The Bears made history Friday by becoming the first NFL team to trade the No. 1 pick in the draft prior to April – since the draft was moved to April in 1976. Their return from the Panthers – four draft picks spread across three years and receiver D.J. Moore – will go a long way in determining both team’s futures for years to come.
Further details have emerged regarding the blockbuster deal, including the negotiating process which led up to the deal being finalized. Talks started at the Combine, with the Panthers being one of a number of teams reaching out to the Bears, per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin and David Newton. That comes as little surprise, considering how willing Bears GM Ryan Poles was to move down the board, given his and the team’s support of quarterback Justin Fields. The ESPN duo add that talks intensified over the past few days, and Friday’s negotiations were sufficient to consummate the trade before the start of free agency this coming week.
By moving up to the No. 1 slot, the Panthers now have a free choice of the 2023 class’ top quarterbacks. Newton reports, to no surprise, that QB is indeed the position which Carolina will use their top pick on (Twitter link). That will invite plenty of debate and speculation in the coming weeks, as this year boasts a number of intriguing options, but not necessarily a can’t-miss passer. Newton notes that the Panthers were high on Kentucky’s Will Levis at the end of the 2021 campaign, and the performances of Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud also drew positive reviews from GM Scott Fitterer and Co.
Many have Young, the 2021 Heisman winner, rated as the top signal-caller in the class (which is headlined by the aforementioned three QBs, along with the raw but uber-athletic Anthony Richardson). However, Joe Person of The Athletic reports (subscription required) that Stroud is believed to be in pole position at the moment, one which obviously represents something well short of a final evaluation of any draft prospect on the Panthers’ part. The Buckeyes star put up huge production in his college career, and has long been discussed alongside Young as a blue-chip in the running to become the top passer out of this year’s class.
Interestingly, Newton adds that Carolina could become sufficiently content with more than one QB at the top of the board that they elect to trade down slightly; Person corroborates this (on Twitter). With the Texans (who hold the second overall pick) and Colts (No. 4) each in need of a new signal-caller, moving down any amount would carry a high degree of risk. If the Panthers were assured that at least one of their preferences would be available at their new slot, though, they could use a second trade to recoup some of the capital they spent to acquire the top pick.
Draft maneuvering and the success the Bears have in restocking their roster with the additional picks will be a key determining factor in the legacy of this trade, but the inclusion of Moore has immediate ramifications. Carolina was reluctant at first to include the 25-year-old in the trade package, but Person notes that the Bears viewed him as a “must-have” to finalize the deal (Twitter link). While losing Moore marks a substantial blow to the Panthers’ passing attack, Newton and Person add that his inclusion saved Carolina from having to add another first-round pick to their offer.
The way Carolina approaches their newfound leverage and which passer(s) emerge as their top targets will be an interesting storyline to watch in the coming weeks. The willingness Poles had to move out of the top slot so quickly, meanwhile, will be a key takeaway from the Bears’ perspective as attention will turn to how Chicago uses their added draft capital for the next few years.
33 comments on “Bears-Panthers Trade Fallout: Timeline, QB Plans, Moore”
A lot of the so-called ” Experts” doing Mock drafts have the Bears taking Njiba-Smith with the 9 pick. That would make a Dynamic WR room and give Fields all the weapons he would ever need. I was all for Paris Johnson to fill a need, but the chance to solidify the WR room for years might be too hard to pass up.
I would love that and would immediately trade Mooney for whatever 3rd or 4th I could get for him. Drafting that dude plus Moore would mean 2 great WRs with claypool in the slot.
Smith-Njigba is most successful in the slot and cannot take the top off the defense consistently outside, while I agree it’s a nice thought, Parris or one of the DLineman are probably more realistic, best case scenario Levis or Richardson are at 9 and we can trade back with either Tenn or Wash to acquire more plugs for holes
You’re not getting anything for a 5th RD WR who was injured last year. You don’t get anything for 1st round picks who are lame or injured. Think N’keal Harry.
I would not trade Mooney – he falls right into the #3 receiver role – where he should be. He’s better and more consistent than Claypool. He would thrive with the nickel back covering him.
Agreed. I’ll hold tight until seeing what they do in free agency first.
Bears WRs are fine. They need OL and DL real bad.
100%, they should take Peter Skoronski cause I think he will be the best tackle in the draft but I think they will take Paris Johnson.
Lol I’m a northwestern fan Skoronski will be a good guard at best no chance he’s a tackle in the NFL
Just what the Bears would do by taking Packer fan and legacy where his grandfather was a player. Will be intriguing if they take him and convert him and family to Bear fans
It’d be great to add JSN, but it might be best to round out our whole team by filling holes as we have about 15 very weak positions up for grabs. Plus, next year’s draft will likely be a better WR draft, think Marvin Harrison Jr. He would be a great one to add if the Bears decide to let Mooney and Claypool walk next year. Either way, I hope the Bears just take BPA and supplement this team with some solid adds in free agency.
