NFL GM: Bears more likely to trade No. 1 pick to Panthers, outside Top-10

NFL GM: Bears more likely to trade No. 1 pick to Panthers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The NFL Scouting Combine is a place for the entire league to congregate, negotiate and further the rumor mill.

It's also an opportunity for reporters to get information from front office execs on the condition of anonymity, and we got an interesting one from "a GM from a team picking later and with an established quarterback already on its roster."

This anonymous NFL general manager thinks the Chicago Bears are more likely than not to trade the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, just a lot further down than expected.

RELATED: NFL combine notebook: Bears intel on trade price, partners, QB class

“I think a trade is more likely than not — I would say 75 percent chance,” the general manager told The Athletic. “I could see it being more of like a Carolina (currently picking ninth) or someone outside the top 10 jumping into that top spot.”

Most trade down rumors have centered around the Indianapolis Colts trying to move ahead of their AFC South rival Houston Texans, who hold the No. 2 overall pick. Plus there are plenty of public comments from owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard flirting with the idea of a trade with the Bears.

Some have said the Carolina Panthers would be the trade that gets the Bears the best haul.

Another team president said he doesn't think the Bears trade down, unless teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Las Vegas Raiders get "desperate."

The Buccaneers own the 19th-overall pick and the Raiders own the 7th-overall, ahead of the Panthers.

Trading out of the top five could net the Bears the biggest haul, and if the general manager Ryan Poles can fill a lot of the team's holes in free agency, trading further down might be a more viable option.

But the price tag for dropping down that far would be steep.

"The Bears looking for a first- and second-round pick in this year’s draft as well as a first-round pick in 2024 and 2025 to move outside the top five," NBC Sports Chicago's Bears Insider Josh Schrock wrote. "There’s the potential for that price to come down a tick if the trade partner is still in the top five."

Peter King identified the Panthers as the team most likely to overpay for the No. 1 overall pick.

"Carolina could be more desperate," King wrote. The owner, David Tepper, has made it clear internally he wants a long-term answer at quarterback, and he wants it now. Indianapolis wouldn’t have to trade as much as Carolina for the pick, because it’d be moving up three spots. But the Panthers might be willing to overpay relative to the Colts, and if the Bears have enough “blue” players on the board to ensure they’d get one picking at nine, I could see them taking that deal."

But lots of intel coming out of the combine says multiple teams are "scrambling" to land the No. 1 overall pick.

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.