clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hot Take Tuesday: Could Ryan Poles’ Bears/Panthers trade go down as the greatest ever?

The incoherent ramblings of a belligerent Bears fan.

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

When your favorite team sits at 4-8, bye weeks are a welcome change. It’s a Sunday where you don’t have to worry about your team losing. In fact, you start thinking about things and maybe it was the holiday season that put me in a good mood, but I started thinking about the Chicago Bears future in a positive light.

That light is a lot brighter than anyone expected, and it’s thanks to the trade Ryan Poles pulled off with the Carolina Panthers. It has decimated the Carolina Panthers franchise. It’s like a movie, Poles is walking away, sunglasses on, in slow motion from the Panthers’ franchise that he has left as a pile of smoldering rubble.

Sure, if they had taken C.J. Stroud instead of Bryce Young, this conversation would be totally different. But they didn’t, and the Panthers franchise is in complete disarray thanks to the trade they made with the Bears.

Peter King recently called the Panthers “miles from hopelessness.” They have struck the iceberg and the captain of the ship (David Tepper) wants to blame every person around him who warned him he was going to hit the iceberg rather than looking in the mirror.

But thanks to the landfill fire that is the Panthers, Ryan Poles is smelling like a rose. Now the question is, just how sweet will that smell be by the time the dust settles?

So far, the only names attached to this trade are Bryce Young, DJ Moore and Tyrique Stevenson. If Young doesn’t pan out, and while it’s certainly too early to tell, he certainly is trending in the wrong direction, this is already an easy win for Poles and the Bears. But there’s still this year’s number one pick, next year’s number two pick, and the fourth rounder this year from the Eagles that Poles received for trading back one spot before selecting Darnell Wright.

But it comes down to this: if the Panthers gift the Bears the number one pick and the Bears select a quarterback who becomes elite, this trade will be the greatest trade in NFL history.

Yeah, you heard me.

Sure, it’s a lot of “ifs.” And being the Bears haven’t had an elite quarterback since Sid Luckman, it’s quite easy to dismiss a statement like this. But the Bears have also never had an opportunity this prime to get it right.

In 1987, they selected Jim Harbaugh who was QB4 that year. In 1999 Cade McNown was QB5. In 2003 Rex Grossman was QB4. Justin Fields was QB4 in 2021. The only opportunity they had to select QB1 was 2017 with Mitch Trubisky and we know who they chose not to draft in that one.

Could the Bears select the wrong QB and repeat 2017 all over again? Absolutely. But also keep in mind that Trubisky (and Mahomes for that matter) were never considered prospects at the level of Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. Maybe generational was premature, but both these QBs are on the short list of best QB prospects over the last 10 years, and if the Bears are sitting first overall, they will have their choice of both.

Beyond that, they’ll have a situation to drop a quarterback into a team with a solid offensive line, a strong running game, and two excellent targets in DJ Moore and Cole Kmet plus money to spend to bring in free agents to bolster the offense and also another top ten pick that could bring in another elite wide receiver. If they hire the right coach, the setting will actually be near perfect for a rookie quarterback to succeed.

If the Bears get it right at quarterback, this is the greatest trade in NFL history. It’s better than the John Elway trade (the Colts did get a Pro Bowl tackle in Chris Hinton). It would even be better than the Herschel Walker trade (quarterback above all else and Troy Aikman wasn’t a result of that trade). It would be that impactful. An elite QB, a borderline hall of fame level WR and potentially 2-3 more strong contributors to the roster.

It’s still too premature to heap this much praise onto Ryan Poles for this trade, but it continues to trend in a direction that would be unprecedented in NFL history.

Quick Hits

  • Why do Bears fans trust Ryan Poles to evaluate talent but don’t trust him to pick a new quarterback?
  • Stop with the notion that selecting a quarterback is “starting over.” It isn’t... at all. It’s literally the way the Eagles and Niners did it, but Brock Purdy and Jalen Hurts were the QBs they took after the “pretty good” QBs that were Carson Wentz/Nick Foles and Jimmy Garoppolo.
  • Matt Eberflus will not be demoted to defensive coordinator. Stop suggesting it.
  • Teven Jenkins has played in 100% of the snaps in 6 games this season. That matches his career total combined from the previous two seasons.
  • The Bears are not going to bump Braxton Jones inside to guard and take a tackle in the top ten. Either Jones is the left tackle, or he’s going to be traded, but you can’t have both.
  • Is Darnell Mooney having a bad year because he isn’t getting open or because he isn’t the primary downfield option, and Fields is struggling to find him?
  • Why are Bears fans willing to settle for mediocrity? Demand more from your team.
  • Ben Johnson continues to be my top option.
  • I will not miss Matt Eberflus.
  • But I will miss Justin Fields.