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For the first time in a long time, the Bears’ quarterback is being seen as a selling point for potential free agents.
Justin Fields only started 10 games as a rookie last season, but that was all wide receiver Byron Pringle — who played the last three seasons with Patrick Mahomes — had to see for him to sign with Chicago.
“Justin Fields, I see him as an elite quarterback,” Pringle said at Halas Hall on Friday. “He keeps his legs alive. He does know how to extend plays, and that’s something that I did in Kansas City. When the play broke down, I always try to find, get a quarterback vision. So with him being able to keep plays, drives alive, I know I fit perfect in this offense, especially with a quarterback like Justin fields.”
Bears general manager Ryan Poles was another key reason Pringle ultimately came to Chicago.
“I was so happy when my Chicago called me, and I knew Ryan Poles had left at the end of the season in Kansas City,” Pringle said. “I just knew like he’s a great guy, always seeing him around the facility in Kansas City. Always spoke to me, I always spoke to him and he always had that same positive energy … I’m always in the facility first and I always run past him when I’m coming out getting breakfast. So that’s why I always end up seeing Poles in Kansas City. But when he reached out to me he called me, the coach and I knew I was going to be coming to Chicago.”
The former undrafted free agent out of Kansas State knows he is leaving a special offense in Kansas City — a unit where Pringle was a complimentary depth piece. Last season with the Chiefs, Pringle caught 42 passes for 568 yards and five touchdowns. That statline would’ve been good for second among receivers for the Bears, and he actually would’ve had the most receiving touchdowns.
Darnell Mooney was the team’s most experienced wide receiver having just finished his second year in the league. Since the Bears have a young wide receiver group, Pringle said this gives him another way he can add to the team.
“They (the Bears) reached out to my agent and gave me the great opportunity to come here and compete and play with a young quarterback, young receivers,” Pringle said. “Be able to give the guys, the receivers, like basically leadership role in the receiver room.”
Pringle has spoken to offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. Both those conversations were simple introductions rather than serious football talk for now.
But when it comes to Pringle and Fields, the former Chief already senses they are speaking the same language.
“I come to play,” Pringle said. “I can’t speak for every man, but I come to play, and I’m pretty sure like you’ve seen on film Justin Fields comes to play. I’m just coming here to execute the material that will be given to us.”
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