The Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers have executed a trade that sends the No.1 pick at this year’s NFL draft to the Panthers. The franchise from North Carolina decided to make a bold move and give their new head coach Frank Reich a choice to pick his starting quarterback and build the team in accordance with his vision.
Adam Schefter announced the news this Friday night, citing his sources from inside the franchise.
According to the deal, the Bears will send the top selection to Charlotte, while in the opposite direction, the Panthers shipped wide receiver DJ Moore and four draft picks. Chicago receives the No.9 and the No.61 in the upcoming draft, the 2024 first-round pick, and the 2025 second-round selection.
Compensation update, per sources: Bears trading No. 1 overall pick to Carolina for:
🏈pick No. 9
🏈pick No. 61
🏈a first-round pick in 2024
🏈a second-round pick in 2025
🏈WR DJ Moore pic.twitter.com/hHrHn1UIR2
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2023
Carolina and Chicago made initial contact regarding this deal a few days ago and wanted to execute the agreement before the start of the free agency.
The Panthers’ organization has gone through pretty turbulent times in the past few years, changing five quarterbacks in the recent few years. Last year we saw them having three players in that position with at least five starts, but neither of them has managed to become a reliable solution.
During the 2022 offseason, the Panthers signed Frank Reich, who became the sixth head coach in the franchise’s history. He is also the first offensive-minded head coach ever to lead the Panthers, and that’s why the team wanted to give him the freedom to pick whichever quarterback would suit his needs.
The top favorites for Reich’s new QBs are Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, and Kentucky’s Will Lewis.
On the other side, the Bears got the first pick, but they didn’t need to use it as they have Justin Fields. That’s why Chicago decided to trade down and covert this selection into two, adding more depth on both ends of the field.
Justin Fields made significant progress in the latter part of the campaign, thus cementing his place as the Bears’ starting quarterback. There were some doubts about the 24-year-old, but as time went by, Fields shut down all the critics displaying several amazing performances one after another and indicating a massive potential.
— DJ Moore💫 (@idjmoore) March 10, 2023
What is superb news for the former Ohio State University superstar is that he got a reliable target, with DJ Moore coming to the Windy City. This opens up a new dimension in the attack, not only for him but for the entire Bears’ offense.
The 25-year-old had 888 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season, while so far in career, Moore has 364 receptions for 5,201 yards and 21 scores. He will be of massive importance for Fields, as the top target in the Bears’ attack. Though, there are some rumors that the Bears could go after several stars who are going to be available on the market, like Adam Thielen, DeAndre Hopkins, and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The NFL Draft takes place in Kansas City at the Union Station. Houston Texans hold the right to the second selection, the Arizona Cardinals, while Reich’s former team, Indianapolis Colts, have the fourth pick.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.