This NFL offseason may go down as the wildest in league history. There have been **four** trades involving starting QBs, with a fifth expected in an upcoming Baker Mayfield deal. Two of the best wide receivers in the league, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, have been dealt. At this point, the trade that sent Khalil Mack to the Chargers feels like both old news, and small potatoes.
With so much action on the trade market, could the Bears get involved with another deal? With so much still unknown about new GM Ryan Poles it’s hard to predict, but it feels unlikely. It also takes two teams to tango, so any player Poles may put on the block would need a suitor. If the Bears were to make it deal, however, it would likely involve one of the following players.
DAVID MONTGOMERY - RUNNING BACK
Montgomery was the most consistent player on offense for the Bears last season. It became apparent early in the year that he was their offensive identity, and he began to make good on his case that he’s one of the most slept-on running backs in the league. But when Montgomery went down with a knee injury in Week 4, Khalil Herbert took the reins and showed he could carry the load too. The Bears offense would be better with both Montgomery and Herbert in the running backs room, but Montgomery is playing on the last year of his rookie deal. If Poles doesn’t want to invest money into the running back position, he may try to unload him instead of paying him. Another reason why a deal for Montgomery may not materialize is because contemporary football thinking says running backs have shorter careers and aren’t “worth” serious investment.
NICK FOLES - QUARTERBACK
Foles has been linked in Bears trade rumors dating back to the last offseason. Foles himself confirmed other teams had made offers to acquire him, but the deals didn’t come together. Foles still has value as a reliable backup QB, and if the right scenario arises the Bears would likely be happy to flip him for a draft pick. However it doesn’t seem likely that any scenario would arise for Foles to have a better shot of competing for a starting job. Further, many teams may prefer to draft a QB with a sixth or seventh round pick, rather than bringing in Foles at this point in his career.
EDDIE JACKSON - SAFETY
Matt Eberflus and Poles have already shaken up the defense quite a bit as they mold it to fit their vision. By trading Mack and cutting Eddie Goldman, they moved two of the biggest contracts on their rosters while recalibrating to fit Eberflus’ 4-3 scheme. A rangy play-making safety certainly has a home in the backend of Eberflus’ defense, and when Jackson was at his best there was no better playmaking safety in the league. Jackson has had some bad luck with penalties erasing his big plays over the past couple of seasons, but the bottom line is it’s been some time now since Jackson produced anywhere near the level of his unreal 2018 campaign. Now, Jackson’s $15 million cap hit ranks second on the Bears roster heading in 2022. That type of contract may be tough to move, so it feels more likely that the Bears try to help Jackson play to the best of his abilities again, rather than trade him.
ROBERT QUINN - DEFENSIVE END
The Bears traded away Mack, so why not Quinn? Coming off of a record-breaking season, it’s likely that Quinn’s trade value is the highest it will ever be for Poles. If the team is serious about flipping over an aging roster to get younger, it seems reasonable to tear things all the way down to the studs to rebuild as quickly as possible. But moving Quinn now would leave the pass rushing unit pretty bare. Mario Edwards Jr. is still on the roster, but he’s never crossed the 60% snap count threshold in his career, and has topped out at four sacks in a season. Trevis Gipson showed great promise last season, but he’s spent the past two years developing to play outside linebacker. It could be tough asking him to take on a bigger workload while reverting back to defensive end一 a position he played in college, but never at the NFL level. Eberflus’ defense relies on generating pass rush pressure with his four defensive lineman. The defense as a whole is probably best served with Quinn still on the roster. Further, Quinn embodies Eberflus’ HITS principals as someone who plays with incredible intensity on each and every snap, whether it’s on Sundays or in practice. He seems like the exact type of veteran Eberflus would want to keep in the locker room to get the rest of the roster onboard with HITS, too.