We're less than a week away from the November 3rd (3pm Central) NFL trade deadline and the Chicago Bears, who are clearly in a transitional season, have to be open to making a few more trades. General manager Ryan Pace has already acquired a couple of 6th round picks earlier this season for Jared Allen and Jon Bostic, and with the Bears sitting at 2-4, he's no doubt working the phones.
Any players in the last year of their contract, that don't figure into Chicago's 2016 plans, are probably available at the right price. But the Bears would have to weigh a possible return in trade vs. a possible compensatory draft pick they could get from a departing free agent. There are still a few scheme fit issues that could be moved and the salary cap also has to be taken into consideration if a player were to be traded away.
For the record, here are all the Bear players in their final year under contract.
Matt Forte RB
Shea McClellin ILB
Alshon Jeffery WR
Alan Ball CB
Patrick Omameh G
Marc Mariani WR
Jimmy Clausen QB
Thomas Gafford LS
Tracy Porter CB
Evander Hood DE
Josh Bellamy WR
Vladimir Ducasse G
Sherrick McManis CB
Jarvis Jenkins DE
Sherrod Martin SS
Antone Smith RB
Sam Acho OLB
Chris Prosinski SS
Mitch Unrein DT
Zach Miller TE
Nick Becton LT
LaRoy Reynolds ILB
Bruce Gaston DE
Jonathan Anderson ILB
Bryce Callahan CB
Will Montgomery C (IR)
Jacquizz Rodgers RB (IR)
Ryan Mundy SS (IR)
Most of those players the Bears would be lucky to get a new practice field game clock in return, but there are a couple good players on that list.
Matt Forte is the obvious candidate, but I'm still not convinced that he isn't in their future plans. He has to know there isn't a giant payday waiting out there for a 30 year old tailback, so he may be open to sticking around if the two sides can work out a mutually beneficial agreement.
If a team offers up a 3rd round pick for Forte, I think Ryan Pace readily agrees, and if someone offers a 4th rounder I think he'll seriously consider it. I doubt either of these two things happen.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com believes the Bears should trade Alshon Jeffery.
NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport has reported that Jeffery is thought to be among the players Chicago is highly unlikely to trade. But the fact is, he's in the final year of his contract, and his agent, Eugene Parker, is a tough negotiator. While the team could turn to the franchise tag to keep Jeffery on, it might behoove the Bears to see what they could get for him in a deal.
He's not a speedy big-play guy, but he's a dependable pass-catcher who can move the chains. The Giants could use him to add depth, especially as they're still waiting on Victor Cruz to get healthy. Of course, the signability factor limits Jeffery's trade value to the point that Chicago might not get more than a fifth- or sixth-round pick back.
Trading a young Pro Bowl talent like Jeffery makes no sense at all to me.
Among the possible scheme fit issues, Willie Young had 10 sacks last year as a 4-3 defensive end, and so far this year as a 3-4 outside linebacker he has 1. Teams could pop in his 2014 tape and see the value he brings as a 4-3 edge rusher, but moving him less than a year after an Achilles injury could be tricky. Then again, he's really the only other edge rushing threat the Bears have to pair with Pernell McPhee, so it may make more sense to keep him.
The other converted defensive end, Lamarr Houston, makes too much money and hasn't produced since signing with the Bears, so I can't see anyone wanting him.
Second year cornerback Kyle Fuller was a Phil Emery draft pick, and he's been struggling with the new scheme, but I think the Bears believe in his upside and will live with the growing pains.
These next couple are highly unlikely, but worth mentioning as a shot in the dark.
Tight end Martellus Bennett made a mini stink about wanting a new deal this offseason, but if the Bears trade him, they have nothing at the position for the remainder of the 2015 season.
If the Bears decide to roll with Charles Leno at left tackle, then Jermon Bushrod could be had if a contending team is desperate for a left tackle upgrade. Bushrod's contract may be just "small" enough for the 2016 and 2017 seasons that it won't prevent a team from offering up a late round pick.
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal has floated another silly trade scenario. He thinks the Bears should send Jay Cutler to the Houston Texans.
Texans general manager Rick Smith has survived nine seasons with two playoff victories. This year is spiraling out of control, yet Houston is only one game out of first in the AFC South. So it's time for a panicked, but ultimately sensible trade! The Bears would have loved to get rid of Jay Cutler's contract in the offseason, but they found no takers.
Cutler is proving once again he's a solid mid-level starter, which has plenty of value to a team like the Texans that should be willing to take the short-term plunge. $Ten million of Cutler's $16 million salary is guaranteed next year, but is that really so bad for a team that has no present at the position (Brian Hoyer) or future? Having Cutler for the next season and a half should not prevent the Texans from doing everything possible to draft and develop a young quarterback, but Cutler would give them a far better option to throw to DeAndre Hopkins in the meantime. What's wrong with upgrading from league-worst to average? It's hard to imagine the Bears would require much more than a mid-to-late round pick.
If the Bears part ways with their #1 QB, that would be a sure sign that the "tank" is on.
Do you guys think the Bears have any deals in the works?
Any Bears players you'd like to see them trade?