The Poles Purge, Dissenting Opinions on Roquan Trade, Fields Fantasy Stock, Dead Money Moves, and Other Bears Bullets

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The Poles Purge, Dissenting Opinions on Roquan Trade, Fields Fantasy Stock, Dead Money Moves, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Happy NFL Trade Deadline Day! Grab me an extra cup of coffee, please.

  • The Roquan Smith trade from the Bears to the Ravens isn’t officially official just yet. In fact, Roquan is still listed as a Bears starter on the team’s official depth chart as of the start of this set of Bullets. But I have no doubts it’ll get through. And once it crosses the finish line, we’ll have all sorts of reaction to the fallout.
  • And once it does, we can start looking forward to seeing Roquan’s return in primetime:
  • In 2023, the Bears are scheduled to play an AFC North team that finishes in the same place in the standings as Chicago. And while I doubt that will be the Ravens, there is a non-zero chance that happens. Otherwise, the next scheduled Bears-Ravens title isn’t until 2025 (and in Baltimore). Just in case you had eyes on a Roquan revenge game.
  • As the Tribune’s Brad Biggs writes, the teardown part of the process is almost over. And soon, even more heavy lifting will begin:
  • Since GM Ryan Poles took over, we’ve seen the team trade two Pro Bowl pass-rushers, watched two starting defensive tackles sign elsewhere in free agency, witnessed a two-time 1,000-yard receiver leave as a free agent, and are set to say “so long” to a Pro Bowl caliber linebacker. But we’ve also seen Poles sign more than 50 new players onto their roster, make 11 draft picks, create a situation under the cap where the team has more than $100 million worth of wiggle room, and projects to have at least nine draft picks. In other words, the teardown portion of this — while still ongoing — is just the beginning. The best (a.k.a. the full-on team building) is yet to come.
  • This really puts the pick additions into perspective:
  • Want to properly build around Justin Fields? Get your general manager a boatload of draft capital and a crap ton of cap space.
  • If things go well in the future, we’ll look back at this fondly and probably give it a fun nickname like the Poles purge:
  • Eddie Goldman, Jimmy Graham, Tarik Cohen, and Danny Trevathan aren’t even on active rosters. Nick Foles is QB3 in Indianapolis. Last I checked, Mario Edwards Jr. was on someone’s practice squad. So. Much. Dead. Weight.
  • Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago) writes that the Smith trade demonstrates that Poles understands the rebuild process. And that isn’t something we should overlook. I’ll even take it a step further. By trading Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, Poles makes it evident that he understands the rebuild process, where the Bears are at in it, and what needs to be done in order to dig out of the franchise’s current position. Moreover, the Roquan trade doesn’t get the green light unelss Head Coach Matt Eberflus co-signs it. So, by virtue of that co-sign, I can conclude that Eberflus gets it, too. Admittedly, I’ve been unsure how the Poles-Eberflus tandem would go about rebuilding this in their own vision. With their recent trades, the Bears’ top football minds have left no doubt of this franchise’s direction.
  • Eli took the words off my fingertips yesterday:
  • The way that Da Bears Blog’s Jeff Hughes puts it has me thinking now was probably the best time to trade Smith. Between Chicago’s team needs, Smith’s uneven production this season, and a clear fracture in the relationship between the player and front office, it makes sense to pull the plug now rather than let it fester into the offseason and deal with it later. Some relationships hit a point of no return. It happens both in life and in football. And the one between Smith and Poles met its expiration date on Monday.
  • But let the record show that there isn’t a consensus on the Smith trade. Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) describes the deal as “regrettable and counterproductive” for the Bears. I want to understand where Lieser is coming from, but I struggle to co-sign a trade of an off-ball linebacker in modern football in a deal that clears cap space and adds picks to a team that needs both things for the rebuild that so many were craving as regrettable or counterproductive.
  • Lieser’s Sun-Times teammate Patrick Finley calls it Poles’ “Mitch Trubisky moment” — which is a bit cringe inducing. The Trubisky trade was the right move at the right time with the absolute wrong process. Had Ryan Pace done a better job in the quarterback-selecting process, we’d think about that trade-up differently. I mean, the Chiefs did a tradeup of their own for a quarterback in that draft. Think they regret it? They don’t. Process matters.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) lays out why it made sense to make the trade:

(Smith) has not been the best linebacker in football, and as Poles figures out whom to build around, if he’s going to choose an off-ball linebacker in this era of the NFL, that player had better be a notch above. We know from negotiations that the Bears did not view Smith in that light. A great player, yes, but not the highest-paid linebacker in the sport. So get what you can for him, right?

  • Frankly, I can’t wait to see how it all plays out when all the cards are played.
  • This probably means the Bears won’t be moving a player with a large salary such as Eddie Jackson or Cody Whitehair:
  • It looks like the Bears are well-positioned to take on some salary in a trade (if necessary):
  • Bring it on!
  • Ahem:
  • Oh, yeah. We still have on-field stuff to talk about:
  • Hope you got in on the Fields fantasy stock before it shot up:
  • Ah, yes. It’s scapegoat season:
  • The Colts have gone from Carson Wentz (cooked), to Matt Ryan (also cooked), to Sam Ehlinger (is Texas football back yet?) slinging it at quarterback. Marcus Brady had no shot to survive that offensive clusterjunk. But someone has to be the fall guy for a team whose offensive play calls are made by the head coach.
  • Return of the Zach:
  • Ah, so this explains why the Blackhawks are doing more winning than we were expecting:
  • MLB’s offseason hasn’t even begun yet and I’m already annoyed by the Cardinals:


Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.