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Chicago Bears could trade up for a quarterback, 3 potential options

Recent indications are that the Chicago Bears’ ownership group might very well prevent their embattled player personnel heads from mortgaging the future in a trade up for a quarterback during the 2021 NFL Draft.

There’s an obvious reasons for this. The powers that be in Chicago can’t be too confident that head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace will be around long-term. Why have that duo handcuff whoever might come in to replace them?

Slated to select 20th overall in Thursday’s NFL Draft, the Bears are currently set to go with veteran journeyman Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback next season. Short of moving up for one of Trey Lance, Mac Jones or Justin Fields, it’s unrealistic to believe that the Bears will be able to add a franchise quarterback in Round 1.

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According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, this has led to Chicago joining the New England Patriots in discussions with teams selecting in the top 10. Specifically, the Bears’ brass is looking at the Detroit Lions (seventh), Carolina Panthers (eighth), Denver Broncos (ninth) and Dallas Cowboys (10th) as potential trade-up partners.

Each of these four teams could potentially look to move down. Detroit has no real need at quarterback after swapping Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff. The Carolina Panthers just traded for Sam Darnold while the Denver Broncos added Teddy Bridgewater to compete with Drew Lock. Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys are set with the recently-extended Dak Prescott.

It’s going to be highly interesting to see which teams opt to move down and find value at other positions later in the first round with five quarterbacks potentially set to go within the top 10. That starts with Trevor Lawrence at one to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson heading to the New York Jets at two. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers will choose between the aforementioned Lance, Jones and Fields at three.

Read More: Chicago Bears mock draft: Full 7-round 2021 NFL Draft projections with QB trade

Chicago Bears quarterback options and pressure to do something

Chicago Bears trade up for Mac Jones
Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones (10) against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It has been noted on a near never-ending loop that the Bears are desperate to land a franchise quarterback. This makes sense after Pace bombed out by trading up for Mitchell Trubisky in the 2017 NFL Draft. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that the general manager and head coach Matt Nagy can rely on Dalton to save their jobs in the Windy City.

As for a potential fit in Nagy’s offense, Mac Jones might make the most sense. The recently-retired Alex Smith had success with Nagy as his offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite some elusiveness, Smith was seen as your more traditional drop-back passer. The same thing goes for Trubisky in Chicago.

With that said, Lance and Fields offer more of a dual-threat ability that the Bears might need in order to take their weak offense to even pedestrian standards. Again, it’s all about what the Bears’ ownership group is looking at. They will have to sign off on any trade. In the process, they’ll also have to sign off on the compensation and the player Chicago selects.

Right now, moving into the top-10 from the 20th selection would likely cost Chicago its 2022 first-round pick and at least one other high-round selection.