Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers Make Blockbuster Trade Ahead of NFL Draft

The Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers just made a huge trade. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Bears are trading the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft to the Panthers, who had the No. 9 overall pick. The Bears will receive the Panthers' first-round pick as well as No. 61 overall (late second round), a first-round selection in 2024, a second-round selection in 2025 and wide receiver D.J. Moore. 

Last week, Bears general manager Ryan Poles confirmed that the team was looking to trade the No. 1 overall pick. "A clearer view of what we need and there's scenarios where you could add players as well, potentially, which again, gives you some clarity on what you want to do in the draft and free agency," Poles said.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said he was looking to trade up from No. 9. "You go get the guy that you want,'' he said. "If you have conviction on a guy, you go get him. It's pretty simple that way. If you don't know and you're going to give all these resources to go up and get it, you're hurting your team in the long run. You better be right. You better have conviction if you do move up. But when you do that, you're all-in.''

This move means the Panthers will likely select a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick. Some of the top quarterbacks in the draft class are Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's CJ Stroud, Kentucky's Will Levis, and Florida's Anthony Richardson. The Panthers have been looking for a franchise quarterback since they released Cam Newton after the 2019 season. 

With the Bears trading down, this means they have a lot of faith in their quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears selected Fields No. 11 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he has shown glimpses of being an elite player. In 2022, Fields finished the season with 2,242 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while rushing for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns. This year's NFL draft will take place from Apr. 27-29 at the plaza outside Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. It will be television ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network.