Thirty-five years to the day after “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” premiered, Justin Fields enjoyed a Chicago afternoon that even Bueller would be jealous of. It started with the Bears’ rookie quarterback signing his first NFL contract. The terms of the deal: a fully guaranteed $19 million over four years, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
As the ink was still drying on his contract, the former Ohio State Buckeye took in a Cubs game inside historic Wrigley Field. Fields received an extremely warm reception from his fellow Wrigley patrons when he showed up on the jumbotron.
Chicago fans aren’t the only ones who have become fast fans of Fields. Bears coach Matt Nagy offered glowing reviews of Fields during OTAs earlier this week. Specifically, Nagy touted Fields’ deep throws and his competitiveness.
“(Fields) has that mentality of rip your heart out,” Nagy said, via Adam Jahns of The Athletic. “And so there were a couple of plays in there — and not just (Wednesday) but other days — where these quarterbacks are staying aggressive. And you got to see a taste of that today with Justin, and he made the nice throw to Damiere [Byrd] down the sideline. And that ball just took off.”
Fields has also shown the ability to make the necessary — and correct — pre-snap adjustments. Nagy praised Fields’ quick understanding of the Bears’ personnel and offensive formations.
“What he does is he sits back there with (QB coach John DeFilippo) when Andy (Dalton) is running the show,” Nagy said. “He’s back there repeating every word and he’s flipping it and he’s going through in his mind how to call the play — like he’s in the huddle.”
Fields’ competitive spirit was on full display during his final season in Columbus. After the Big Ten initially ruled to cancel the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fields started a petition that played a significant role in the conference ultimately having a season. Fields then helped lead Ohio State to an undefeated regular season, a Big Ten title, and a Sugar Bowl victory over rival Clemson. Despite suffering an injury to his midsection, Fields stayed in the game and threw six touchdown passes, an Ohio State bowl game record. All told, Fields went 22-of-28 for 385 yards while leading the Buckeyes to a 49-28 win.
“Justin is a great quarterback,” former Buckeye and current 49ers rookie Trey Sermon recently told CBS Sports. “He is versatile. He is accurate. He can make things out of nothing. He is a great leader as well. I don’t know why people are down on him. He is just a great player. He has battled through adversity as well; getting hurt, coming back, completing passes, throwing touchdowns and making plays to help the team succeed.”
After having to wait his turn in college (Fields started his college career at Georgia before transferring to Ohio State), Fields will begin his NFL career behind Andy Dalton, an 11-year veteran who led the Bengals to five consecutive playoff berths from 2011-15. And while Fields is currently the backup, there’s no telling when Chicago fans will get their first glimpse of Fields under center in a regular season game.
“I know that’s, for everybody, the biggest question, is ‘When is that going to happen?'” Nagy said earlier this spring. “When you move up to draft a quarterback like Justin, everyone’s very excited and they want to know when, when, when, and trust me, we all understand that, but we need to make sure that whatever that plan is that we put together, that it’s the best thing for the Chicago Bears.”