Someone Is Trying to Subvert the Bears Plans to Trade the First Pick
We’re nowhere near the start of silly season, but the ridiculousness is well underway.
One of the NFL’s worst-kept secrets resides in Chicago. Everyone knows the Bears plan to trade the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It is as much of a secret as President Skroob’s luggage code. Between GM Ryan Poles’ public commitment to Justin Fields and sourced reporting sharing the team’s plans, it feels like a trade is inevitable (even if one isn’t imminent). Additionally, seeing a number of mock drafts predict trades during a time when they usually don’t feels like an affirmation that a trade is coming. To be clear, nothing is imminent. Not at this stage of the offseason. But there is a sense it’ll happen at some point down the pipeline.
With that being said, it makes sense that we’re starting to see some pushback. First, in the form of a report that several GMs came away from the Senior Bowl believing the Bears will trade Fields. A little bold? Sure. A little out there? Definitely. However, to me, throwing Fields’ name on the trade block is a unique way to push teams to get serious with their trade offers. It was almost as if Poles could use that report to nudge teams toward trading up because there is an illusion of the Bears taking a QB.
Then again, we need to be mindful of every action coming with a reaction. And this time, it is via reporting from ESPN’s Matt Miller.
Miller and ESPN teammate Courtney Cronin explore potential offers for the first pick. Here, Miller serves as Captain Buzzkill by declaring the Bears “won’t get a king’s ransom” for the top overall pick. Sheesh!
Instead, these are the offers that push through:
- COLTS GIVE: No. 4 overall, a second-rounder (36th overall), a fourth-rounder (107th overall), and a 2024 third-round pick.
- TEXANS GIVE: No. 2 overall, a third-round pick, a fourth-round pick, and a 2024 third-round selection.
- PANTHERS GIVE: No. 9 overall, a third-rounder, fourth-rounder, a 2024 first-round pick, and a 2024 third-round selection.
WELP. That’s one way to subvert expectations. Particularly with the Colts and Texans offers. Keep in mind that Indy and Houston should be wanting to slug it out. After all, both should want to keep their division rival from getting the best draft-eligible quarterback. Ultimately, neither the Colts or Texans proposals make me think that’s the best they could do. They don’t even come off as offers that are all that serious. Step it up, guys. Seriously. Both the Colts and Texans should see each other’s offers and prepare to sweeten the pot. If only to make sure the other doesn’t do it first.
All in all, I’m shrugging it off. To be clear, this isn’t me dismissing Miller’s reporting. Miller spoke with “more than a half-dozen scouts, coaches and executives” around the league to unearth realistic trade possibilities. But there has been too much smoke about what the Bears can get from different trade partners to move me off my stance. We’ve had ESPN’s Adam Schefter say the pick was “worth a small fortune” to the Bears. ESPN’s Todd McShay said Chicago could get a bevy of picks (including a 2024 first-rounder) in a deal. Chicago sports media personality David Kaplan heard the Bears were “going to be inundated” with trade offers. There is just too much buzz elsewhere for me to believe Poles would settle for less in a trade.
Could it fall through at the end of the day? Sure. There are still 69 days between now and the NFL Draft. In other words, so there is plenty of time for this to shake out. However, I’m at a point where I’m convinced the Bears will (1) trade the pick and (2) get a boatload of stuff in the deal. With that in mind, we’ll keep our eyes open for any other scenarios that get floated between now and draft day. This is just the beginning.