LAKE FOREST – For five days, the deal was out there for all to see, and all that was left was for it to become official.
On Wednesday, with the opening of the new NFL year, the Bears were able to trade their most valuable commodity this offseason.
The deal with the Panthers went through just after 3 p.m. central time on Wednesday as the Bears sent the No. 1 overall pick to Carolina for a potential No. 1 wide receiver along with four selections over the next three drafts.
- WR DJ Moore
- 2023 first round pick (9th overall)
- 2023 second round pick (61st overall)
- 2024 first round pick
- 2025 second round pick
It’s the biggest move made by Bears general manager Ryan Poles in his 14 months on the job at Halas Hall and has been generally well received by fans hoping for a turnaround for the team.
Now with the trade official, Poles had his first reaction to dealing the No. 1 pick.
“Having the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft gave us a tremendous opportunity to take steps forward this season and in our plan of building long-term,” said Poles in a statement released by the team. “We are excited about the additional picks acquired, including staying in the top ten selections this year, but also the addition of a proven and dynamic playmaker in DJ Moore.’
That last part is great news for quarterback Justin Fields, who has received the backing of management during the entire offseason. Having a franchise signalcaller made moving the No. 1 pick much easier, considering that a number of teams are coming into the 2023 offseason in need of a quarterback.
Hence Poles had a few options to choose from over the course of the last few months, but it was the Panthers that won out in the end. Not only do the Bears get Moore, who is arguably now their best receiver, but they now have ten picks in the 2023 draft and have two selections in the first round in 2024.
“We had multiple aggressive offers to consider, but in the end it felt right for both teams in what Panthers GM Scott Fitterer presented and it keeps us in an area of this year’s draft that we really like,” said Poles in the statement.
There are a few others who did, too.