Bears' Cole Kmet recalls 'really upsetting' moment he learned Justin Fields was traded

One Chicago Bears player is upset that Justin Fields is no longer on the team.

Tight end Cole Kmet got a call from Bears head coach Matt Eberflus, who told him that Fields was going to be traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Eberflus made it a point to call Fields’ close friends, knowing that not everyone on the team was going to like the move.

Kmet said on the “CHGO Chicago Bears Podcast” that he was actually planning to hit the town for some St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but when he got the call, he decided to stay home instead.


Justin Fields and Cole Kmet of the Chicago Bears are shown before the Browns game on Dec. 17, 2023, in Cleveland. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

“Obviously, really upsetting that it came to that and where it was at that moment, but you kind of felt like the writing was on the wall with that,” Kmet said.

It was no secret GM Ryan Poles was going to shop around to find a suitor for Fields despite only being with the Bears for three seasons. Chicago owns two top 10 picks in this year’s NFL Draft, including No. 1 overall, and it’s been expected they will use that on a new quarterback for the organization. USC’s Caleb Williams is the likely choice there.

Poles said before the new league year began that the Bears’ direction would be revealed with their moves before the draft, and trading Fields all but solidifies the use of that first overall pick for a quarterback.


Kmet has developed quite a rapport with Fields since the latter was the 11th overall pick of the 2021 Draft. Kmet, who went in the second round to Chicago out of Notre Dame, saw his best season in a Bears uniform last year with 719 yards on 73 receptions and six touchdowns.

Because of his relationship with his quarterback, Kmet appreciated that Eberflus called him.

Justin Fields, left, and Cole Kmet of the Chicago Bears warm up in Cleveland for the Browns game on Dec. 17, 2023. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

“I don’t expect them to call me for that kind of thing, but it’s always nice when they do reach out,” he explained. “I think that’s a classy move by them to let guys who have been with Justin and are close with Justin let them know about the decision and why they made the decision.”

The trade ushers in a new era of Bears football, one the organization hopes can be a quick turnaround. Poles certainly made the right moves this offseason to do so, beefing up the offensive line, reaching a trade with the Los Angeles Chargers for veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen, and re-signing/bringing in defensive help like safety Kevin Byard.

Chicago’s roster on paper is a young group that Williams, or any other quarterback, can fit in perfectly.

“I still think [it is] really exciting times for the Bears here,” Kmet said. “This is really exciting times, and with whatever rookie they decide to go with, looks like that’s the direction that it’s going. What a great opportunity. What a great opportunity for a young kid to come in here with an infrastructure in place and be ready to go win football games from the get-go.”

Justin Fields of the Bears, right, walks with Cole Kmet after throwing an interception against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field on Oct. 1, 2023, in Chicago. (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Kmet is also one of the players the Bears wanted to keep around; he signed a four-year, $50 million deal to remain the starting tight end.

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Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.

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