CHICAGO — The Bears will trade the first pick in the 2023 draft to the Panthers in exchange for four draft picks and a wide receiver. dj mooresources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.
The Bears will receive Carolina’s first-round pick at No. 9, a late second-round pick (No. 61), a 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick, according to Schefter.
Talks over the No. 1 pick had intensified since last week’s scouting combine, sources told Schefter, with several teams, including the Houston Texans, expressing interest in making a deal with Chicago.
The Panthers initially contacted the Bears, in addition to several other teams at the top of the draft, during the combine to inquire about the possibility of moving up, a league source said. Talks with the Bears resumed a couple of days ago and came to a head Friday because Panthers officials saw value in closing a deal before free agency begins Monday, the source said.
Carolina ultimately wanted the first pick because it gave her the most options. According to the source, team officials have conviction on more than two of the best quarterbacks, but have not zeroed in on one as they are still in the early stages of the evaluation process ahead of the Jan. 27-29 draft. April.
They were high on Kentucky will levis early last season and impressed with Levis, Alabama’s young bryce and the state of Ohio C.J. Stroud at the combine, league sources said. But if the Panthers fell for a pair of quarterbacks, they would consider trading a spot or two, according to a league source.
This will be the third time the Panthers have had the first pick. They had him in his first season, 1995, but traded him to the Cincinnati Bengals for the No. 5 and No. 36 pick in the second round. They selected quarterback Kerry Collins at No. 5.
They also had the first pick in 2011 and selected Auburn’s newton camwho won the 2015 MVP and led Carolina to the Super Bowl.
While the Panthers initially didn’t want to part with Moore, the 24th pick in the 2018 draft and their best wide receiver in the past five years, they agreed in part because the Bears wanted the former Maryland star. Passing on Moore also kept Carolina from having to give up another future first-round pick, the source said.
The Panthers now plan to be active as wide receivers on the free agent market with Marshall Jr Terrace, shi smith and Laviska Shenault Jr. his only proven receivers and none a proven No. 1. They had a combined 77 receptions in 2022.
On the Bears side, the wide receiver is a huge need after Darnell Mooney he finished with 493 receiving yards and a team-high two touchdowns despite missing the final five games of the season due to injury. Before adding Moore, who had three 1,100-yard seasons from 2019-21, the Bears only had Mooney, Chase Claypool, Velus Jones Jr. and Equanimous St. Brown under contract at the receiver.
The Bears will inherit the remainder of the three-year contract extension Moore signed in March 2022. The wide receiver, who recorded a career-high seven touchdowns last season, has a base salary of $19.965 million for the season. season 2023.
The move reaffirms the Bears’ continued support for the quarterback. justin fields, who is coming off his second NFL season and finished 64 yards shy of the single-season quarterback rushing record. Chicago general manager Ryan Poles has said during the offseason that the Bears’ plan is for Fields to remain the starting quarterback in 2023 even though the team is doing its homework on available quarterbacks in the draft.
“His athleticism and his ability to create explosive plays was special,” Poles said. “Now, what we’ve discussed, and I’ve talked about it openly, he’s got to take the next step in his game, and I’m excited to see that because I think he’s going to do it.”
The Poles confirmed last week at the combine the team’s desire to trade the No. 1 pick and expressed optimism that the Bears would be able to find a business partner before free agency, a scenario they believed would benefit the franchise and could attract a player in addition to the draft. selections
“A clearer vision of what we need, and there are scenarios where you could add players as well, which again gives you some clarity on what you want to do in the draft and free agency,” Poles said.
Carolina has been looking for a franchise quarterback since Newton developed shoulder problems midway through the 2015 season. He moved on from Newton before the 2020 season and went with teddy bridgewater.
The Panthers traded for sam darnoldthe third pick in the 2018 draft, in 2021. They traded for mayfield bakerthe first pick in the 2018 draft, prior to last season.
They were recently involved in discussions for the former Los Vegas Raiders quarterback. Derek Carr, who signed with NFC South rival New Orleans Saints on Monday. During those discussions at the combine, team officials decided to remain focused on getting a quarterback in the draft.
Among his possible picks at quarterback, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rates Levis as his best quarterback, but other analysts believe Young will be the first quarterback selected.
“The poise, the competitiveness, the ability to process and see the field,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said of Young at the combine. “The guy never seems stressed when he’s in the pocket. And then you meet him in person and it’s like, chill. He’s a good guy. Nothing is too big for him.”
“I remember a couple years ago at the Heisman Trophy presentation … and he was so prepared. I think he was (20) at the time. It’s not an act. It’s like who he is. It’s ingrained in him.”