Saturday, June 15, 2024

D.J. Moore Reportedly Wasn’t Only Player Bears Almost Got From Carolina

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Following the NFL scouting combines, GM Ryan Poles felt comfortable in his position with the #1 overall pick. He felt the trade market out there was strong. If he chose to stay patient, he’d likely end up with a package centered around two future 1st round picks in 2024 and 2025. However, there was an undercurrent of urgency from some teams to get a deal done before free agency. The Chicago Bears were open to it, but only if one of those teams was willing to throw in a veteran player. D.J. Moore ended up being the big name they snagged from Carolina.

Poles spoke with Albert Breer of the MMQB about the details of that sequence. Panthers GM Scott Fitterer was determined to get a deal done. To do so, Poles needed a “booster” to the current offer. He knew by moving down to #9, he’d reduce the chances of him landing one of the seven blue-chip talents he had on his board. Where it gets interesting is that it turns out Moore wasn’t the only player in the mix.

“The booster was the player that would come with it,” Poles says. “For sure, a known talent that I was gonna get, if it pushed me outside of a certain value bucket. If nine pushed me two spots out of where I thought I could be 100% sure I was gonna get a blue-chip player, the player that was going to be thrown in was going to have to enhance our roster enough to make me feel comfortable with going to that next level in the value system.”

In short, as Poles mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago, he had seven players ranked in his first group. He’d still probably get one with the ninth pick (given the likely run on quarterbacks), but trading that far down meant he couldn’t be assured of it. He gave Panthers GM Scott Fitterer a list of three boosters, and Moore was on it.

So two other players could’ve potentially been Bears.

It’s interesting to speculate who they might’ve been. The most obvious name is edge rusher Brian Burns, one of the best young players at his position in the league. There is also rock-solid right tackle Taylor Moton and sturdy defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Maybe young cornerback Jaycee Horn was involved as well. Any of them would’ve plugged significant holes on the Bears’ roster. Ultimately, Fitterer felt Moore was the one he could most afford to lose. Poles listed two reasons why the receiver was on his shortlist.

“Coming out, I just remember how strong he played. He’s an impact player, a receiver that could play inside, outside separating routes. But then he has a level of strength to him that I really admired. On top of that, the person was outstanding. He’s great for the locker room. He’s a worker, grinder, not a lot of noise or distraction, just … he’s a dude. That part was important to me. In the pros, just the level of consistency through adversity stood out to me. I always talked about when I took the job and still do.

“I think resilience is one of the most underrated traits of a team and of players. If you go back to our KC times, that year we won the Super Bowl, we were down multiple touchdowns in every single game, including the Super Bowl, and the level of resilience was insane. I want as many players that have that trait as possible. And for him to be so consistent through different quarterbacks, different coaches, I thought was really cool.”

D.J. Moore solves the Bears’ biggest issue.

Many were concerned that Poles wouldn’t be able to address the wide receiver position adequately this off-season. Free agency was devoid of any star power, and the draft is considered one of the weaker classes in recent years. It’s why many projected Chicago reaching for help at 9th overall with Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Moore’s arrival erases the need for such a risk. He is a legitimate #1 target that should pair well with Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool to give Justin Fields a viable trio of options.

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Maybe somebody in the draft ends up being better than D.J. Moore. That won’t bother Poles. He felt it better to get a proven commodity rather than take a shot in the dark. Nobody can criticize him for that. One must also not overlook the extra 2nd round pick he got in the deal this year. That could be put to good use in helping the team elsewhere on the roster. It is difficult to find any fault in the process. All one can do is wonder which other player it could’ve been.

10 COMMENTS

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Jay King
Jay King
Mar 21, 2023 11:43 am

Rookie GM, he has no value as of yet

Nick
Nick
Mar 21, 2023 8:33 am

Either Poles or Holmes will win the draft IMO. Khan is also a good candidate to win it as well. Holmes will win the division most likely this year with how he’s building the Lions. Can’t believe I just typed that….. All and all Poles is doing what’s right for the Bears and I do believe that they are close to competing for the division and playoffs.

Thomas Gena
Thomas Gena
Mar 21, 2023 7:59 am

Pick your GM winner, in the upcoming NFL draft. Your choices are:

1. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Vikings (5 picks)
2. Brian Gutekunst, Packers (10 picks)
3. Brad Holmes, Lions (8 picks)
4. Omar Khan, Steelers (7 picks)
5. Ryan Poles, Bears (10 picks)

Also, which GM wins his division title first?

Drill Press?
Drill Press?
Mar 20, 2023 9:22 pm

For what it is worth, that’s not a diagnosis. Youre Keyboard a lonely Keyboard Warrior is an observation.

Walt Johan
Walt Johan
Mar 20, 2023 5:19 pm

Jackhammer has issues

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