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A Scout’s Take: Why the odds the Bears will acquire Chase Young are slim

Many Bears fans are hoping a Chase Young trade is in the works, but Greg Gabriel does not think it’s happening.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Washington Commanders Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

There is a huge difference between how football executives think and how fans think. I'm not trying to rag on fans, because without them we don't have a game, but what fans don't understand is how to build a team the correct way.

Last year, Ryan Poles took control of the Chicago Bears and saw that it was a franchise in trouble. The salary cap was messed up, and there were a lot of older veterans on the team that weren't producing to the level of their contracts. The offensive and defensive lines were weak and didn't have young talent, and the skill positions lacked depth and talent.

In order to get this franchise back to being a consistent contender, he had to basically strip down the team and build it back up again. This was not going to be a one-year job but rather more like three years in the making.

The first thing Poles did was to get rid of older players who no longer put up top production and had contracts that contradicted what he wanted to do. We all know what happened and who the players were that were traded or let go, so there is no need to rehash the past.

To understand why certain things were done, it is important to know/understand what Poles' philosophy is about.

Ryan Poles is big on analytics when it comes to veteran players. By that, I mean he has researched how long players can be effective in the League, especially after they have been injured a few times, and what the severity of the injuries was. Older players with a history of injuries more than likely will get injured again and miss time. That means they can't play to the level of the contracts that are given. In other words, he wants to sign safe players, not players that come with risk, especially if it's a player that is going to receive a high-priced contract.

Last year, in order to field a team, he had to take some risks that went against his philosophy, but he did it with lower-priced contracts and, in most cases, deals that were only for one year. Most of those acquisitions are now gone, as they weren't signed to be part of the future in the first place.

This year in free agency, the players he signed were, for the most part, young, productive, and injury free. He only gave out one "big-ticket" contract, and that was to Tremaine Edmunds, who was just 24 years when the contract was signed and had already played five years in the League without any serious injuries. It was a very strong and intelligent move.

Poles wanted to sign tackle Mike McGlinchey, knowing it might cost $16 to $17M per year. He wasn't afraid of the average, but when the guarantees in the contract became much more than he was willing to guarantee, he walked away from the deal. It was then that Poles decided he would be better off drafting a right tackle than overpaying for one.

The same can be said about the defensive tackle position. Dre'Mont Jones was a player the Bears had an interest in, but when the contract figures got much higher than the Bears felt he was worthy of, Poles walked away. The pattern we see is Poles isn't about to make stupid deals, as they can negatively affect the franchise long-term.

Poles is not afraid to spend money, but he will do it wisely.

That brings me to the present. There are several Bears fans that want the club to go after Washington defensive end Chase Young. I believe that it is not going to happen. Not today, not tomorrow, or anytime in the near future.

First, Young IS NOT on the market. He was Washington's first-round pick in the 2020 Draft, and they honestly don't know what kind of a player he is. Young had a very strong rookie season, but he suffered a serious injury in year two. He tore not only his ACL but also his patellar tendon. Having just one of those injuries is bad; having both leaves some huge question marks as to what kind of a player he will be in the future. The reality is no one knows, not Washington, not the Bears, not the medical staff.

Young played in just three games at the end of last year, and he was just a shell of his former self. He played over 100 snaps in those three games and had a total of five tackles and no sacks. In fact, in the 12 games Young has played since his rookie season, he has a total of 1.5 sacks, and those were in 2021. This is not the player we saw who was chosen second overall in the 2020 Draft!

Bears fans feel that Young is on the trade market because Washington did not pick up the fifth-year option on his contract. That is not true. Washington already has a sizeable investment in Young, and before they make a decision of paying him into the future, they want/need to know what he is now. Until they find that out, there will be no trades. Secondly, what would any team in their right mind want to trade for a big question mark? It just isn't going to happen!

Washington was hoping they could find out about Young's health and movement skills during OTAs, but because OTAs are voluntary, Young chose not to participate. He is currently at their mandatory minicamp, but it may be until training camp before they really see what kind of player Young is. If, at the end of training camp, they want to trade him, it means that they feel he can't play up to the $5+M he is still owed this year. If Washington doesn't want him, why should anyone else at $5M guaranteed?

I believe that if Young becomes available at all, it will be at the trade deadline. Again, if Washington wants to move him, it's because he can't play at a high level anymore. Why make a trade and give up an asset for a rental that will last at most half of a season? That isn't smart thinking.

Because the Chicago Bears are looking for a veteran edge player, another name we continue to hear from fans is former Brown Jadeveon Clowney. Like with Young, the Bears won't try to sign Clowney. First, he's an older player (30), he hasn't played a full season since 2017, has been basically an underachiever his whole career, and except for two seasons, has not done much as a pass rusher. Knowing Ryan Poles' philosophy on player acquisition should tell you the Bears won't be interested.

The whole point of this? Just because a player was once a big name does not mean he still is. If we have learned anything in the past 18 months of Poles' leadership, it's that he doesn't make dumb decisions.