General manager Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears have done it. After weeks of rumors that Chicago would move down from the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the team has come to terms on a blockbuster trade.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Chicago has sent the first selection to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a package that includes the ninth selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, future first-round picks and more compensation.
Here’s the early details of the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers blockbuster trade that shakes up the foundation of the 2023 NFL Draft as we know it.
- Chicago Bears get: 9th pick and 2nd-round pick in 2023, 1st-round pick in 2024, 2nd-round pick in 2025, D.J. Moore
- Carolina Panthers get: 1st pick
With teams looking to move up in the draft to land a top quarterback, Chicago was in an advantageous position in talking potential trades. For Carolina, the likes of Bryce Young (Alabama), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) and Anthony Richardson (Florida) have to be seen as targets.
As for Chicago, it made perfect sense to pull the trigger on one of the biggest blockbuster NFL Draft trades in some time. While he’s been inconsistent through two seasons, former first-round pick Justin Fields was not the problem for a three-win Bears team in 2022. He played stellar all-around football.
- Justin Fields stats (2022): 60.4% completion, 2,242 passing yards, 1,143 rushing yards, 25 total TD, 11 INT
We read rumors that Chicago’s brass might not be 100% sold on Fields as its long-term option at quarterback. He still has a lot to prove. But moving off the highly talented young quarterback for another unproven option didn’t make much sense in the first place.
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Analyzing Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers blockbuster NFL Draft trade
The Carolina Panthers have been searching for a quarterback of the future over the past several years. The failed Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield experiments made general manager Scott Fitterer pull the trigger in a big way.
In return, the Chicago Bears add several valuable picks to the mix after posting an ugly 3-14 record and losing its final 10 games a season ago.
The team has needs all over the field, including finding Fields more wide receiver weapons after major struggles in that regard over the past two seasons. Acquiring offensive line help is a need on that side of the ball, too.
As for Chicago’s defense, it has dealt away former Pro Bowl edge rushers Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack over the past calendar year. With a number of top edge guys available in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Bears could potentially go in that direction with the ninth pick.
There’s going to be a lot of talk in the Windy City about this massive Chicago Bears blockbuster trade moving forward. What we do know is that it opens up a bounty of options for Poles and Co. to become relevant once again.