GM Ryan Poles has demonstrated a sharp intellect throughout the early process of the 2023 off-season. He engineered a trade that netted the Chicago Bears three extra draft picks, all in the 1st round or higher. It also brought in a legitimate weapon for Justin Fields in wide receiver D.J. Moore. Then in free agency, he avoided unnecessary spending while still managing to upgrade his roster with savvy additions like Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, Nate Davis, D’Onta Foreman, Robert Tonyan, and DeMarcus Walker.
Yet what is overlooked in all of this is how Poles has kept his resources flexible. He still has over $40 million in salary cap space and ten picks in the upcoming draft. Most interesting is that four fall between the 4th and 5th rounds. Why is this important? One of the more overlooked parts of the off-season is how teams often use picks in that range to purchase veteran players. It’s been a lucrative market just in the past five years alone.
- 2018 – Browns get Jarvis Landry for 4th and 7th round picks
- 2018 – Patriots get Cordarrelle Patterson and 6th round pick for 5th round pick
- 2019 – Titans get Ryan Tannehill and 6th round pick for 4th and 7th round picks
- 2019 – Cardinals get Kenyan Drake for a 5th round pick
- 2019 – Ravens get Marcus Peters for 5th round pick and Kenny Young
- 2019 – Browns get Wyatt Teller and 7th round pick for 5th and 6th round picks
- 2021 – Seahawks get Gabe Jackson for a 5th round pick
- 2022 – Browns get Amari Cooper and 6th round pick for 5th and 6th round picks
The Chicago Bears are finally equipped to take advantage.
They’ve never been able to pounce on such opportunities because the previous regime failed to stockpile enough draft picks to have that luxury. It’s not a coincidence teams like the Browns, Patriots, and Ravens were mentioned. They have a yearly track record of doing precisely that. It worked out beautifully for them. Thanks to Poles’ efforts last season, they can now dabble in that market. It merely becomes a question of waiting to see if any team makes a prominent veteran available.
It happens every year. The Chicago Bears will see if it’s somebody that can help them. Offensive line, defensive line, and cornerback are likely the positions they’ll be watching for. Plenty of teams still have salary cap concerns. If they’re able to satisfy certain needs in the draft, there is a strong possibility they will unload a veteran at the same position. Poles has already shown he isn’t afraid to make deals. It comes down to how much he thinks a player will help.