Bears want to 'do right' by Justin Fields; QB call coming ASAP

Ryan Poles on Justin Fields: 'Doing right by him' will be important (1:24)

Ryan Poles speaks with Kimberley A. Martin about Justin Fields' future with the Bears ahead of the NFL draft. (1:24)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles said Tuesday that he has "no master plan" to reveal at the NFL combine on the team's decision at quarterback but that he understands the weight of the uncertainty on Justin Fields and wants to move "as quickly as possible."

The Bears own the draft's No. 1 pick for a second straight offseason and will decide between keeping Fields or selecting a quarterback in the draft. Poles did not rule out trading the 24-year-old quarterback, a move he said could happen before free agency begins next month.

"It just depends on what opportunities pop up," Poles said. "I will say this, I think you guys know me well enough now, if we go down that road, I want to do right by Justin as well. No one wants to live in gray, I know that's uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to be in that situation either. So, we will gather the information -- we will move as quickly as possible, [but] we are not going to be in a rush -- and see what presents itself and what's best for the organization."

Poles was adamant that he wants to know which direction the Bears will go at quarterback soon.

"Tomorrow," the general manager said. And that wasn't hyperbole.

"No, I would love to know as soon as possible," Poles said. "I would love to know, but I know that's not how the process works. Sure, before free agency would be good. Like I said, I'm also taking, if we were to do something with Justin, I want to do right by him and I know, again, living in that gray space, we would want to do something sooner rather than later. But just like I talk about with contracts, it takes two teams to figure that out, but at the same time, we're also trying to figure out the draft process as well. There's a lot of different things with different timelines going and that's what makes it a little difficult."

Poles and the rest of the Bears' front office and coaching staff will meet with the draft's consensus top prospect, USC's Caleb Williams, and other quarterbacks this week in Indianapolis. The general manager stressed that getting to know draft prospects' personalities and "wiring" are among the most important thing he hopes to take away from the interview process at the combine.

When asked about the notion that Williams or the quarterback's representatives do not want the Heisman Trophy winner to play in Chicago, Poles said he has "no concerns about that at all."

"I would love to know why, if that was the case," Poles said. "I think as a young quarterback, and I've been around it, the infrastructure is important, and I think we've made really good progress in terms of having really good infrastructure for whoever were to come in or if Justin were to stay here as well."

Poles also addressed contract negotiations with second-team All-Pro cornerback Jaylon Johnson. Poles made clear in January that the team intends to get a deal done with Johnson and that it hopes to avoid using the franchise tag and get the 24-year-old cornerback signed to a long-term deal.

"Conversations are going well at this time," Poles said. "We feel like we've done a really good job coming to the table strong and showing the respect that he's due just in terms of his production through his career and really an emphasis on the turnovers he created this past year. Our expectation is that's going to continue to go as he's with the Bears.

"When I say come strong, that means cash flows are strong, guarantees are strong, the term is strong for him; being with his age, there's a really good opportunity to go back to the market again and continue to earn money and play well, and hopefully that's with the Bears for a long period of time, so I'm excited about that. Like I've said about those deals -- all the time -- it takes two to tango and you've got to find a place that everyone feels comfortable with, so I feel really good about that situation."