Chicago Bears Would Be Foolish Not To Double-Up On The Trade-Back Concept

The Chicago Bears need to make not one, but two trades in the first round to maximize their combination of roster fortune and draft position.

General manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus are in charge of a team that finished the 2022 regular season with the worst record in the NFL, leading to the team possessing the first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

While this past season was a tough one for the city and organization, the Bears may be in the most enviable position any team holding the No. 1 selection has been in for a while.

While the Bears have a ton of holes to fill on a roster that finished a league-worst 3-14, it would appear the team is set at the most important and toughest position to fill, the quarterback.

After Justin Fields’ promising and at times dynamic second season in the NFL, it seems the Bears feel confident enough in the soon-to-be 24-year-old (his birthday is March 5) to pass on the top quarterback prospects in the upcoming draft.

Group the presence of Fields with the Bears’ $94.4 million in cap space, per Over the Cap, and it could be a wild and fun offseason in the Windy City.

Given this position, the Bears should be wide open to trade offers for the No. 1 pick, and they should also be willing to trade back a second time with another team that isn’t fortunate enough to have their franchise quarterback on the roster.

When looking at the draft order behind the Bears, you could make a strong argument that eight of the 19 other slots in the first round are being occupied by teams who need a quarterback.

  • No. 2 Houston Texans
  • No. 4 Indianapolis Colts
  • No. 5 Seattle Seahawks
  • No. 6 Detroit Lions
  • No. 7 Las Vegas Raiders
  • No. 9 Carolina Panthers
  • No. 16 Washington Commanders
  • No. 19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Some would argue the New York Jets could be added to this list, but after using the No. 2 pick on Zach Wilson in 2021, it seems more likely Gang Green will look for a veteran QB rather than using another high pick on a signal-caller. Thus the reported interest in players like Derek Carr.

It isn’t crazy to imagine all of the other teams reaching out the Bears about the prospects of trading up to take one of the top quarterbacks.

Alabama’s Bryce Young, Kentucky’s Will Levis, Ohio State’s Carlos Stroud Jr. and Florida’s Anthony Richardson could all be selected in the Top 10 or 15 picks. In fact,’s Chad Reuter has that exact scenario playing out in his most recent mock draft.

The Bears and the Texans seem like obvious trade partners as the latter is expected to favor Young. Another team could make a better offer for the top spot to Chicago, and while the Bears will benefit from a competitive trade market for the Crimson Tide star, it might behoove Poles and Co. to swing a deal with Houston.

Adding the No. 2 spot would put the Bears in the next-best trade-back position, and they could still get the best player for their roster if they listen to offers for that pick.

Here’s where the Colts, Seahawks, Lions, Raiders, Panthers, Commanders and Bucs could really help to make this a fruitful draft season for the Bears. The more the Bears trade back, the more draft picks they can collect. The more picks they collect, the easier it will be for Poles to build this roster in the image him and Eberflus need to return to the postseason, and to perhaps contend for a Super Bowl.

If the Bears remain in the Top 10 of the first round, they still stand the chance to secure a top-notch prospect like Alabama’s Will Anderson, Georgia’s Jalen Carter, Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson, Clemson’s Myles Murphy or TCU’s Quentin Johnston.

Reuter’s mock has the Bears trading back twice (with another head-scratching deal to get a late first-rounder), while collecting this haul for the first two deals:

  • No. 4 pick in 2023
  • Colts’ second-round pick in 2023
  • Texans’ third-round pick in 2023
  • Texans’ first-round pick in 2024
  • Colts’ second-round pick in 2024
  • Colts’ third-round pick in 2024

Those six picks are obviously strong considering we’re talking about Chicago adding five additional selections within the Top 100 over the next two years. However, this seems like a fairly modest projection from Reuter.

There are some who believe the Bears could procure more than two first-rounders from this kind of wheeling and dealing. Heavy’s Matt Lombardo says league sources at the Senior Bowl suggest the Bears could trade back for multiple first-rounders.

In any case, the Bears must take full advantage of this very rare opportunity. Most teams with the No. 1 pick are in that position because they don’t have a capable guy at quarterback.

Fields’ presence frees Poles to add to the offensive line, at receiver, linebacker and edge rushers. Talented young players who can give the roster the help it desperately needs.

If Chicago doesn’t take advantage of the justifiable thirst the aforementioned teams have for a franchise quarterback, it would be a misuse of the good fortune they have been afforded after an abysmal season and their development of the one valuable holdover from the previous regime’s drafts.