Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ryan Poles Revealed Exact Moment He Started Hunting Keenan Allen


Every off-season is filled with signature moments for GM, either good or bad. These are the moves that define what happens to a football team in the regular season. Ryan Poles has had his fair share of such moments since taking over in 2022. There was the failed signing of Larry Ogunjobi and the trade for Chase Claypool. Then it was trading the #1 pick to Carolina in 2023, landing the Chicago Bears D.J. Moore, Tyrique Stevenson, Caleb Williams, and a 2nd round pick in 2025. There was no shortage of notable moves this past off-season, but the one that really got the ball rolling was the trade for Keenan Allen.

It isn’t every day your organization can land a six-time Pro Bowl player who is still playing at a high level for a pittance of a 4th round pick. Most feel that was the first moment of the spring when the Bears took a big step forward. He, along with the arrival of Rome Odunze at #9 overall, suddenly gave Williams, by far, the best wide receiver trio any rookie quarterback has ever had. Poles spoke to Adam Schefter of ESPN about how that trade came together. The Bears GM revealed it started by recognizing the opportunity.

When? The arrival of Jim Harbaugh to Los Angeles.

Whenever you have regime changes, you aren’t sure what that team is going to do. Who’s going to be available? You kind of look at their cap situation and you can project a little bit. But, you know, they also had Mike (Williams) as well. It was up in the air. So when that popped up, as we thought through it, we watched the tape and we thought, ‘Holy smokes. This dude is still playing at a very high level.’ And like I said, (he’s) quarterback friendly, which we were looking to add because we already have D.J. and knew the combination of both those guys as a whole were going to be tough to deal with.”

Ryan Poles knew the situation the Chargers were in.

He’d done the research and understood how things tend to happen when organizations bring in new decision-makers. There is almost always upheaval, often characterized by older players being shipped out or allowed to walk. Los Angeles had severe salary cap issues. Allen’s contract was hefty. The fact he was also turning 31 years old compelled Harbaugh and new GM Joe Hortiz to explore options to unload him. Poles knew this would happen and was ready to engage when the moment arrived.

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That is the sign of a GM who knows how the league works. This is what Ryan Poles always talks about when ensuring assets are on hand. You never know when a big opportunity like this pops up. By being careful with the resources available, the Bears were able to pounce on Allen before anybody else. Now they have two Pro Bowl-caliber wide receivers for their young quarterback to throw to. If Odunze excels immediately as well, this trade may go down as one of the best in recent franchise history.


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Jun 12, 2024 6:06 am

After hearing Keenan’s remarks regarding the WR Cap getting reset, I believe he will likely price himself out of R Poles agreeable value regardless of how this season plays out. I just really don’t see R Poles paying Keenan WR 1 money in year two with Odunze being as good as everyone believes he actually is, and re-signing DJ Moore to a new extension. I do believe R Poles will extend DJ Moore this year, and I believe it is likely one of the top considerations he is looking at. Having DJ Moore, K Allen, and R Odunze on the… Read more »

Jun 11, 2024 7:07 pm

@Dr Melhus. Because I would still mention the Ogunjobi signing as Poles’ biggest mistake so far. I’m good with being downvoted on that, too. I got many downvotes a month ago when I said we should target teams with front office changes. Ogunjobi had a severe Lisfranc injury. It’s a forefoot injury, so his explosiveness would be gone for about 2 years. Poles signed him roughly 2 months after surgery. For a lot of money. I credit LO for not missing any time, but again that is a lot of money to a player who is now officially a declining… Read more »

Jun 11, 2024 6:02 pm

@Dr. Melhus
Velus and Scott should take a leap of improvement. Beatty has GOT to be a better receiver coach for two players who got by solely on speed in college. While Moore and Allen can set examples, the techniques of route running needs to be taught.
While Odunze has all the qualities that promise a great career, to get to the level he needs will take experience and attention.
For Velus, this is it. For Scott, this may be “it” as well.

Dr. Melhus
Jun 11, 2024 3:55 pm

My takes: 1) Would people stop talking about the failed signing of Larry Ogunjobi, please? It wasn’t a failure. The contract offered had a medical clause, Ogunjobi didn’t pass the medical, and they had to void the contract. Very unfortunate for him, but the Bears dodged a bullet there. To me, that was a win for the Bears. They did the right things, the system worked, and they weren’t stuck paying a hurt player. 2) Citizen34: We don’t KNOW that Allen is a one year rental. If the Bears make a deep playoff run, and he gets a taste of… Read more »

Last edited 14 hours ago by Dr. Melhus
Jun 11, 2024 8:42 am

By trading for big-bodied AllPro Allen and drafting Odunze, Poles got 3 WRs who can consistently get open. If speedsters Velus and Scott can take a big leap this year, the pass offense could be explosive.
Imagine how weak the WRs would be if Poles drafted a DE or LT and did not land Allen.
It just goes to show how a few moves can significantly improve an offense.

Last edited 21 hours ago by Veece

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