The Carolina Panthers struggled to let DJ Moore go to the Chicago Bears as part of a trade for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. According to Moore's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, the Panthers were emotional while informing Moore of the trade on the phone.
"The Panthers were in tears, literally, when they called DJ. It was emotional for them," Rosenhaus said on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday.
The Panthers drafted Moore in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Maryland. He spent five seasons in Carolina, recording over 5,200 yards and 21 touchdowns. Between 2019-21, Moore notched three straight seasons with over 1,100 receiving yards.
He quickly became one of the most valuable assets on the Panthers, which made the trade all the more difficult for the Panthers to execute.
"By no means did the Panthers want to trade DJ, but the Bears were smart," Rosenhaus said. "They knew the Panthers really wanted to draft a quarterback. They were insistent on getting DJ as part of that package. And they landed a No. 1 wide receiver for Justin Fields. Great trade for the Bears."
Moore said to Adam Schefter on his podcast he found out from the team about his trade while moving packages between houses in Carolina. He was ironically moving to a new house when he would inevitably need to move again. This time to Chicago.
Rosenhaus said he found out the news at the same time as Moore. And like the Panthers, it emotionally affected Moore.
"I was not even expecting to be traded," Moore said in March. "I never thought about being in a trade. So it was like a real shock to me. I was like 'Woah.' It hit me so fast. Before I even got to it I was just like 'What is happening right now?'"
In the end, Moore was happy to become a Bear. He wouldn't admit it during his opening press conference in Chicago, but he spent all of his years catching passes from subpar, substandard quarterbacks in Carolina.
He played with Cam Newton, then Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker – who the Bears signed after trading for Moore – and Baker Mayfield. Yet, as his aforementioned statistics show, it didn't matter who was throwing the ball. Now, he'll play alongside the highly anticipated Justin Fields in Chicago.
Rosenhaus explained the mentality of players who teams trade for. With Moore, the Bears traded the opportunity to gain a third first-round pick from the Panthers in exchange for his services at wide receiver. Moore is happy to be appreciated by a growing team.
"DJ was fine with it because when a team trades for you, they invest capital for you, that means you're more valuable," Rosenhaus said. "That means you're gonna get a new contract sooner. That means you're more likely to have a greater career with the team that trades for you.