Rich Eisen: The Bears Are Already “Long Down the Road of Trading the First Overall Pick”

Owning the No. 1 pick has its perks.

Sure, the Chicago Bears had to lose 14 games (including 10 straight to end the year) to earn their way into that pick. Those were some lean days, weeks, and months of football-watching for us. But the juice was worth the squeeze at season’s end, when the Bears fell into the first pick (thanks in part to Lovie Smith). Since then, we’ve been obsessing over what GM Ryan Poles would do with his newfound gift. Trading the pick has long felt like an obvious end game, but things have really picked up in recent days. Although, today really takes the cake.

Hours after we were discussing Poles laying out what he thinks he can get by trading the first pick while discussing things with Peter King, long-time NFL personality Rich Eisen dropped this bomb on his show:

“The Bears are already long down the road of trading the first overall pick. Teams have been identified, compensation is being hammered out. And sure enough, I saw Ryan Poles say today in Peter King’s Football Morning in America column saying teams kinda want to know maybe before free agency if they have a draft pick high enough to take a kid. And if a team wants that quarterback certainty this early in the process, they’re going to have to pay for it.”

Oh. My. Goodness. That is a spicy meatball that Eisen just dropped on our plate. And it’s not as if he pulled it out of thin air. Eisen spent the week covering the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. As a result, Eisen heard some rumors along the way. Eisen’s nugget about the Bears being “long down the road” when it comes to trading the first pick was part of a compilation of five rumors he heard at the Combine from multiple sources. Even though Eisen made that caveat known, it is still a notable piece of information. One that is preparing us for what could be an unprecedented trade return.

Chicago’s football team is making all sorts of noise right now. Is Poles trying to signal that he wants to trade down to the bottom half of the top 10 because those offers are hot? Are the Bears angling to get better offers from teams in the top 5 by putting this type of stuff out there? Could this front office be using media buzz that this thing could go down soon as leverage to squeeze out offers from GMs who are trying to play it too cool? The options feel endless. And that is good news for a team that looks to be lining up a franchise-altering trade. Not so much for any team that fails to trade up to get that first pick.

There is so much buzz surrounding the Bears that it is replacing caffeine as a driving energy force for me. But you know, I’m here for it. All of it.

The Bears revelation is only a small part of a collection of things Eisen heard at the Combine. And while our focus is obviously on what’s happening with Chicago’s football team, the league-wide stuff is fun, too. Welcome to the part of the NFL offseason that gets hot and heavy. I hope you’re ready for it.

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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