Bears' Ryan Poles thought he had opportunity to trade down twice
Poles thought he had opportunity to trade down twice originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles traded away the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers.
It was a haul of draft picks and wide receiver DJ Moore, an elite receiver to pair with Justin Fields.
But before that trade, Poles thought he had the chance to trade down twice. First to the Houston Texans and No. 2, then again to the Panthers at No. 9.
“I thought there was an opportunity to do something historically pretty cool with a trade from one to two and two to nine," Poles told Peter King. 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.
"But my gut told me to trigger on it now. At the combine, I thought those quarterbacks did an outstanding job in their interview process. A lot of teams felt really good about some of those guys, but as you get further away from the combine, maybe there’s a bad pro day or something that turns teams off.”
Albert Breer said the same thing in his Monday morning column for Sports Illustrated.
"At one point, Poles thought he’d trade down to the second pick with Houston, then down again to the ninth pick with Carolina," wrote Breer. "The problem was that negotiations with the Texans were dragging—doubt crept in that it’d go where Poles wanted it to, and the Panthers were acting with urgency."
In King's Football Morning In America column, he speculates Poles' closeness to Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer allowed him to get a better read on him, than Texans general manager Nick Caserio.
Poles cited the trust Fitterer and him have and also told King, "He wanted to get it done. He was clear with his intentions.”
That uncertainty around the Texans and Caserio led Poles to pull the trigger with a good deal in hand, versus trying to get greedy and waiting to see if the Texans would engage further.
“The thing was, instead of being greedy and trying to do all kinds of fancy things, I felt like, when we hit a certain point, I was satisfied,” Poles told Breer.
Trading down twice would've brought a bigger haul of draft picks, it might not have led Moore to Chicago.
"That was a long process, lot of twists and turns but we got it done," Poles told the media Thursday of the trade. "I think both teams got what they wanted out of the deal and we both continued to get better. You know, with that, to add capital this year in the draft as well as the future and set ourselves up with two 1's in '24, I couldn't be happier about that.
"But then when you add a player like DJ Moore, who can help us right now get better, continue to add weapons on our team. I was over the moon about that."
That No. 1 receiver has been a significant item on the Bears' offseason to-do list. Comparisons to the leap Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen made in his third season with the addition of Stefon Diggs have been made. More recently, the leap Jalen Hurts took when the Philadelphia Eagles acquired wide receiver A.J. Brown.
And while trading down twice, and hopefully getting DJ Moore as part of it, would've been an ideal scenario. In many ways it was the most optimistic of hopes, and could have not panned out.
The Panthers could've gotten impatient and traded with the Arizona Cardinals, and the ideal plan could've fallen apart.
Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.