Sunday, June 16, 2024

Bears Reportedly Almost Gave Up Austin Booker To Get Rome Odunze


The NFL draft is the ultimate showcase of what-ifs in pro football history. The moves teams make can sometimes decide the franchise’s direction for years to come. Even the smallest decision can have gigantic implications. However, sometimes, it’s the moves you don’t make that can end up having the greater impact. GM Ryan Poles may find that out in the near future. NFL Films recently released new footage from the 2024 draft covering several warrooms on The Pick Is In for the Roku Channel. The Chicago Bears were among those teams involved. While everybody remembers the selection of Caleb Williams, they might be shocked at how much drama surrounded the one for Rome Odunze. Specifically how it almost cost them Austin Booker.

A new clip shows Poles speaking with assistant GM Ian Cunningham about calling the Atlanta Falcons about moving up from #9. Atlanta sat at #8. Chicago wanted to see if they’d drop down one spot in exchange for a future 4th round pick, similar to the deal made with Philadelphia last year. The Falcons ended up not taking the deal, preferring to stay put and select Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. The Bears got Odunze at #9. That 4th rounder that Poles was ready to surrender ended up going to Buffalo two days later in exchange for their 5th round pick, allowing Chicago to grab Booker.

Austin Booker may teach Poles the value of patience.

Credit must go to Cunningham. It was evident by the clip that he didn’t see the point of calling Atlanta. He knew they weren’t taking Odunze. All signs indicated they weren’t focused on wide receivers. Poles likely feared that somebody else might trade up first, so he wanted to gauge their interest in a pick swap. It didn’t go that way. Chicago got to keep their pick while getting the player they wanted all along. If Austin Booker becomes a productive pass rusher for the team, that non-deal may go down as one of the most important in recent Bears history.

Recent updates from practices suggest the rookie looks good. Montez Sweat even admitted excitement at seeing Booker develop. People were shocked he came out of college at all. They expected him to stay another year. He’d only played one season for Kansas. Had he stayed, there is a strong likelihood he would’ve gone much higher in the 2025 draft. This means the Bears may have gotten a bargain. All they have to do is ensure his development goes smoothly.

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Jun 16, 2024 8:10 am

The problems with this article are many, but the main one is assuming that had Poles traded a 4th to move up and would have meant no to coming back into the draft for Booker. If he wanted Booker, he’d have found a way. Assuming that that pick had Booker’s name on it is just silly. I suppose you need to lie through your teeth sometimes to make things interesting, right.

Jun 15, 2024 2:38 pm

@PoochPest — “Hard Knocks” should be interesting, alright. And you’re so right about the coaches, coaching. In D’Andre Swift’s past “Hard Knocks” appearance with the Detroit Lions, RB Coach, Duce Staley was highly critical of Swift — an oft-injured, less-than 100% effort player. Following that “Hard Knocks” season, Swift was sent packing to the Eagles– a team.with a reputation for turning such players into stars — due to their locker room culture. GM, Howie Roseman didn’t try to keep Swift from leaving for the Bears — Swift’s third team in three years. Maybe Ryan Poles knows something the league doesn’t.… Read more »

Jun 15, 2024 12:32 pm

We all realize that Caleb, Rome and Austin haven’t DONE anything yet? We’ll see what their raw talent, and baby accomplishments (in college) translates in the pros. Ryan Poles MAY have given up Booker (but didn’t), and on the other hand, Booker might be as developed as Dominique Robinson after several years. (i.e. who would care at that point?) Let’s do stories on what we’ve got and what we see, and what is being done, and analysis of what coaches are “correcting,” changing, observing, and whether, when they make adjustments and teach technique, whether the young bucks are actually making… Read more »

Jun 15, 2024 11:20 am

Voice of James Earl Jones: Focus on your hate Come to the dark side. Witness it’s power.

My stomach hurts from laughing at the same comment from at least 8 posts. Nice try. Didn’t make sense then, doesn’t now. The eyeball test proves we’re progressing nicely. That’s his job. Finding the right people as advisors, assistants, coaches and scouts are his job. Letting them develop their skills and giving their all to the organization is comforting.

Have a nice day.

Jun 15, 2024 10:04 am

@TGena – Well if Cunningham gets picked up by another organization next year we will get those Compensatory Picks you love so much! You are the “rookie” here! This rhetoric about Poles is the only thing you can come up with. As has been stated many times, in many ways, by many commentators on here, every GM makes the wrong pick, and makes the wrong trade, but the good ones keep swinging and learn from those mistakes. Poles could win a Super Bowl and you would still bitch about Claypool and Where’s Waldo Davis. How about having an original thought… Read more »

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