“I don’t see it”: Steve Wyche on Terry Fontenot trading for Justin Fields

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The rumor mill is beginning to churn around Flowery Branch as the Falcons begin the process of finding a new quarterback this offseason.

With the NFL Combine set to begin on Monday and the new league year shortly after, we will soon gain a better understanding of what Atlanta’s plans are to attack the position.

Most recently, Daniel Jeremiah revealed in his latest mock draft that former head coach candidates came away from their interviews with Arthur Blank that Atlanta’s owner wants to find a young quarterback.

“Based off just a lot of a buzz and chatter of folks that are connected to those who interviewed for that job and there seemed to be a thought coming out of those coaching interviews that from ownership at the very top they want a young quarterback,” Jeremiah explained when talking about his latest mock draft that had the Falcons selecting J.J. McCarthy.

Moreover, we have more clarity on the Falcons’ potential preference. From their podcast NFL Report, Steve Wyche and James Palmer alluded to the Falcons targeting a young quarterback in the draft, not trading for one — a la Justin Fields.

“A team like the Falcons at 8, when we talked to Terry Fontenot, I very much got from the general manager that they want to draft a quarterback,” Wyche began.

“I think mentioning the Falcons coming up, I think is a very, very poignant message. I think that is a team that maybe doesn’t really look to go the veteran route. I know some people have tied them to Justin Fields,” James Palmer responded.

“I don’t see it,” Wyche muttered.

“We had Terry Fontenot on this show, Steve. Didn’t he just sound like, we value draft picks, we value building through the draft, and a young quarterback coming in, even if we have to move up for him, looks to be more something that the Falcons would do,” Palmer continued.

Steve Wyche is about as plugged in as any pundit is to the Falcons organization. If he believes Terry Fontenot isn’t going to target Justin Fields, I tend to believe that’s the case.

It makes sense for several reasons too.

Fields’ contract isn’t attractive anymore. The Falcons would have to decide on his fifth-year option immediately after trading for him with no data on him in Atlanta’s system. That would guarantee a $22-ish million salary for 2025, which is a bargain if he’s your guy but still a gamble. If the Falcons wanted to wait and see with Fields by not exercising his fifth-year option, they’d be in a worse spot next offseason if he proves he’s the guy and in need of a new contract.

Secondly, and maybe more importantly than the contract situation is his potential fit within Zac Robinson’s offense. The Falcons’ new offensive coordinator is expected to run something similar to Sean McVay’s offense in Los Angeles, which doesn’t exactly mesh with Fields’ skill set.

“The Falcons, their new coordinator Zac Robinson is coming from LA. Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford, that scheme does not fit Justin Fields, right?” Wyche added.

I’ve grown colder to the idea of the Falcons trading for Justin Fields because of the fit more than anything. If Robinson comes out and says ‘I can make it work with Fields’ then I’d change my tune.

Photographer: William Purnell/Icon Sportswire

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