Filling needs and drafting for them is how you make a lame team. At 9, take the proverbial best player available. Whoever they think it is. They are not taking a QB and THEN trying to trade him? That would be completely stupid. I’ve heard the Clemson DE, Johnson and Smith -Njiba are the best available in all likelihood. I’ve also heard the Bears are all over Hunter Hendon who was with Getsy at the Senior Bowl but couldn’t play. Might be a day 2 guy for them with the 3rd rounder. He’ll fall because he was injured. He might even last til day 3 where they have the first pick also.
Good point. Mooney and Claypool could both be gone after next year. I hadn’t even thought of that. I’m starting to like it.
@ Unclemike /Let’s hope these aren’t the same “Experts” that advised the Bears to use the #7 pick on WR Kevin White in 2015.
Lemon- This draft would be totally different if Poles hadn’t made the deal for Claypool. Poles got scared when he heard the Packers wanted him too and caved. I would of offered the Ravens pick and said take it or leave it. Imagine having 9,32,58,61 and 64? The trades you could still make? The holes you could fill? Poles is young and has largely done a great job, I hope everybody doesn’t beat him to death for one bad move. You could move back just a few spots and end up with 4 or 5 more decent picks.
Only Ryan Pace would draft a WR with a broken leg. At least I would hope he’s the only one. The problem was he still sucked when it healed.
I still think it’s too soon to say the Claypool trade was a bad move. Poles saw that the FA class was weak and took a shot. And judging Claypool from a half season with a QB running for his life half the time seems premature to me. Let’s see how he does next season with a better O-line, DJ Moore and hopefully, a less panicked Fields. He may step up..?
Hope you’re right. But IMO either you can get open or you can’t. I don’t think it matters who’s on the other side of the line at WR. I hope they don’t sign big ticket people and go with solid FA picks who can grow. 76 million sounds like a lot, But they have 54 people signed right now, 10 coming in the draft so that’s 26 people for 76 million. Sure you can pick up a couple non drafted guys but that money has to go a long way.
Carolina is not trading back down lmao
There would have to be a significant grade difference between the top 3 QB prospects for the Texans or Colts to make the move up and clearly that difference doesn’t exist.
Carolina GM is Scott Fitterer not Dave
They definitely need to go all in on Orlando Brown/Bobby Okereke and pass rushers in Free Agency. Cover our needs. Love to see them take JSN would definitely be best player available at that point and solidify that WR Room for now and whatever happens with Mooney and Claypool in the future.
After Moore and the mini signings they have like 76 million left. You might make some more with restructures and cutting of dead wood( Patrick and Semian). So you sign Brown that’s gonna cost you 20 million plus. Now you’re at 50 with 36 holes to fill to get to 90. Draft takes care of 10 guys and 10 million. Now you’re at 40. See the problem? 26 holes to fill with 40 million bucks. like 1 and 1/2 million apiece.
Would love to see Poles sign Garoppolo for a couple years, trade Fields to Houston for their number 2 pick this year and other picks. Then, peddle the #2 pick to the highest bidder.
As stayed by Poles you draft premium positions LT, DE/Pass Rusher/CB or QB in early rounds. They also focus on size and speed. They will have a choice between Wilson, Gonzalez or Johnson at #9. Free agency they will address receiving core with Parris Campbell and Mecole Hardman.
Yeah like Pringle and Harry? Castoffs, I’ve seen enough. If you can’t get open for Mahomes why would I want him?
If Carolina likes the top two guys and can throw a big enough smoke screen on who they’re going to take, they can get a good return on Houston jumping up one spot.
I don’t think there’s a QB in this draft that’s a starter period
Rams: Trade two firsts, two seconds, and two thirds to move up from 15 to 1 (and acquire a fourth and sixth round pick).
Panthers: Trade two firsts, two seconds, and a top 15 WR to move up from 9 to 1.
Carolina clearly overpaid.
I agree. I don’t think that the payout was extremely egregious on its own, but the reason that I don’t necessarily like it is because I don’t think that there’s a clear cut, can’t miss prospect at the top of the draft this year. There are some good players, to be sure, and Young will certainly help the team, but the Panthers clearly traded up for a need, and not a player. Drafting for need makes sense at lower levels, but if you’re giving up that much to go to number one, it needs to be for a generational player.
I’d agree. Whichever quarterback is left at 9 is probably as likely as the other two to make it as a pro. There’s no clear favourite.
I agree 100%. The price itself is not problematic.
The fact they they are thinking of moving down 1-2 slots is problematic. It feels like the SF/Lance trade, paying a fortune to move up for a guy that might not have been any better that the next QB available.