Maybe it’s because seven years of operating with an “anything can happen” mindset while Ryan Pace was running the show, but NFL Draft weekend always brings about that sudden sense of optimism in Chicago. Indeed, even though the Bears don’t have a first-round pick this year, there are pockets of people who envision the team making a splashy move to jump-start the Ryan Poles-Matt Eberflus era. And I certainly wouldn’t mind being surprised by such a move.
I just wouldn’t bet on it.
Especially not after hearing the perspective of NFL Network host and analyst Kyle Brandt.
In an interview on the Rich Eisen Show, Brandt was asked about the Bears’ draft weekend plans. However, rather than laying out some pie-in-the-sky dream scenario, Brandt dished with something else:
“If anything, from them, I feel like they’ll be trading assets. I think it’s ‘We have Justin Fields. And anybody else come and get ’em. We are going full trade, sell, beg, borrow, deal, anything.’ The Flus is Loose with the head coach. And it’s like he’s saying ‘we’re going to start this whole thing over. Anybody but Fields.’ If anything, they’ll trade back. If anything, they’ll trade players.”
All right. Maybe the Bears *WILL* be splashy. But it might not be what some have in mind.
Brandt’s words seem to line up with what the public messaging has been from the Bears’ end of things. The general manager has openly said he wants more picks — not just once, but twice. It also lines up with what Poles’ actions have been to this point. Poles successfully sent Khalil Mack packing for a second-round draft pick. He also tried working the trade market in hopes of shopping Eddie Goldman before nothing came of those attempts. Ultimately, the result was the nose tackle’s release early in free agency. More recently, there has been buzz of teams sniffing around a Robert Quinn trade. And while the Bears aren’t necessarily shopping him, maybe some team team bowls them over with an offer. It can’t be out of the realm of possibilities. Perhaps there are other veterans on the team (Cody Whitehair? David Montgomery? Eddie Jackson?) for whom teams might come calling on draft weekend. It definitely feels like everything is on the table right now.
However, one possibility that isn’t being discussed is moving Justin Fields. That much is clear from what Brandt is speaking on. And with good reason. Even Fields’ former head coach still believes the future is bright for the rising second-year QB:
Hearing the quote and context from Kyle Brandt got me wanting to run through a wall for QB1.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 28, 2022
Things didn’t end well for Matt Nagy in Chicago. And it could’ve been really easy to slander Fields as he left Halas Hall. But he didn’t. Not only is that refreshing, it is encouraging.
Even with the optimism rooted in Fields’ upside, I can’t shake what Brandt said about the Bears’ possible draft weekend plans. Could we be on the verge of a trade-happy weekend with the Bears selling off some parts? The GM didn’t want to call it a rebuild, but perhaps that is what we’re looking at that being in our future. What happens with their draft picks this weekend could be telling.
You can watch the entirety of the interview here: