Vikings Set the Price, Rank the WRs, Learning Curves and Helping Hands, and Other Bears Bullets

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Vikings Set the Price, Rank the WRs, Learning Curves and Helping Hands, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Spending my Saturday taking a day trip on the road to get some fresh air was good for the soul. I should do that more often.

  • Ooh! Some weekend transaction fun:

  • One year after signing Za’Darius Smith away from the Packers as a free agent, the Vikings sent the pass-rushing sack artist to the Browns. That was quick. But not unexpected. Minny was needing cap space. Cleveland was searching for pass-rush help. It makes sense why this deal came together. So instead of seeing Smith twice in 2023, the Bears will see him only once (since the Browns pop up on the Bears schedule). When I saw the news cross the wire, a part of me was bummed. But only because I was holding out hope that Smith would be a post-June 1 cut or a late-in-the-preseason cut candidate Chicago could target. After all, the Bears still need edge help.
  • The good news is that GM Ryan Poles is actively looking for help at defensive end. And the way he was speaking about it on radio interviews on Friday makes me think he is lining up his options. Maybe something isn’t imminent this weekend. But Poles has a way of making moves after publicly making his intentions known. At a minimum, it is something to keep tabs on in the coming days and weeks.
  • And in a bit of more good news, maybe the cost of doing business in a trade won’t be all that wild. Minnesota is getting fifth-round picks in 2024 and 2025 from Cleveland in the deal. In addition to Smith, Cleveland also receives 2025 sixth and seventh-round selections. It makes me wonder if the Bears can send that 2024 fourth-rounder it got from the Eagles to a team as part of a package. Shout out to Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mesah (who interviewed with the Bears, mind you) for laying the groundwork for what should be a relatively light acquisition cost for veteran defensive end help.
  • Adding DJ Moore to this receivers room makes everything look better:

  • The difference a year can make isn’t lost on me. Darnell Mooney should settle in nicely behind Moore. In all honesty, he’ll probably need that because he is coming off an injury-shortened 2022 season. That Mooney is coming back and doesn’t have to be force-fed the ball or pushed too hard in the recovery process is something we shouldn’t overlook. Even if the Bears were to slow-play Mooney’s return, having someone like Chase Claypool behind Moore can help Chicago’s offense stick the landing. It isn’t that a Mooney-Claypool tandem wasn’t enough help for Fields. It’s just that neither was fully operational at the same time for QB1. That’s what happens when one player had to fight through learning the playbook mid-season and the other was hitting their stride only after struggling early in the regular season while adjusting to a new offense.
  • At some point, I’ll need to prepare myself just in case Moore doesn’t pick things up quickly in his new offense. But this is where having guys like Mooney (1+ year under his belt in the offense) and Claypool (half a year + a full offseason) should be helpful. It’ll be fascinating to watch this group grow.
  • That Week 1 Bears-Packers ticket is looking pricy!

  • The get-in price isn’t as high as a Taylor Swift ticket. But some of the secondary market prices for that Bears-Packers game give me some flashbacks.
  • Best wishes and Happy Mother’s Day to all:

  • An addendum: Sending love to those who have lost their mothers, mothers who have lost their children, step-moms, and so many other motherly figures. And to everyone else under the umbrella who I can’t think of immediately, may you have a wonderful Sunday.
  • Some things are bigger than football:

  • It’s impossible for me to not think about this as the last Mother’s Day game my mom would have. But what a good time we had watching our favorite player hit a walk-off homer:

  • Here’s one for the hockey moms:

Author: Luis Medina

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