When trading the #1 overall pick, Ryan Poles struggles with the question of ‘when’ not ‘if’

It’s becoming more and more clear that the Bears will trade the first overall pick in the 2023 draft. The question is when they will do it, not if.

Peter King leads his latest Morning Football in America A column with key comments from Bears GM Ryan Poles, who will make the final call at what time and where the Bears go with the better pick they got when the Texans blew it by beating the Colts to cap the 2022 regular season.

“Should we do this before free agency?” The Poles told the king. Or should we wait? I don’t know. That’s what she recommended [to teams]. I can carry this all the way through so we’ll be on the clock on tow night. But then there are teams that want some certainty because, “If I need a bad quarterback, should I do it now while some of these guys, like Derek Carr, are out there?” For me, they have to go a lot more than that to do that now.”

The Poles explained that it was not “greedy”, but in order to make a deal now “they would have to go further.”

Regardless, the deal will be consummated at some point. Because, wisely, the Bears are not going to let go of current quarterback Justin Fields.


“As we started to adapt and adapt to what he did well, and he started to run the ball around a little bit, we saw a very special, unique ability and talent that could change the game,” Poles told King, adding that the next step was to work on making him more efficient at passing. “I think there’s potential for us to have something really good, and for me, you have to see it through.”

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The Poles said he believes he can pick an extra first-round player in 2024 along with an extra first-rounder in 2025 while still getting one of the top six or eight players on his board.

One way to do this could be to trade twice. Flip with the Texans to make sure they get the best quarterback, then auction off the #2 pick to teams like the Colts, Falcons, and Panthers. Or perhaps the Poles could simply take advantage of Carolina owner David Tepper’s chronic pursuit of a franchise quarterback and get him to go all-in for first place.

Or maybe instead of two, you’ll go from No. 1 to No. 2 with the Texans, then to No. 4 with the Colts, and then to No. 8 or No. 9 with the Falcons or Panthers, with each team going for a quarterback.

The problem with having options is that Poles ultimately have to choose one. The challenge will be when to do it. When to maximize range. Whether or not to risk waiting too long for shows to start moving the other way.

you may get. If Tepper’s heartbeat leads to the team signing Derek Carr, there will be one fewer paddler in the auction for the top spot, or the bottom spot the Bears gain. If the Falcons play Lamar Jackson and go down, they’ll be out of the running, too.

Regardless, the bears are sitting pretty. They’ve got a birdie in hand, and they’ve got three or four teams willing to give up future first-round picks to the two in the bush. The challenge becomes choosing the right time to beat the bush for a trade, or two (or three), down the board.

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