Thursday, July 4, 2024

News Out Of Carolina Keeps Getting Better For Chicago Bears


The Chicago Bears haven’t yet determined what their 2023 season will be. After a rough 0-4 start, they got their first win of the year in Washington. Now, they face a manageable schedule over the next three weeks. If they play like they did last week, there is a chance they can get back to .500 and into the playoff hunt. They can also do this without any sense of guilt. After all, their draft ambitions seem well-guarded by the Carolina Panthers, who are the only winless team left in the league after five weeks.

Thanks to the D.J. Moore trade, that gives the Bears control over the #1 overall pick in the 2024 draft and the likely rights to quarterback Caleb Williams. Of course, things can change fast in the NFL. There is always the chance Carolina rallies to win a few games and ruin those plans. Still, it doesn’t look like things are going well. Head coach Frank Reich already appears trapped under the thumb of a micromanaging owner with a quarterback he didn’t want. If that weren’t enough, Albert Breer of the MMQB indicated the team may do a total fire sale at the trade deadline.

Several big names could be unloaded for draft picks.

“Conversation there starts with Brian Burns. He’s up after this year and owed more than eight figures for the remainder of the season (prorated portion of his $16.01 million). But he’s also just 25 and plays a premium position. Last year the Panthers turned down an absolute haul (a 2023 third-rounder and first-rounders in ’24 and ’25) to get him. And the Panthers and Burns haven’t gotten close to striking a long-term deal.

A team trading for him could, of course, do a new deal with him, or franchise him in 2024.

After that, there are three guys I’ve heard are available—safety Jeremy Chinn, receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. and corner Donte Jackson.”

The Panthers getting weaker is good news for the Chicago Bears.

Remember, the one good thing they have going down there is their pass defense. Carolina ranks 6th against the pass this season. The primary reason for that is their pass rush. Burns leads the way with four sacks in the first five games. He is the best player on the team. Trading him, while understandable, would likely cripple the defense, making the Panthers even easier to beat. The issue is Carolina has no 1st round pick next year. Their chances of signing him long-term appear bleak. Trading him is the only way to get back something of value. It isn’t a stretch to think somebody will give up a 1st for him.

Shipping out Jackson and Chinn won’t help, either. It will put even more pressure on the offense to pick up the slack, and they don’t have the firepower to do so. Losing Moore was a tough blow for their passing game. Miles Sanders hasn’t done much to bolster their ground attack. There aren’t many positives to lean on. Even their upcoming schedule doesn’t ease up. They have Miami next, then a tough matchup against Houston out of the bye week. After hosting Indianapolis the next week, four of their next five games will be on the road, including one on a short turnaround against the Chicago Bears.

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This year could spiral out of control. History says that teams who start a season 0-5 end up with at least a top-5 pick, and most land either #1 or #2. So yeah, great news for the Bears.


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Oct 16, 2023 7:34 am

Trading Burns does not make sense to a rebuilding effort.

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