NFL rumors: Why Bears traded No. 1 pick before free agency revealed
The Chicago Bears traded the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers on Friday. Here’s why they made the move before free agency.
On March 10, 2023, the NFL Draft Plate was officially shaken. The Chicago Bears had the number one spot for having the worst record last season, and had an assist in the form of the Houston Texans’ win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18. With plenty of teams in need of a quarterback. Around, the bears had the opportunity to take advantage of it. They did just that, thanks to the Carolina Panthers.
According to ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Bears sent the No. 1 pick to the Panthers in exchange for the No. 9 and 61st picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and a wide receiver. DJ Moore.
This is the huge range of bears. But why would General Manager Ryan Bowles make the move now instead of moving on after the start of the 2023 league year on March 15? According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Bears wanted Moore, and they wanted to know they had them before the start of the league year.
It was revealed why the Bears traded No. 1 before free agency was revealed
Securing No. 1 wide receiver for quarterback Justin Fields before free agency? Not bad, considering the free agency tier isn’t exactly loaded with elite options.
DaBearsBlog tweeted that they were told the Panthers wanted a 2025 first-round pick in a trade, but the Poles wanted Moore. Obviously, the Poles won and beat Moore.
What I was told: Carolina wanted to add 2025 first. Poles wanted DJ Moore. The Poles did not budge. Carolina did.
– DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) March 10, 2023
Moore was recently awarded a three-year, $61.9 million contract extension by the Panthers, which officially begins this season. So, the Bears would be on the hook for this deal, which they undoubtedly wouldn’t have a problem with, considering they were poised to get the most space out of any team in league year 2023.
Last season, Moore caught 63 passes for 888 yards and seven touchdowns on 118 targets. During his five years with the team, Moore recorded 364 receptions for 5,201 yards and 21 touchdowns on 616 targets.
The Panthers get their pick of quarterback, while the Bears get draft capital and a top wide receiver to build around the fields.