GM Ryan Poles was almost immediately open to trading the #1 overall pick last year. His path forward seemed obvious at the time. The Chicago Bears wanted to further explore what they had with quarterback Justin Fields. Trading the pick would net them a large haul of draft picks, with which they could continue upgrading a rebuilding roster. The decision looks like a big success. The deal netted them wide receiver D.J. Moore, tackle Darnell Wright, cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, the #1 pick in the 2024 draft, and a 2nd in 2025.
One would think Poles might be eager to duplicate the process again this year. After all, Fields did show some improvement down the stretch this season. There are several QB-desperate teams in the top 10. One would think the return for dealing the pick would be huge. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided an update on that subject with the Super Bowl almost upon us. From what he’s hearing, the Bears are determined to stay put at #1 this time unless somebody makes an offer they can’t possibly turn down.
“If someone is going to pry the No. 1 overall selection away from the Bears, they are going to have to pay — and pay a lot.
Chicago would need a historic haul of draft picks and overall compensation to move off the first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, sources say. In the words of one source, it would have to be “crazy.”
That indicates the Bears, who received the pick in a mammoth trade last offseason with the Panthers, are more likely than not to make the pick and land their new franchise QB.”
The Chicago Bears seem intent on starting over at quarterback.
Everything points in that direction. While Fields did improve, it wasn’t enough to justify picking up an expensive 5th-year option. Conversely, the Bears could start over on a rookie contract with any of the quarterbacks in this class. By all reports, it features a lot of talent. The heavy favorite to go #1 is USC’s Caleb Williams, whom many compare to Patrick Mahomes. If not him, there is also Heisman winner Jayden Daniels from LSU and rocket-armed Drake Maye from North Carolina. They could even pull a shocker by taking reigning national champion J.J. McCarthy of Michigan.
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As to what would constitute a “historic” haul, the closest example one might have would be in 2012. Washington traded their 6th overall pick, a 2nd round pick, a 1st in 2013, and a 1st in 2014 to the St. Louis Rams for the #2 pick. That is likely the ballpark teams are looking at. It would likely be even higher since the Chicago Bears hold the #1 pick. Is there any team desperate enough to pay that price? If we’re going by pure desperation, the New York Giants (#6), Atlanta Falcons (#8), and Las Vegas Raiders (#13) might fit the bill best.
Washington and New England can’t be dismissed because they may have QBs they really like. All things considered, it sounds like Poles is determined to stay put this time.