Steelers hosed the Bears in 2022 trade, and they could do it again this offseason

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers, Justin Fields
Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers, Justin Fields / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

You know what they say: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." This is what Pittsburgh Steelers fans are hoping the Chicago Bears say to themselves this offseason. On March 13th at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, NFL clubs will be free to begin trading as the trade period officially opens back up, per Football Operations. It just so happens that the Bears have something the Steelers could use.

It's no secret that Justin Fields is the biggest trade asset who is destined to become available early this offseason. Though the former first-round quarterback showed promise in his third season in Chicago, the Bears can't justify rolling the dice on Fields -- knowing that he will need a new contract soon -- when USC's Caleb Williams has now fallen into their lap with the number one pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

One option would be for Chicago to trade away the first pick in an effort to rake in a king's ransom. But would a team that has a history of bad quarterback play be willing to do such a thing when they could potentially draft a franchise-changing player? Probably not.

Whispers are that the Bears will be open to trading Fields, and the Pittsburgh Steelers could pull another fast on GM Ryan Poles and Chicago's front office.

Steelers could poach Justin Fields from the Bears at an affordable price

In 2022, the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off the trade of the year as they sent WR Chase Claypool packing his bags to Chicago. In exchange, the Bears offered up their original second-round pick -- a pick that ultimately turned into the 32nd overall selection in 2023 (the Dolphins lost their first-round pick for tampering, so this was the top selection of the second round).

Thanks to the Steelers-Bears trade just before the deadline, Pittsburgh was able to turn Chase Claypool into CB Joey Porter Jr. This was about as one-sided as it comes in terms of NFL trades.

Now the Steelers could have a chance to hose the Bears for a second time in less than two years. Pittsburgh is in the market for a quarterback, and they understand that Chicago is going to have to move him if they are indeed set on taking their QB in the 2024 NFL Draft.

This means that -- unless multiple teams get into a bidding war -- the Bears may be forced to take the best offer that comes. Chicago will likely ask for a first-round pick for Fields starting off, but when nobody bites, they will be forced to reduce their asking price.

It's being rumored that Fields could be acquired at the cost of a second-round pick and a future Day 2 pick. The idea of potentially significantly boosting their quarterback play at this cost should be enticing to Omar Khan and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fields is far from a safe bet. His passing EPA in his first three seasons is cringe-worthy, but he has been at the mercy of bad coaching and an untalented offense. Ironically, so has Kenny Pickett in Pittsburgh (Matt Canada was no peach). The difference is the immense talent gap between the two signal-callers.

Coming out of college, Pickett was expected to be a pro-ready prospect who could come in and start for a team right away. It turns out that he had a lot more developing to do than what talent evaluators initially thought. Pickett is also somewhat maxed out in terms of tools. He does not have a big arm, and he has made big players at an extremely low rate.

In terms of physical gifts, Fields is the opposite. With a cannon of an arm and virtually unmatched mobility, the former first-round pick could revitalize his career on a much better franchise in Pittsburgh. Fields would fit well with Arthur Smith's wide zone offense that would offer simple reads and the ability to take off and run with the football off play-action bootlegs.

Who knows? Maybe the Bears think that this is their shot to steal back the draft capital from Pittsburgh that the Steelers stole from them in the Chase Claypool trade. I would be willing to return the favor at the potential upside of landing a franchise quarterback. Justin Fields won't be for everyone, but he would certainly give the Steelers a boost and could help this team make a playoff push if all goes well.