A New Draft Day Trade Partner Emerges for Ryan Poles and the Bears

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A New Draft Day Trade Partner Emerges for Ryan Poles and the Bears

Chicago Bears

Finally, it happened.

An NFL team that had an opening at head coach filled it with a new hire. And in so doing, created a fresh-faced trade partner for the Chicago Bears.

The Carolina Panthers hired Frank Reich as their new head coach. You might remember Reich was the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach from 2018 until his firing during the 2022 season. What you might also remember is that the Colts were rotating veteran stop-gap quarterbacks on a yearly basis in Indy. After Andrew Luck’s departure, the Colts tried it with Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer (2019), Philip Rivers (2020), Carson Wentz (2021), and Matt Ryan (2022). After that run, it is easy to envision a Reich-led Panthers organization wanting a young quarterback to build around.

For what it’s worth, there seems to be a belief that will be the case:

And there is no team better positioned to draft a quarterback worth building around than the Bears, who have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The mere threat of the Panthers being a team possibly in the mix to trade up for a quarterback is good for the Bears. The more teams that have eyes on drafting a quarterback means the Bears gain leverage in negotiations. Having the Texans and Colts potentially jockeying for position is nice. Adding the Panthers as a team on the outside that could jump from No. 9 to No. 1 could force another team to sweeten the pot so they can’t.

Of course, the hangup here might be that trading down to No. 9 might be too steep of a fall. At a minimum, sliding to the ninth pick would likely put the Bears out of a spot where they can take Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. or Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. Then again, it could leave the team in a spot to draft a stud offensive lineman. Justin Fields could use protection in the form of Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., or Georgia’s Broderick Jones. Perhaps a pass catcher such as TCU’s Quentin Johnson or USC’s Jordan Addison fits the bill at that spot. Trading down to the ninth pick isn’t the best or most ideal spot. But if it is the best deal, you’ve gotta take it. Right?

In any case, the Panthers are a team worth watching as we approach the 2023 NFL Draft.

Author: Luis Medina

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