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‘My Phone Won’t Stop:’ Bears GM Says Teams Actively Calling About Trades

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Aside from the prospects, Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles might be the most sought-after man in Indianapolis this week. Holding the first overall pick with a previous first-round quarterback, the Bears are the main domino that will set things into motion. Will they trade Justin Fields and draft USC QB Caleb Williams? Or will they trade the top pick, as they did a year ago, and receive a massive haul to build around Fields? The NFL wants to know. And they’re calling to ask.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Poles said his phone has been constantly ringing.

“My phone won’t stop,” Poles said this morning via the team’s YouTube channel.

The Combine is the time for the entire NFL to gather in one place. And it’s where offseason road maps get created. Who is getting re-signed, which free agents might land where, and a catalyst for trade discussions. With Fields’ future uncertain, Poles said his goal is to create finality as soon as possible for Fields and the franchise’s benefit. Appearing on the St. Brown brothers’ podcast last week, Fields said he wants to stay in Chicago but hopes he soon knows the outcome, even if it means getting traded.

Fields being dealt is a more likely outcome than Poles shipping off the top pick. Williams is regarded as the clear-cut top prospect this year, and moving off the first overall pick two years in a row is simply unlikely. Pittsburgh has been a speculated candidate to land Fields, though there’s been no official reporting linking the Steelers to the former Ohio State star who turns 25 next week. Publicly, the organization wants competition for QB Kenny Pickett as opposed to replacing him, which is what a Fields trade would do.

Poles explained that initial conversations with other teams began around the Senior Bowl but have heated up since arriving in Indianapolis, though he hasn’t held extensive talks with any one team.

“It starts slow. We were at the Senior Bowl; I know people are kind of poking around there. I haven’t had big-time conversations with anyone. But everyone wants to take a temperature of what’s going on,” he said.

When the Bears will decide their future is unclear. Poles said ideally, things wrap up prior to the starts of free agency on March 13. But the offers other teams make coupled with the Bears’ continued evaluation of this quarterback class will dictate the pace at which they work. Last year, they traded the top pick to the Carolina Panthers on March 10. Perhaps there will be a similar timeline this year.

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