Bears Trade Block Update: Who’s Next?

The Bears trading Robert Quinn puts us on high alert for possible trades coming down the pipeline. And between the NFL Trade Deadline being six days away, coupled with first-year GM Ryan Poles being a wheelin’-and-dealin’ type, the Bears could be busy.

With that being said, let’s explore some other trade possibilities.

David Montgomery

Montgomery is a popular locker room presence, productive player when healthy, and someone for which GM Ryan Poles seems to genuinely have an affinity — which says something, considering that Montgomery was a player he inherited from the old regime. But last week’s Christian McCaffrey trade serves as a reminder that anyone can get dealt at any given time. And that has us pondering a possible Montgomery move.

Montgomery is in the final year of his rookie contract, and there hasn’t been much regarding a possible extension. It is possible the Bears are waiting out the year to see how Montgomery fits in new Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy’s system. Extending a multi-year offer (in an offseason where there is ample cap space to be used) for a locker room leader who is still has something to offer beyond intangibles after seeing if they’re potentially a fit is sensible. But so is trading a player at the deadline before his contract expires.

To be clear, the McCaffrey deal isn’t going to be a perfect comp for a hypothetical Montgomery trade. McCaffrey is more skilled and accomplished than Montgomery. And the 49ers saw value in adding star power to a hotly contested NFC West race. Montgomery doesn’t have that star power. And that he is under contract for just the rest of this season will limit his trade value further. But we saw the Jaguars get a conditional sixth-round pick for James Robinson, which gives us an idea of what Monty’s trade value could be. Is that enough to move the needle for a trade? I could be convinced, but I’m not totally feeling it just yet.

Roquan Smith

Poor Roquan Smith was in an awkward situation as the Quinn trade news broke during his media availability. It did not go all that well, with Smith cutting short his press conference. And soon, I suppose it is possible that Smith could be on the way out, too. Remember, Smith is playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal and will become a free agent this offseason. That is, of course, unless the Bears pony up with an extension or the Franchise (or Transition) tag. And with that in mind, Smith could be on the trade block, too.

It pains me to write that last sentence. Not just because watching another fan favorite shipped for assets to be used for the future comes with familiar pain. Although, I can’t front. Simply discussing trading Roquan after watching Jed Hoyer ship off Anthony Rizzo, Javier Báez, and Kris Bryant — then dealing with the omnipresent Willson Contreras trade rumors — puts my head in a tizzy. However, there is a non-zero chance that a Smith trade could present itself. And we need to prepare for it. But let it be known that any deal shouldn’t be on a bargain.

Keep in mind that Smith is on pace for another Pro Bowl and All-Pro caliber season. And that the Franchise/Transition tags give teams the possibility to have additional years of control beyond this season. A stud player in the middle of a defense should have tremendous value, even if the importance of having an elite inside/WILL linebacker isn’t what it once was.

Hmmm. Now that I’m writing it, the Christian McCaffrey deal could be a somewhat of a direct comp for a theoretical Smith trade. Both are players in their prime, stars at their respective positions, but play roles that aren’t as high on the positional importance chart as they once were.

So … I’ll ask the hypothetical: Would 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks in 2023, as well as a fifth-rounder in 2024 be enough to sway you into a Roquan Smith trade?

Eddie Jackson

The Eddie Jackson revenge tour has been fun to watch. After a few years middling under Chuck Pagano and Sean Desai, Jackson’s first season with Matt Eberflus and Alan Williams has been dynamic. Jackson has been deployed in a variety of ways, leading him to returning to his prime playmaker days. This is the Jackson we’ve been missing in recent years. But because of his return to form, Jackson could be someone other teams come calling to trade for ahead of the deadline.

On the one hand, it would sting seeing Jackson sent packing in the midst of a bounce-back year. And the rapport he and rookie Jaquan Brisker have at safety is nice. Think about it. Pass-rush concerns will be amplified after Quinn’s trade. So you’ll want that secondary to be on its P’s and Q’s. But on the other hand, I struggle envisioning a Jackson trade happening. Jackson has a sizable cap number and the Eberflus defense leans hard on the secondary. And at age 29, Jackson could still have some prime years left in the tank. In other words, it would likely take something significant to move a revitalized Jackson.

The NFL’s trade deadline is in six days. Buckle up.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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