The Chicago Bears appear to be in a holding pattern when it comes to quarterback Justin Fields.

But if the Bears still want to move on from Fields this offseason, they lost a possible trade partner on the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering on Monday.

The Atlanta Falcons decided to take their chances with veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins instead of trying to trade for Fields. The Falcons didn’t skimp on Cousins’ contract, either, even though the 35-year-old is coming off a torn Achilles injury. Cousins landed a four-year, $180 million deal from Atlanta with a $50 million signing bonus.

The fact that the Falcons would rather give a whole mountain of money to an aging Cousins coming off a significant injury rather than trade for Fields, who still has upside despite his glaring flaws, isn’t good news for the 25-year-old signal-caller or the Bears.

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Chicago now has one less team to try to shop Fields to, and that list is growing smaller by the day. The Steelers seemed like a logical spot for Fields, but they no longer are an option with Pittsburgh signing Russell Wilson. The Raiders were a darkhorse candidate for Fields and they went in a different direction, picking up a fringe starting quarterback Monday as well.

The Vikings will be in need of a quarterback now that Cousins signed elsewhere, but it’s hard to imagine Chicago trading Fields within the NFC North.

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That leaves very few teams left for the Bears to partner with on a trade. The New York Giants, New England Patriots or Washington Commanders are in need of a quarterback, but those teams, especially the Patriots and Commanders given their draft position, could pursue other avenues to obtain a quarterback.

The Bears, who are in play to draft their quarterback of the future in Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall next month, are losing leverage when it comes to trading Fields. They might not get the package they want in return, either. Mac Jones, who the Patriots drafted four picks after Fields in 2021, reportedly was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday for a sixth-round pick.

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At this point, the Bears might just have to take whatever deal they can get on the table because the trade market for Fields certainly took a hit.

Featured image via Mike Dinovo/USA TODAY Sports Images