Would the Patriots be interested in trading for Fields at this price?

The Chicago Bears must choose a quarterback in the next weeks and months.

They used a first-round pick (No. 11 overall) from the 2021 NFL Draft on Justin Fields, who has had an up-and-down Chicago career but shown flashes of greatness. In the 2024 NFL Draft, the Bears will have the first selection and may choose a franchise quarterback like USC's Caleb Williams or UNC's Drake Maye.

The Bears must decide if Fields can be a winning franchise quarterback. If so, trade the No. 1 selection and stockpile assets to rebuild the club. If no, trade Fields and pick a QB first. How much would Fields be worth in trade? Tuesday's ESPN piece by Jeremy Fowler offered insight.

"The consensus in an informal poll of league evaluators is that Fields would be worth a second- or third-round pick in a pre-draft trade," Fowler said. "When compared to former top-10 picks recently traded, that's better than Trey Lance, whom Dallas acquired from San Francisco for a fourth-round pick, but slightly worse than Sam Darnold, who, along with a sixth-round pick, went from the Jets to Carolina for second- and fourth-rounders."

If Fields costs a second- or third-round pick, should the Patriots trade? It's worth investigating. Following Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe's struggles this season, the Patriots need a new starting quarterback.

If the Patriots don't receive a top-three pick -- they're No. 3 entering Week 18 -- it will be difficult to choose a top QB. That would make trade and free agency the greatest areas to find a QB upgrade.

As Houston Texans head coach, Bill O'Brien enjoyed success with Deshaun Watson. Fields, a dual-threat quarterback, possesses Watson-like talents. In 12 games this season, the Ohio State graduate has completed 61% of his pass attempts for 2,414 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions, plus 630 yards and 4 touchdowns on the run. He rushed for 1,143 yards and 8 touchdowns last year.

The Patriots would need to customize their offense around Fields and give him enough skill position players to succeed, unlike Jones. The Patriots want the No. 2 or No. 3 selection to choose a quarterback like Maye or LSU's Jayden Daniels. A trade for Fields is worth contemplating if they end with the No. 4 selection or worse.

Watch this space for further developments.