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Carolina Panthers acquire No. 1 pick from Bears in blockbuster

Jan 31, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich speaks at his introductory press conference at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina is on the clock after the Panthers traded two first-round picks, second-rounders in 2023 and 2025 and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, several reports said Friday night.

The Panthers are in position to draft the quarterback of their choice, owning the top pick for the first time since selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in 2011.

Chicago general manager Ryan Poles made his intentions clear at the NFL Scouting Combine — he intended to trade the pick to the highest bidder while committing to Justin Fields at quarterback.

The Bears stand to lose out on several top-ranked prospects in the deal by taking Carolina’s first-round pick in the 2023 draft, No. 9 overall, and the Panthers’ second-rounder (61st). But Poles made it clear in Indianapolis that the Bears felt they would get a “great player” regardless of the deal, which sets the franchise up with multiple first-round picks for the 2024 draft and multiple second-rounders in the 2025 draft.

Carolina hired Frank Reich as head coach after Matt Rhule was let go during the 2022 season. The Panthers made multiple trades in an attempt to fill the quarterback spot under Rhule.

But former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield didn’t pan out last season and Sam Darnold, originally drafted third overall by the New York Jets in 2018, failed to secure the position.

Other quarterback-needy teams who had hoped to move up in a trade with the Bears included the Indianapolis Colts (fourth overall) and Las Vegas Raiders (seventh overall).

–Field Level Media

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