If the Colts decide to rebuild, the Bears should swoop in

If the Colts decide to rebuild, the Bears should swoop in originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Before the trade deadline, the Bears completed Phase 1 of their full-scale roster reconstruction.

They traded away the largest contracts on their roster, dealing Robert Quinn to the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles, and Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens. In return, they stocked up on draft capital for the upcoming draft.

They also added a pass-catching weapon to their arsenal in Chase Claypool, giving Justin Fields a new target, and effectively starting the second phase of their rebuild.

Now starts Act II.

RELATED: Poles sends right message about Phase 2 of a rebuild with Claypool

The Bears will head into a highly anticipated offseason, headlined by eight draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and the most cap space in the NFL. Spotrac projects the Bears to have just south of $115 million in financial flexibility, which is around $45 million more than the next closest team.

How will they spend their money?

They've proven their disinterest in the upcoming free-agent wide receiver class by paying a high price for Claypool at the deadline. They also used their premiere draft picks on the secondary and both sides of the line.

If only there were a team out there that could help the Bears out with a potential fire sale.

How about the Indianapolis Colts?

On Monday, with the Colts at 3-5 and in the middle of a three-game losing streak, owner Jim Irsay fired head coach Frank Reich after four-and-half seasons with the team. In turn, Irsay hired former center Jeff Saturday, which posed as the Colts throwing in the proverbial towel on the season.

The Colts have whiffed at three straight retread quarterback moves in Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan. The "sign-and-shine" type moves haven't worked.

Now, it's time to regroup in Indy. Should the Colts trudge on with the roster –  that's ready to go the distance – if they can find the right quarterback? Or, is it time to pack it up, put up a "For Sale" sign in the front yard, and rebuild the roster?

If the Colts decide to rebuild, the Bears should be on the phones trying to take advantage of the firesale.

After the Bears jettisoned Smith and Quinn, the short-term focus will likely be on the defensive side of the ball for the upcoming offseason. The offense has also averaged 31.3 points in the last three weeks, evidenced by a need for a defensive overhaul, and marginal solutions around the offense.

Not only do the Colts have plenty of talented players, but they have players who have played under current Bears head coach Matt Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams.

This is imperative. Skip the part about the defense needing to learn the playbook and gel with the coaching staff. The Bears could have a ready-made defense, for the most part, in their hands by the summer.

Here are some players worth noting.

Yannick Ngakouwe has been all around the league in the last three years, but he's still an effective edge. Ngakouwe, 27, technically hasn't played under Eberflus/Williams but is still worth the look. His contract with the Colts expires this upcoming offseason.

Kenny Moore is a recent Pro-Bowl corner and is one of the best pass defenders in the game. Moore, 27, spent the first five-and-a-half seasons with the Colts. His contract ends in 2024. Eberflus, Williams, and cornerbacks coach James Rowe have praised the work Moore did for them in Indy and have used him as an example of who they want Kyler Gordon to model his game after in the nickel.

The defensive line should be a primary focus for the Bears' rebuild. Insert DeForest Buckner. Buckner, 28, is a two-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection and an absolute tank on the line. And by my count, he's only missed two games in his career. He is under a hefty contract until 2025, so this one would require a trade. But, he would plug a big hole on the Bears' defensive front at the three-technique, a key position in Eberlfus' defense.

MORE: Schrock: Fields is arriving, and now Bears must build around him

It's enticing to think of the possibilities, but there are always roadblocks.

Irsay isn't a big rebuild guy. The Colts have had a winning record in eight of the last 10 seasons. And this is all before the Peyton Manning era, when they won a Super Bowl and had double-digit wins for nine straight seasons.

It's completely unknown whether or not the Colts will decide to clear out their roster in light of an inevitable losing season. They still have plenty of young talent, and could view themselves as a quarterback away from making a run.

But if they decide to hit the reset button, the Bears should be first in line to help clean things up.

It all starts this offseason.

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