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Reflecting on the 2023 Blockbuster Bears / Panthers Trade for the 1.01.

The Chicago Bears currently hold two first round picks. First, let us reflect on how it came to be that the Bears acquired this 1st overall pick from the Carolina Panthers back in March of 2023. 

The Panthers appeared to be in rebuild mode headed into last year’s draft and instead, they kind of shocked a lot of us by making this blockbuster trade that would suggest they weren’t in rebuild mode. They were able to move on from Wide Receiver DJ Moore’s contract, but he was only 25 years old at the time and we all know that the salary cap is just make-believe money anyway. Especially in hindsight with the extra $30.4 million salary cap bump awarded to each team this season. DJ stands to hit only a Bear’s claw, more than $16 million against that.

Now, for taking on this contract, the Bears did have to give up the 2023 1st overall draft pick without knowing what position all of the draft picks were going to be that they received in return. Again, we have the magical powers of hindsight! Here is the breakdown of what we know so far from the trade…

Bears gave up:

  • The 2023 1.01, which became Bryce Young.

Panthers gave up:

  • OT Darnell Wright, who the Bears drafted with the 1.10 pick they got  in return from the Eagles by trading away the 1.09 they got from the Panthers. For this, the Bears also have an extra 4th round pick in this year’s draft. Wright started all 17 games for the Bears at Right Tackle.
  • DJ Moore.
  • The Bears used that 2nd round pick they acquired from the Panthers to trade up to get CB Tyrique Stevenson.
  • The 1.01 in this year’s draft.

Again, we have the power of hindsight, but which side would you rather have if you were trying to rebuild a team? Bryce Young, or Caleb Williams (Presumably), Darnell Wright, DJ Moore, Tyrique Stevenson, and a 2024 4th.

This isn’t the only smart move that the Bears have made over the course of this year’s and last year’s drafts. It also isn’t the only dumb move that the Panthers front office has made over the two drafts either. These are two teams in similar situations, with far different potential outcomes, showing just how important a good front office can be. In my opinion, a good front office in the NFL is far more important than a good head coach.

Written and completed by: Justin Stephens, 04/01/24

Reviewed and edited: Joe Knows, 04/03/24


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