The No. 1 Pick Trade Ryan Poles and the Bears ALMOST Did
That first week of NFL free agency was a doozy. And while the dust has settled to an extent, we’re still left to deal with the fallout. And when it comes to the Chicago Bears, there’s been a lot of woulda-coulda-shouldas; specifically, when it comes to trading the No. 1 overall pick.
First, a report from The Athletic noted the Raiders’ interest in moving up. Eventually, they’d bow out due to (what was clearly a lofty) price. To me, that’s a “no harm, no foul” situation. The Raiders weren’t sending Davante Adams to Chicago. Nor was Vegas willing to make Bears GM Ryan Poles the best offer. Hence, that isn’t all that much of a missed opportunity in my book.
However, FMIA’s Peter King reveals a trade scenario that was on the table and didn’t happen — and it figures to be a topic of conversation today.
From King’s column on Monday morning:
After a conversation with Bears GM Ryan Poles the other night, it sounds like the trade was almost THE TRADE. Poles told me he had significant discussion with Houston at number two that could have made him trade down twice in the top 10—with both the Texans and Panthers. He wouldn’t be specific on what broke down, but he did say: “I thought there was an opportunity to do something historically pretty cool with a trade from one to two and two to nine. That had potential to add more draft capital this year, and then the possibility that you’re sitting on three ones in the following year. That had my attention. But my gut told me to trigger on it now. At the combine, I thought those quarterbacks did an outstanding job in their interview process. A lot of teams felt really good about some of those guys, but as you get further away from the combine, maybe there’s a bad pro day or something that turns teams off.”
Oh, my! Not only did the Bears have something cooking with the Houston Texans, they essentially had an outline of what it would look like for Poles to successfully pull off a double trade-down. We’ve been talking about double-dipping since the moment Houston gifted Chicago the first overall pick in early January. And the Texans and Panthers made sense as ideal trade partners.
Ultimately, I think Poles made the right decision to trade the first pick directly to the Panthers. Getting first-round pick swap and a second-rounder in 2023, another first in 2024, and a second-round pick in 2025 is impressive. Adding D.J. Moore to that puts us over the top. And frankly, that’s all pretty close to what Poles said he was aiming to get weeks/months ago.
Indeed, to the extent you’re sweating it, don’t. Moore should keep us from second-guessing the deal. This particular team – at this specific moment – needed a player like Moore to take this offense up a notch. Maybe Poles could’ve gotten a bigger haul IF he would’ve waited. Or perhaps he could’ve gotten a killer deal if he had done the deal with the Texans and then waited out the Panthers. However, those are two BIG ifs. And there’s no guarantee Carolina would’ve ponied up. And there is no assurance that the Panthers would’ve thrown Moore into the deal. Plus, Poles himself told King that something like a bad pro day showing or something unforeseen could throw trade possibilities for a loop. Or even worse — a dead end.
In the end, Poles did great in his trade with the Panthers. Not only did he get the draft capital he was looking for, he also got this guy to catch passes from Justin Fields:
That’s a win-win to me.