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Bears GM considered very unique strategy before trading No. 1 pick

Ryan Poles meets with the media

Jan 31, 2022; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears General new Manager Ryan Poles speaks during a Press Conference Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears received a massive haul when they traded the top overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers, but they considered a much more complicated approach prior to making that move.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles told Peter King of NBC Sports over the weekend that the team explored a scenario where they would have traded back twice in the top 10. While he did not get into specifics, Poles said he had significant discussions with the Houston Texans, who currently have the No. 2 pick.

“I thought there was an opportunity to do something historically pretty cool with a trade from one to two and two to nine. That had potential to add more draft capital this year, and then the possibility that you’re sitting on three ones in the following year. That had my attention,” Poles said. “But my gut told me to trigger on it now.”

Poles said he was concerned about one or more of the top quarterbacks potentially having a bad Pro Day, which could lead to less conviction in them and in turn teams being less certain about trading up. He also said it made his decision easier when the Panthers agreed to include star wide receiver DJ Moore in the deal.

There was a report last month that the Bears felt they might be able to trade back twice and still land the top prospect on their draft board. Instead, they acquired Moore, the No. 9 pick, a second-round pick, a 2024 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2025. Poles did well, even if he could have potentially made an even bigger splash.


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