BEARS TRADENEWS: Bears Trade Proposal Swaps RBs, …

BEARS TRADENEWS: Bears Trade Proposal Swaps RBs, Lands 4 Premium Draft Picks.

he Chicago Bears could pull off another blockbuster exchange in 2024 if they decide to keep quarterback Justin Fields and trade the No. 1 overall pick. How about a deal that swaps Khalil Herbert for a “clear upgrade” at running back and lands a haul of premium picks that keeps the Bears loaded for the long term?

Ali Bhanpuri,’s senior director of content and editorial, recently projected four trade packages that could tempt the Bears if they opt to move their No. 1 pick and suggested one with the Atlanta Falcons he modeled after last year’s DJ Moore trade.

Bhanpuri’s proposal has the Bears trading their No. 1 overall selection and Herbert to the Falcons in exchange for a massive return that would include a 2024 first-round pick (No. 8 overall), a 2024 third-round pick (No. 74), a 2025 first-rounder, a 2026 second-rounder and star running back Bijan Robinson — the eighth overall pick in 2023.

“The return would certainly be enticing for the Bears (imagine the read-option possibilities!), building on their biggest strength (Bijan would be a clear upgrade over Herbert, who’s valued here as the first pick in Round 6) while furnishing the franchise with additional resources to revamp the roster,” Bhanpuri wrote.

“Acquiring Robinson and the four years of control remaining on his rookie contract (equal to 80% of his original 8th overall value) would also grant Chicago extended cap relief if Fields does reach his full potential and warrant a lucrative extension.”

Bijan Robinson Trade Could Qualify as ‘Historic Haul’

The consensus around the league heading into the 2024 NFL Combine next week is that the Bears will likely trade Fields and use the No. 1 overall pick to select a new franchise quarterback. That does not mean the Bears are unwilling to part ways with the pick for the right blockbuster offer, though, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted.

“According to sources, it would take a historic haul for the Bears to move off the No. 1 overall selection, something wild,” Rapoport said on February 11. “Not saying it could not happen just like it did last year, but something crazy would make this happen.”

Realistically, the Bears could qualify Bhanpuri’s trade proposal as a “historic haul.” The scenario likely only makes sense if they plan on keeping Fields as their starter, but it would give them an excellent opportunity to load up on premium picks for both the current and future drafts. The deal would also land them a 22-year-old playmaker for their backfield who provides an ideal complement to power back Roschon Johnson.

Robinson averaged 4.6 yards per carry during his rookie season with the Falcons and finished with 1,463 scrimmage yards and eight total touchdowns. He also earned a few votes for the 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award for his efforts. Still, critics felt former Falcons head coach Arthur Smith and his overly creative offense failed to make the most out of the No. 8 overall pick despite him producing at a fairly high level.

Beyond Robinson, the Bears would also have to consider the benefits of adding a future first-rounder and second-rounder. The precise values would be challenging to predict, but doubling up on premium picks would allow the Bears to competitively build their roster for years to come.

Bears Expected to ‘Finalize’ QB Plan Before Combine

The hypothetical trade scenarios for the Bears’ No. 1 overall pick can be fun, but the writing on the wall suggests Chicago will not be parting ways with the top selection.

Numerous insiders — from ESPN’s Adam Schefter to The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs — have reported on the perception around the league that the Bears will trade Fields and select a new quarterback in 2024. And while the front office has not formally made a decision just yet, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer hears a decision is coming soon.

“The Bears are meeting over the next couple weeks to finalize plans at quarterback, with the expectation that they’ll have the plan in place in Indianapolis next week,” Breer wrote on February 19.

For fans anxiously awaiting the team’s decision, it is important to remember that the Bears can decide that they want to draft a rookie quarterback before figuring out which rookie they specifically want to target. Williams makes the most sense, but The Athletic’s Adam Jahns has reported the Bears are also “gathering information” on North Carolina’s Drake Maye, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

The NFL Combine — which begins next Monday, February 26 — will give them their best opportunity to deep dive into the top quarterback prospects. By the end of it, they should have a clearer picture of which among them is most appealing for the No. 1 pick.

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