears general manager Ryan Poles publicly discussed the idea of ​​a Fields trade for the first time at the NFL combine. Poles said he aimed to not leave the quarterback in the dark and hoped Fields would “do the right thing” as Chicago determined its quarterback plan going forward.

“No one wants to live in the gray, I know that is uncomfortable,” the Poles said on February 27. “I wouldn’t want to be in that situation either. So we will collect the information, we will take action as soon as possible. We are not going to rush to see what presents itself and what is best for the organization.”

Chicago owns the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and is the first team of the common draft era to have the top pick one season after trading in the draft. In March 2023, the Bears sent the No. 1 pick to Carolina in exchange for four draft picks — including the Panthers’ 2024 first rounder — and wide receiver DJ Moore. Carolina’s 2-15 finish in 2023 vaulted Chicago into the No. 1 spot in the draft order.

With Fields off the roster, the Bears are expected to take a quarterback in the first round in April.

The Bears finished with a 7-10 record in 2023, which earned them the No. 9 pick. Fields missed four games during the season after dislocating his right thumb. He threw for a career-best 2,562 yards, 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions and showed improvement in protecting the football by throwing fewer interceptions and taking fewer sacks than in 2022.

Fields’ career with the Bears ends after 38 starts, completing 60.3% of his passes for 6,674 yards, 40 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. As the Bears continue the search for their next quarterback, the process for evaluating draft-eligible quarterbacks is the same as last year, according to Bears coach Matt Eberflus, despite the depth and talent of the quarterback class of 2024 and Chicago’s new offensive staff.

The Bears hired offensive coordinator Shane Waldron in January after three seasons with Seattle. Before the Bears decided to move on from Fields, Waldron said he “totally believed” his offense will work with whoever the franchise chose at quarterback.

“I felt like several quarterbacks could get their feet in the system and learn it quickly,” Waldron said in February. “And that starts with us being able to teach it in a good and efficient way, where they understand it… because every person is going to have a different skill set, so which direction does it go? The players really take ownership and control over that.”

At the combine, Eberflus said the Bears will weigh a quarterback’s situational awareness and execution heavily as they evaluate and ultimately decide who will be under center in 2024.

“I look at the guys who can operate on third down, in two-minute situations and at the end of the game,” Eberflus said. “To me, that’s a separation. And then you look at the toughness. The toughness for a quarterback is really about the mental strength to be able to stand in the pocket and be able to deliver the ball, and also to have the discernment to get out of the hole.” the bag and create when necessary. They come in all different shapes and sizes. It was always fun to evaluate them. “

ESPN’s Brooke Pryor contributed to this report.

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