What the Vikings should be praying the Bears do with the No. 1 pick in 2024

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

A massive decision needs to be made by the Chicago Bears in the 2024 offseason, and whatever they choose will also impact the future of the Minnesota Vikings.

Two years ago, Ryan Poles was a finalist to become the new general manager of the Minnesota Vikings. But before Poles had his second interview with the Vikings, he turned down the role to take the opportunity to become the new Chicago Bears general manager instead.

Fast forward to now, and Poles has the Bears in position to potentially finish the 2023 season with a better record than Minnesota while also entering the 2024 offseason with a ton of cap space and the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

What Chicago's general manager decides to do with that No. 1 draft selection will not only have an impact on the future of his current employer, but it's a choice that will likely affect the future of the Vikings and the two other teams in the NFC North as well.

Why the Minnesota Vikings should be rooting for the Chicago Bears to trade the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

During the next few weeks, Poles has to decide if he wants to trade the No. 1 selection in the 2024 draft or if he wants to keep the pick to use on a new quarterback and trade the Bears' current starting signal-caller, Justin Fields, to another team.

When it comes to what will likely benefit Minnesota the most moving forward, they should be hoping that Chicago decides to keep Fields and trade this year's No. 1 draft pick.

While this would result in the Bears acquiring more assets to build their roster, it would also mean that they won't be restarting at quarterback with a new rookie contract.

Fields will be entering the fourth year of his rookie deal in 2024, and if he continues to play how he did in 2023, he's likely going to want a lucrative contract extension by 2025.

Eventually, this would shrink Chicago's window to compete for a title, and if Fields regresses at all, an extension will make it more difficult for the Bears to move on from him.

If Chicago were to trade Fields, they would not only acquire more assets to build their roster, but they would also get the opportunity to select one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2024 draft pool and have the benefit of having a starting signal-caller with a brand new, affordable rookie contract.

So, basically, the two paths the Bears can take this offseason are to either increase their window to win by keeping the No.1 pick in the 2024 draft and trading Fields or to not have as much time to attempt to win a Super Bowl by keeping Fields and trading next year's No. 1 draft selection.

The decision seems like an obvious one for Chicago to make, but the Vikings and the rest of the NFC North should hope that the Bears take the path that likely gives them a smaller window to win a championship.