No, the Bears Aren't Taking QB Anthony Richardson with the Ninth Pick

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No, the Bears Aren’t Taking QB Anthony Richardson with the Ninth Pick

Chicago Bears

The NFL Draft is two weeks from TONIGHT.

Part of me is geeked up about it because I’m looking forward to seeing what the Chicago Bears do with their first-round pick. Not only because the Bears have their own first-rounder for just the second time since 2019, but also because it is a top-10 selection. GM Ryan Poles can do a great many things with that pick. Choosing an offensive lineman sounds good to me because I love the idea of protecting Justin Fields. Picking a defensive lineman sounds good, too. After all, pressuring the quarterback is almost as important as protecting him. Cornerback? It would be a little wild, but it is a premier position in modern football. Receiver? Hey, I’m all for building a souped up modern offense and having four receiver threats sounds awesome. Running back? Admittedly, that might be a bridge too far. But Bijan Robinson is awfully enticing.

With that being said, there is one player I feel strongly that the Bears won’t take. And despite NFL Network Daniel Jeremiah’s positioning, I don’t think Chicago will be choosing Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson with their first-round pick. You can listen to the snippet below:

And this is what Jeremiah had to say in an attempt to justify the pick:

“Let me make the case where it could make some sense. Reset the quarterback clock by two years. So you buy two more years to be able to live off a rookie deal. The roster is going to be in much better shape for a quarterback incoming than it was for Justin Fields when he started his career. So if you’re trying to maximize that five-year window on that rookie contract, you’ve reset it, you’ve got a larger window, you’ve got a better team than you did two years ago.”

Just when you thought these conversations were over, someone finds a way to suck you back in.

As someone who enjoys playing devil’s advocate, part of me wants to understand where Jeremiah is coming from. But part of me has a quizzical look on my face trying to figure out what I just listened to.

For what it’s worth, at least I do understand the value of a quarterback on a rookie-scale deal, pressing the organizational reset button, and building from the bottom. But the Bears just did the slate-cleaning thing (sans the quarterback position) last year. And had Fields not played as well as he did in 2022, the Bears probably wouldn’t have traded out of the first pick and would instead be looking to draft C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young. But to trade out of a spot to take QB1A or QB1B in this draft class to take QB3 or QB4 (depending on how you feel about Richardson or Will Levis) would be one of the most outlandish things a general manager has ever done. It would be 100 percent nonsensical for GM Ryan Poles to go down that road after doing what he has done this offseason.

I’m at a point where rookie quarterback contracts are overrated. Yes, they’re valuable in terms of team-building. There is no denying that having a good quarterback on a rookie deal is awesome. It allows you to spend more elsewhere and build out a roster in a different way that isn’t allowable if you’re spending big bucks on a QB. One of the reasons Jeremiah alludes to trading Fields and drafting Richardson is because Fields will be up for a big deal soon. But if Fields plays well enough to be worthy of a quarterback mega-deal, then that isn’t a bad thing. Pay the man his money and creatively build around him. Do you think the Chiefs are clutching pearls because they’re paying Patrick Mahomes loads of cash? Goodness, no. If your worst-case scenario is paying Fields top dollar because he deserves it, then I think I can live with it.

Admittedly, I’m not one for making bold predictions because I don’t like looking stupid when I’m ultimately proven wrong. But I’d channel my inner Charles Barkley and GUAR-AN-TEE the Bears won’t draft Richardson. Not with the ninth pick. And not with any pick. Heck, if Richardson drops to No. 9, I’d bet on Chicago shops that pick to a QB-thirsty team. Find someone dreaming on Richardson’s upside and potential, then take them to the cleaners. That scenario is far more likely to play out than the one where Chicago presses the reset button for the second time in as many years.

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Author: Luis Medina

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