The Chicago Bears traded up to select their next franchise quarterback in Justin Fields. However, it appears the former Ohio State signal-caller won't be calling the shots come Week 1.
After selecting Fields, Bears general manager Ryan Pace confirmed that Andy Dalton will still be the team's starter in 2021.
"Matt [Nagy] has spoken to Andy Dalton tonight; that communication and clarity for us is really important," Pace said, according to Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Andy is our starter, and we're gonna have a really good plan in place to develop Justin and do what's best for our organization and win games."
The Bears signed Dalton to a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason after a shaky 2020 campaign with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles. The 33-year-old went 4-5 for the Dallas Cowboys last season, completing 64.9% of his passes for 2,170 yards and 14 touchdowns against eight interceptions.
Pace added that the Bears are going to let the situation "play out," which likely means Fields could start at some point in 2021 if Dalton struggles.
Fields, widely regarded as the third-best QB in this year's class, slipped out of the top 10 after the San Francisco 49ers selected Trey Lance third overall.
After being selected by the Bears, Fields said he believes he fits "perfectly" in Chicago, adding that Matt Nagy wouldn't have traded up for him if he didn't think it was a perfect fit.