For the first time since he became the GM, Ryan Poles is showing aggressiveness and his plans for the team are becoming clear.
In a vacuum, it’s hard to argue with trading the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers for the ninth pick, their 2024 first and, perhaps most importantly, DJ Moore, amongst other pieces. That trade values Moore as a first-round pick, which makes sense when you compare his production to others who have been traded in recent years. Furthermore, getting Moore in the trade will make the Panthers worse in 2024 and 2025, thus improving the draft picks the Bears will receive in those years as part of the trade.
Moore doesn’t just give the Bears an actual Number One wide receiver, he goes them a WR1 who fits their quarterback. His average depth of target (ADOT) — 13.1 — was second amongst players with 100 or more targets. Justin Fields throws a great deep ball and with Moore, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, the Bears will have three wide receivers who can be on the receiving ends of those bombs.
Edwards+Edmunds+2nd rounder > Roquan
Nobody who is qualified to speak on the subject will tell you the Bears upgraded from Roquan Smith, but they clearly upgraded the linebacker position with a series of strategic moves.
There was a clear, steep drop off once the Bears traded Smith for a second-round pick last year. As much as fans liked Jack Sanborn, the Bears clearly didn’t evaluate the UDFA out of Wisconsin the same way. On Monday, we learned of the team’s intentions to sign Philadelphia’s TJ Edwards and Buffalo’s Tremaine Edmunds — the latter to a rather large deal.
Both are quality starting linebackers who fill not only a position of need, but a position of great importance in the Matt Eberflus defense. The bonus is that, combined, they cost less than Smith and Nick Morrow would’ve in 2023 and the Bears still have a second-round pick from trading Smith.