Chicago Bears Trade No. 1 Overall Pick to Carolina in Blockbuster Deal

NFL: Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers
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The Chicago Bears were awarded the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after going 3-14 during the 2022 season. Given the fact that a number of teams in the top 10 were going to be interested in quarterbacks, and the Bears already employ Justin Fields, it seemed like a given that Chicago would eventually trade that top pick.

Dec 24, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) drops back to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Well, on Friday afternoon, it officially happened. Per Ian Rapoport, the Bears are sending the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a litany of assets, including:

  • No. 9 overall
  • 2023 second-round pick (No. 61 overall)
  • 2024 first-round pick
  • 2025 second-round pick
  • WR D.J. Moore

The Bears lost their second-round pick in the 2023 Draft (No. 33 overall) as part of their trade to acquire WR Chase Claypool prior to the 2022 season, but they also have the Baltimore Ravens second-round pick from the Roquan Smith trade, which sits at No. 53 overall.

For Chicago, this is a terrific package because it had been well-known that the Bears had wanted to go get Moore anyway, and this trade allows them to do so before he could potentially hit free agency (Moore’s contract had a potential out following the 2023 season).

Vikings Mock Draft: Minnesota Trades Up for a QB, but not the One You Think
Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) carries away the MVP trophy after throwing five touchdown passes during the 2022 Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome. Alabama defeated Kansas State 45-20. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

As for the Panthers, this trade allows them to jump all three of the main contenders for QBs within the top 10 (Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders), and now, they have their pick of the bunch between Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis.

With a very strong defense as well as other intriguing young receivers, Carolina is an ideal spot for a young QB to develop. Add onto that the hire of former NFL starting QB Josh McCown as the QBs coach, and the Panthers only become a more enticing spot for a young QB.

This trade indirectly impacts the Vikings draft process as well, especially if there are any fans of Anthony Richardson reading this. If the aforementioned four big suspects for young QBs are all indeed interested in drafting a quarterback this year, it makes it that much harder for Minnesota to potentially trade up and get him or any of the other QBs seeing as instead of the top 9, these four teams now all sit within the top 7.

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) celebrates after diving into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half against LSU at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, October 15, 2022. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun] Ncaa Football Florida Gators Vs Lsu Tigers

The Vikings would have to jump at least one of them in order to do so, and the Detroit Lions probably won’t be too keen on trading the No. 6 overall pick to let a division rival select a QB with high potential.

Regardless of who the Vikings draft, they will have their hands full when they face the Bears offense in 2023. Improving the defense should be the top priority this offseason for Minnesota if they hope to remain competitive next season.

Overall, this could be one of the trades that goes down as a “win-win” when everything is all said and done. The Bears get a load as well as a star receiver for Justin Fields, and the Panthers could potentially land their starting QB for years to come.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.