Justin Fields’ projected contract should give Falcons pause

DKB221120052 chi vs atl

With an important offseason ahead for the Falcons, the rumor mill has begun to churn.

Steve Wyche recently said on his NFL Report podcast that he doesn’t see a Justin Fields trade interesting Terry Fontenot, and it makes sense for several reasons.

I don’t think any hurdle is as big as the fit in Zac Robinson’s offense. The former Rams pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach is expected to run some variation of Sean McVay’s system, which has been run most effectively by Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff.

Justin Fields doesn’t share a lot of the same attributes, and honestly, asking a dynamic athlete like Fields to play within a system and not utilize his strongest attribute would be doing him a disservice. It’s exactly what Wyche pointed out.

“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.

On the other side of things, Robinson said the Falcons aren’t closing any doors on the type of quarterback they’ll target, so if he believes he can build a system around Fields to help him realize his full potential, the club should be more open to the idea.

Though the fit is the most challenging obstacle to overcome, it’s hardly the only one. Another aspect to consider is Justin Fields’ contract situation.

The former 2021 first-round pick has a fifth-year option that needs a decision before May 2, so the Falcons would be making a decision on that fully guaranteed $22ish million in 2025 based on Fields’ resume in a pretty terrible situation with the Bears. It’s not ideal.

Let’s assume that Atlanta would like to just guarantee his $3.2 million salary in 2024. There’s a possibility that he will prove the circumstances in Chicago were what was holding him back, and he will put up a career year this season.

That would set Fields up to sign a lucrative as he approaches free agency deal, which also isn’t ideal for the Falcons. According to Spotrac’s model, his long-term projection would be around $283 million over six years.

On the one hand, if you find a franchise quarterback, there’s really no reason not to pay him.

On the other hand, the potential of completely missing out on a rookie deal and making Fields one of the higher-paid quarterbacks in the league has to give the Falcons pause.

It’s just another aspect Terry Fontenot, Raheem Morris and the organization will consider.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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