Will Justin Fields, Jaylon Johnson survive the deadline?

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears game against the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday may be the straw that breaks the camels back, but before the clock moves forward to another Bears gameday, the question begs to be asked — will Justin Fields and Jaylon Johnson survive the trade deadline?

At least one media outlet has speculated on a Fields trade, while Johnson has been asked publicly about the possibility of him being shipped off to another NFL roster, if Chicago goes into sell mode during a lost season.

According to the Athletic’s Jeff Howe, he would like to see the Bears move Fields to the Atlanta Falcons for quarterback Taylor Heinicke, a 2024 second round pick, and a 2025 conditional third round pick.

Howe added the caveat that trades in the Tuesday article are ones that he and colleague Mike Jones would like to see, but don’t necessarily see actually happening.

The reasons for why it made sense to Howe were that Chicago is (once again) tracking toward the no. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and it may be best to maximize Fields’ trade potential now. Fields is also a Georgia native, born in Kennesaw, and Howe said he would also be a good scheme fit in Arthur Smith’s offense.

The reasons why it wouldn’t work though, include topics already well discussed among Bears faithful — General manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus have put in the time, effort and capital to surround Fields with talent, and before his recent thumb injury, Fields was trending in the right direction with eight touchdowns in his previous two games, and he may be near turning the corner for Chicago.

As for Jaylon Johnson, he was asked directly about the possibility of him and others in the defensive backs room being traded at the deadline on 670 The Score Monday morning.

“I’m not oblivious, I’m not blind and I’m not exempt at the end of the day,” Johnson said on the Parkins and Spiegel Show. “When you trade Roquan away, when you trade Robert Quinn away, man, you can trade anybody away. So, I mean, I’m definitely not exempt.”

Johnson was candid and honest about how the NFL is a business and anything can happen, but also stated his intention is to remain a Bear, now and for the foreseeable future.

“I know what’s going on. I know what is to be figured out and different things like that. At the end of the day, the Bears got to do what’s best for them and I got to do what’s best for me. Whatever happens with that happens,” Johnson said. “I’m not forcing anything. Like I’ve been saying from day one, I want to stay here. This is my first team, my home, I bought a house here, everything. All my plans were to stay in Chicago.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson has the tenth-highest defensive grade in the NFL among cornerbacks, and the eighth-highest pass coverage grade so far this season.

The Bears have been active participants at the trade deadline in recent history. At the trade deadline last year, Poles moved the likes of Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn for several draft picks and linebacker depth, while also bringing in the now-departed Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for pick no. 32 in the 2023 NFL Draft, which turned into the Steelers taking cornerback Joey Porter Jr. out of Penn State.

So far this year, Poles traded Claypool and a 2025 seventh round selection to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a 2025 sixth round pick.

The NFL’s trade deadline is Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, leaving roughly 11 days until the trade deadline’s arrival.

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