Why Justin Fields made zero sense for the New Orleans Saints

Many New Orleans Saints fans grovel that the team didn’t attempt to trade for Justin Fields. However, it's a move that didn't make sense for the black and gold.
Jan 7, 2024; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws a pass
Jan 7, 2024; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws a pass / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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According to Ian Rapoport, four NFL teams inquired about trading for Justin Fields, but we know the New Orleans Saints weren't included. Ultimately, the Chicago Bears traded Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional sixth-round draft pick. Almost immediately, many within Who Dat Nation took to social media to gripe that the Saints missed out on the opportunity to add the quarterback of the future.

Except, the Saints aren't in the market for a quarterback of the future. And if they were, Fields isn't the guy to covet.

The New Orleans Saints are currently in a transitional period. More players from the Drew Brees era are being ushered out the door as years of Mickey Loomis pushing salary cap debts into the future have caught up with the team. The future is now, and the Saints have no choice but to turn over the roster in the next few seasons. However, there are a few reasons why acquiring Justin Fields wasn’t the move for New Orleans.

The New Orleans Saints can’t afford Justin Fields

New Orleans will try to win in 2024, but I think that has much to do with the Super Bowl location than anything. Regardless of the Saints' desires to be competitive in a season during which the NFL's crown jewel comes to the Big Easy, the cap flexibility doesn't allow for significant roster improvements. Justin Fields is included in the discussion.

Fields is entering the final season of a cheap rookie scale deal. Indeed, Pittsburgh will be saddled with the decision to pick up the signal-caller's fifth-year option for $25.664 million for 2025. The Saints cannot afford such a sum with Derek Carr's $51.5 million cap hit on tap. The Steelers have Russell Wilson on the roster for a cool million and no commitment beyond 2024. In New Orleans, Loomis (or his successor) will choose to extend Derek Carr's contract (and lower the cap hit) again or eat $40 million in dead cap to move along.

Either way, committing $50-60 million to the quarterback position is bad business.