Browns shockingly linked to Justin Fields in trade with Bears

The trade proposals from way out in left field continue to roll in as the Browns are somehow being linked to Justin Fields

Cleveland Browns, Justin Fields
Cleveland Browns, Justin Fields / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone wants the Cleveland Browns to move on from Deshaun Watson. The problem is that the Browns don't want to move on from him. Watson, who was added in a blockbuster trade in 2022, is a polarizing figure and has yet to take off for Cleveland but the Browns didn't make this massive investment to give up after he went 5-1 in 2023 and then suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

That won't stop the predictions from coming though as we've already seen Mike Tannenbaum come up with a proposal to send Watson to the New York Giants, along with a second-round pick, for Daniel Jones. This deal would be a disaster for both sides, making it laughable at best.

Now another idea that would be tough to pull off has surfaced. Seth Walder of ESPN said if he were in charge, he would try and send a Day 2 pick to the Bears for Justin Fields. The former Ohio State quarterback was showing signs of improved

"This is a wild one, I know. But if I were the Browns, I would look at Deshaun Watson as mostly a sunk cost and try to upgrade at quarterback. With no first-round pick and so much money already heading Watson's way, this would be tough to do. But trading a second- or third-round pick for Fields (still on his rookie contract) is feasible, and I'd like to see Fields in Kevin Stefanski's offense. The alternative is simply hoping that Watson improves and, if not, wasting another year of a talented roster." — Walder, ESPN

Chicago is expected to move on from Fields, who they selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Owning the first pick in 2024, the Bears are projected to add Caleb Williams from USC and shop Fields. There should be a market for him after throwing for 2,562 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine picks in 2023. In addition to his improvement as a passer, Fields also had 657 yards on the ground — after going for 1,143 the prior season.

Browns aren't looking to replace Deshaun Watson

It's fair to assume Fields would succeed under Kevin Stefanski. It's also safe to say the Browns could be a dangerous team with him after they won games in 2023 with four different starters. What can't be said with any confidence is that Cleveland is actually looking to move on from Watson.

Despite constant discussions from the outside, the decision-makers in Berea remain committed to Watson as their starter. And in all honesty, they should be.

Everyone knows 2022 was a lost year due to an 11-game suspension. The Browns used that season to get Watson ready during his final six games. That means they're likely judging him solely on what happened in 2023.

Overall, he was inconsistent with 1,115 yards while completing 61.4 percent of his passing attempts with a 7-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He did add another touchdown on the ground while running for 142 yards.

Watson himself would admit he expects better from himself but the fact remains that Cleveland was winning with him before he suffered a shoulder injury. That's why they're not going to go and add Fields, Jones, or any other quarterback that will replace Watson. With a fully guaranteed deal, Watson will get paid by the Browns even if they bring in Fields. And while he's on a rookie deal right now, he will need to be extended before Watson's contract runs out, making it even less likely they would entertain this idea.

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