The Chicago Bears are slated to start with Andy Dalton in the first week of the 2021 season, ahead of rookie Justin Fields, whom they traded to pick 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Head coach Matt Nagy was firmly committed to the Chicago Bears’ intention to start the 2021 season with Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback rather than rookie Justin Fields.
“No,” said Nagy. “I mean, Andy is our starter. Again, I can’t predict anything. You know how it happens: so much can happen between today and this Week 1. But Andy is our starter and Justin is our No. 2. and we’ll stick with that plan. “
In the first round of the April NFL draft, the Bears moved up nine spots, picking Ohio’s Fields to finish 11th overall.
They sent the New York Giants their first round pick (No. 20), their fifth round (No. 164) and their first and fourth rounds of 2022 to make the move.
Fields was the fourth draft quarterback, behind only Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars), Zach Wilson (New York Jets) and Trey Lance (San Francisco 49ers). But it looks like Chicago is in no rush to play Fields.
Buckeye is officially the Bear. ✍️ pic.twitter.com/gfneL5tBVZ
– Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 11, 2021
The Bears signed a one-year $ 10 million free agency deal with Dalton, and general manager Ryan Pace told reporters in early April that Dalton would be their starter. It was four weeks before they traded to pick Fields. Nick Fowles also remains in the lineup.
Dalton played a significant role in The Dallas Cowboys last year when Duck Prescott was defeated this year with a broken ankle. He started nine games and finished the year with 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions, spending his first nine seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Nagy took the time to make his podcast appearance, describing how happy the coaching staff and front office were to make the swap and land Fields. But he reiterated that Dalton will always be first in early 2021.
“We made this plan for us, and the plan is for Andy to be the starter,” Nagy said. “Andy has had 10 great years in this league and has had great success. And we’re thrilled that he came here and did what we think he can do, but at the same time taught Justin how to play quarterback – all of us together – and isolate him so he can maximize his strengths. ”