Aspects of a Justin Fields trade that Falcons will consider

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The Falcons have to fill a few positions this offseason, but everyone will be watching what they do at one in particular.

Quarterback play was the single biggest factor in Atlanta’s shortcomings last season; Arthur Smith lost his job because of it. Atlanta’s former head coach put his faith in Desmond Ridder, effectively hitching his wagon to the third-round pick, and it bit him in the ass.

Even before being fired, Smith acknowledged the need for a change, telling Arthur Blank on the idea that a new quarterback would unlock the Falcons offense in a pitch for a fourth season. The organization’s owner recognized as much as well.

“It’s very clear to everybody — all of our fans, all of you, anybody throughout the NFL — is that this is a position that we need to figure out how we’re going to get better in 2024 and beyond that as well, whether that be trades, free agency, the draft, whatever it may be,” Blank said. 

The most connected name to the opening has been Justin Fields, and there are several aspects of the potential accusation the Falcons will consider.


The Falcons have to weigh the fact that Fields is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, which comes with a decision regarding his fifth-year option.

Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris will have to either pick up his fifth-year option, which will pay him just under $22 million in 2025, or decline it and possibly walk in free agency. Fields will only cost around $3.2 million in 2024, though.

Regardless, the Falcons will have a difficult decision with no data on him in Atlanta, just from his three seasons in Chicago.

Trade Compensation

How much are the Bears going to demand in a Justin Fields trade? The Falcons cannot be frugal when attacking the position this offseason, but there’s a limit. There’s no reason to send Chicago anything more than a Day 2 selection. Any talk of a first-round pick should result in Terry Fontenot hanging up the phone.

Schematic Fit

Zac Robinson hails from Sean McVay’s offensive tree, which begs the question, would Justin Fields fit the new Falcons offensive coordinator’s system? Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, etc. don’t share a lot of the same qualities as Fields. It’s not to say Justin Fields can’t be that type of quarterback who has thrived in the McVay-Shanahan offenses, he just hasn’t shown it in the NFL on a consistent basis.

Also asking Fields to sit in the pocket would be a disservice to himself and the offense. He’s one of the most electric athletes with the ball in his hands in the league, so acquiring him would effectively mean Robinson is going to tweak the offense to maximize Fields’ skill set or else it’ll be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

There will be other considerations like fit in the locker room, but his contract, the trade compensation, and his fit on paper will be the major talking points in Flowery Branch as the Falcons consider the possibility of a Justin Fields trade.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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