Five QB-Needy Teams Identified Just as the Bears’ No. 1 Pick Goes “For Sale”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter got the rumor mill spinning this morning, reporting that the Bears are “leaning toward” trading the first overall pick (which … lol, yeah we know that’s not exactly Earth-shattering news. But it’s good to hear from Schefter, nonetheless).

With the NFL Scouting Combine starting this week and free agency opening up in about two weeks, the Schefty bomb serves up a reminder that the No. 1 overall pick is still a game-changer that can be had for the right price.

As for who could be in the mix for that top pick, long-time NFL reporter Peter King drops knowledge on potential Bears trade partners in his latest at PFT:

The Bears have the first overall pick in 2023. There are four quarterbacks likely to go in the first half of the first round, and four teams with major quarterback needs in the top nine: Houston (two), Indianapolis (four), Las Vegas (seven) and Carolina (nine). I hear—though it might be smoke—that none of the four wants to scotch-tape a veteran like 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers and probably not Derek Carr. So the Bears, if they’re not going to use the first pick on a quarterback, could get rich quick by using quarterback desperation against these four teams.

Beautiful! Not only does King name-check four teams with quarterback needs, he also underscores each appears to desire to find it in the draft. Not in free agency. Or via trade. But the draft. This is good news for a Bears team holding the No. 1 pick. The pitch to these teams to move up for an opportunity to get their pick of the litter shouldn’t be hard.

And for good measure, ESPN’s Field Yates adds a fifth team to the mix by noting that Atlanta also has a “credible case” to move up draft boards to snag a QB:

Altogether, we’ve got the Texans, Colts, Raiders, Falcons, and Panthers. We’ve discussed all of these teams previously. But it is still nice to see mainstream confirmation of these teams as possible fits.

Quite a collection of trade partners the Bears have to check in over the next few days. And it’s not just that all of those teams pick in the top 10. Although, that helps because the Bears shouldn’t want to slide too far down the board. What makes this sweeter is that each of these teams ranks in the top 10 in draft capital, per PFF. In other words, we looking at QB-thirsty teams who have the most to give. Giggity! This is a dream scenario. And I’m loving living in the moment.

If GM Ryan Poles plays his cards right, he can create a frenzy. Pittin two pairs of division rivals against each other (Colts vs. Texans, Panthers vs. Falcons) sounds like fun. So does nudging a Raiders team that needs to keep interest up in the ever-evolving entertainment landscape of Las Vegas. You couldn’t draw up a better script if you gave it to Roger Goodell’s Hollywood’s best and brightest minds.

Sorting through Schefter’s reporting, Yates’ addendum, and King’s nuggets, I had a thought cross my mind. It is hard to imagine this much smoke floating publicly without the Bears already having momentum toward cutting a deal. To be clear, this isn’t me suggesting anything is imminent. However, there is definitely a certain vibe emanating from today’s noise. And it is essentially screaming: “You better show up to the Combine in Indy with your best offers otherwise you’re going to be outta luck” on Poles’ behalf.

The fun is only beginning. 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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