Bears could potentially trade No. 1 pick before free agency
All eyes are on the Chicago Bears this offseason, especially as it pertains to the 2023 NFL draft. The Bears are in possession of the No. 1 overall pick, and general manager Ryan Poles confirmed that they’re looking to trade out of the top spot.
During his press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, Poles said there are “some scenarios” where the Bears could look to trade back from the first overall pick before free agency begins next month, if they ultimately decide to deal the pick.
“A clearer view of what we need,” Poles said, “and there are some scenarios to add players as well, which gives us clarity for what we need to add in the draft.”
Chicago is sitting in a prime position ahead of free agency in a couple of weeks, where they boast the league’s most salary cap space (roughly $100 million). But there are a number of needs that Poles needs to address, particularly on the defensive and offensive lines. So what the Bears are able to accomplish in free agency should make it clear what the priority will be in the draft (and having additional picks would certainly help).
Should the Bears deal the top selection — and they’ll no doubt be fielding offers this week at the combine — there are a good number of teams who could be looking to move up for a quarterback. Whether it’s inside the top four with the Texans and Colts or inside the top 10 with the Raiders and Panthers.
Ultimately, it comes down to what Chicago opts to do with quarterback Justin Fields. Poles reaffirmed his stance that Fields will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2023 — at least for “right now” — but that won’t stop him from doing his due diligence on the quarterbacks in this draft class.
Still, all indications are the Bears will move forward with Fields as their QB1 and look to trade out of the top spot and land some additional draft capital. But just how far are they willing to move back? That’s the question.