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The Chicago Bears have a quarterback in the NFL Top 100.
It’s weird to actually type that out in words.
While Justin Fields still has some work to do as a passer, what he accomplished last year was enough to earn the respect from his peers and land him at No. 86 in the NFL Top 100. I’m not surprised to see Fields make the list, because it is voted on by the players. The more conversations I had with players and friends around the league in the offseason, it was pretty obvious Fields had earned a ton of respect from opponents in 2022.
One of those conversations was with now-Bears linebacker T.J. Edwards before he played in the Super Bowl with the Eagles in February.
“He’s definitely special,” Edwards told CHGO. “With what he can do with his legs and how strong his arm is, I think he’s a guy who is going to gain confidence as time goes and is truly going to be a special player for sure.”
Again, that was before Edwards became a Bear in March when he signed on as the team’s weak-side linebacker.
“Honestly, the one thing that surprised me was — obviously he’s fast as anything — but he’s a lot bigger than people think as well,” Edwards said. “A guy that big that can move like that, it’s a tough task for a defense, so he definitely creates a little headache for you.”
While Fields deserves to be on the list, it’s still a little surprising to see him ranked ahead of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who came in at No. 96 despite throwing for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and only eight interceptions last year before winning a playoff game.
But again, it’s Fields’ elite running ability that has defenders terrified of him right now, so you can understand why he might have earned a few more votes from his peers.
The Fields-Lawrence debates have raged since they were both in high school, and Fields has experienced his fair share of head-to-head victories, even if Lawrence was drafted 10 spots higher than Fields in 2021.
But imagine if Fields can also throw for 4,000 yards like Lawrence did last year?
“A Bears quarterback hasn’t done it yet, so that would be cool,” Fields said Tuesday. “With the help of this guy, hopefully I can get there.”
By “this guy,” Fields was referring to new wide receiver DJ Moore, who was sitting next to him at Tuesday’s press conference. Today, they’ll take the field for the first time in training camp, the first step in a possible march to 4,000 yards.
And if Fields actually gets to 4,000, well, he’ll be a lot higher on the NFL Top 100 list next year.
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