Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ways The Chicago Bears May Seek More Draft Picks This Offseason


The Chicago Bears have a problem. A team with a roster that clearly needs retooling doesn’t have a lot of draft picks to work with. Thanks to the aggressive mentality of former GM Ryan Pace, they’ve been left with just five picks this offseason. Not nearly enough to do any meaningful overhaul. New GM Ryan Poles is thus left with a problem. Either try to make do with the picks he has or see if he can acquire more.

Doing the latter always sounds simple, but it rarely is. According to typical NFL doctrine, there are two ways for the Bears to secure more draft capital. Either they trade current players on their roster to teams that may want them, or they look to move down from their present spots in the draft. Is either scenario even possible? Let’s explore to find out.

Trade players they don’t see as long-term Chicago Bears pieces

When a new regime comes in, one thing is apparent. Few players on that roster are safe from either being traded or cut. Jerry Angelo traded Cade McNown barely months after arriving in 2001. Phil Emery traded Gabe Carimi in 2013 despite his former 1st round pick status. Ryan Pace traded Brandon Marshall in 2015 despite him still being arguably the best wide receiver on the roster. There is a strong possibility that Ryan Poles could do the same over the next two months. Here are a couple of names that might have enough value to move out.

Eddie Goldman

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Last season was a down year for the former 2nd round pick. In truth, Goldman hasn’t been the player he was since opting out in 2020. The same ability to dominate the interior as a run-stuffer wasn’t there. Now the Bears are shifting to a new 4-3 scheme under Matt Eberflus. One that may not need his type. The good news is he’s still 28-years old, under an affordable contract, and fits the style of defense that is quite popular around the NFL lately. Teams like the Chargers, Rams and even Vikings might have interest in him since they run Vic Fangio-style defenses.

Nick Foles

This one is a bit more obvious. Foles is expensive for a backup quarterback. Trading him would net the Bears $8 million in cap space. There are teams out there with plenty of money to spare that could view him as a viable option. It’s especially if it only costs them a 6th or 7th round pick to make a deal work.

Cody Whitehair (post-June 1st)

Poles promised the offensive line would be a major focus moving forward. After allowing 58 sacks this past season, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Whitehair was a major disappointment in pass protection last season but remained a capable enough run blocker. His contract is a bit tricky. This is why the Bears would have to wait on trading him until the summer, meaning any picks and cap space they’d get would be meant for 2023, in this case $8.1 million.

David Montgomery

Let’s be clear here. The Chicago Bears are unlikely to trade Montgomery. He is one of their best players. However, there are valid reasons they would consider it. His value will never be higher. He is still 24-years old and coming off another 1,000-yard season. Many might view him as one of the ten best running backs in the game. At the same time, running backs are easier to replace in the NFL, and his rookie contract expires after the 2022 season. It might be worth considering if they can get a Day 2 pick for him.

Trade down from 39th pick in the draft

This method is perhaps the simpler of the two. Thanks to their poor record this season, the Bears occupy a higher spot in the 2nd round of the draft. That means if they feel confident in their scouting work and can find players they want later on, they should be able to move down. Since 2001, a team has moved down from the 39th pick four times.

Here is what they acquired in return:

  • The Patriots secured the 50th pick and a 4th rounder from the Steelers
  • Tennessee got the 42nd pick and a 4th rounder from Philadelphia
  • The Raiders got the 42nd pick and a 5th rounder from the Buccaneers
  • Carolina got the 52nd pick, a 3rd rounder, and a 6th rounder from Chicago (who got the 39th and a 5th rounder)

That paints a clear picture of what the Bears might be looking at. Much of it depends on how far they wish to move down. Into the 40-50 range likely nets them an extra 4th round pick. Any further down, and they can start thinking about a 3rd rounder. Even more if they throw in their 5th as a sweetener. It isn’t a bounty, but it’s more to work with.

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