AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
The Chicago Bears drafted Justin Fields as the team’s quarterback of the future, but the veterans on the roster have been welcoming.
Fields told quarterback coach John DeFilippo that fellow quarterback Nick Foles was one of the first to reach out after the Ohio State product was drafted, per Adam Jahns of The Athletic. Andy Dalton is also expected to help as a mentor.
“They are pros,” DeFilippo said Wednesday. “They understand the profession.”
Dalton signed a one-year deal with Chicago this offseason with the expectation he would be on top of the depth chart.
“They told me I was the starter,” he said in March. “That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here.”
The 33-year-old could hold that role until Fields is ready for the job, but any guidance he provides could lead to a smoother transition under center.
Foles was unlikely to see much playing time regardless after a poor first season with the team in 2020. The Bears traded for the veteran last offseason, but he struggled in his seven starts, finishing with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine total appearances.
His unique contract should still be enough to keep him on the roster. Foles has a $6.67 million cap hit in 2021 on the roster, but the Bears would be left with $14.33 million in dead cap if he is released, per Spotrac.
It means the former Super Bowl MVP can stick around and be a mentor for Fields as the rookie begins his nfl career.