Bears Could ‘Conceivably’ Trade Back Multiple Times: Sources
The Chicago Bears are largely expected to trade down from the No. 1 overall spot in the 2023 NFL draft to pick up additional assets in the months ahead, but could they take it a step further and pull off a rare, double trade-back move with a pair of quarterback-needy teams? Some around the league believe it could happen.
Heavy Sports insider Matt Lombardo has been asking around about the Bears this week at the 2023 Senior Bowl and has gotten the sense from some of his league sources in attendance that Chicago could “conceivably twice back twice” in the first round, depending on how general manager Ryan Poles plays his hand.
Here’s what Lombardo wrote in his February 1 column for Heavy.com:
Some league sources here for the Senior Bowl suggest that the Bears could conceivably trade back twice if Poles can manufacture a smokescreen that Chicago is interested in a quarterback that a team such as the Houston Texans are intent on targeting, moving to pick No. 2 — potentially for multiple first-round picks, and sliding down again to either pick No. 4 (the Indianapolis Colts), or No. 5 (Seattle Seahawks) and still happily select a player they’d have been thrilled to choose No. 1 overall.
All eyes are on the Bears and what they could do with the No. 1 overall pick as the 2023 NFL draft draws nearer. While there is a minority that believes Chicago’s new regime should trade Justin Fields and use the top pick to select a new quarterback, Poles has done nothing but continue to express confidence in Fields as their 2023 starter and could instead trade the pick to a quarterback-hungry team to better build around him.
Finding the right trade partner, though, is more complicated than simply figuring out which team is willing to make the biggest offer.
“There are a lot of variables when it comes moving out of the top spot,” an NFC Personnel Director told Lombardo. “Especially thinking about how far you’d be willing to trade back, and how many teams are interested in moving up.”
For the time being, the Texans and Colts remain the best-case options for the Bears in terms of moving back in the draft order. Both teams are desperate to solve their quarterback woes and could be willing to offer up multiple first-round picks in exchange for the No. 1 spot, and — as Lombardo noted — the Bears would still almost certainly have their choice of their Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. or Georgia’s Jalen Carter at either No. 2 or No. 4 overall.
Technically, Seattle could also be in play with additional assets from the Russell Wilson trade last offseason, but it depends on whether they re-sign Geno Smith in free agency. If they do keep Smith, the danger in dealing with the Seahawks is they might move up for the Bears’ preferred defensive target instead of a quarterback.
The Texans and Colts might be the ideal two targets for the Bears in a trade-back situation, but that apparently hasn’t stopped other teams from calling.
According to Da Bears Blog, two teams have already “floated offers” to the Bears for their No. 1 overall pick and neither of them is Houston or Indianapolis. While it is unclear how far down Chicago would be willing to trade, it isn’t unreasonable to think they might entertain trade talks with teams inside the top 10, such as the Detroit Lions (No. 6), Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7), Atlanta Falcons (No. 8) or Carolina Panthers (No. 9.
Haven’t tweeted much but I have two things for ya.
1. Fields didn’t become “the guy” last week. He became “the guy” in November. The whole building loves him, and they should.
2. Two teams have already floated offers for first pick. Neither is Texans or Colts. Will be fun.
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) February 2, 2023
Right now, part of the mystery is where the 2023 prospects rank on the Bears’ draft board. NFL scouts might be billing Anderson and Carter as the defensive jewels of the class, but Chicago could always prioritize asset acquisition and move down into a place where they could still get a starter-ready piece for their trenches, such as Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson or one of the Clemson standouts (Myles Murphy and Bryan Breese). Free agency will also be a key component in how they choose to attack the draft.