The Chicago Bears no longer have the number one overall pick, but when they did, they had a choice between Justin Fields and the top quarterback prospect. They could have traded Fields for a haul and used it to surround their new quarterback with talent or trade the pick and surround Fields with talent.
They opted for the latter, trading the pick to the Carolina Panthers for four picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore. Were they ever considering doing the alternative?
One NFL writer believes so. He believes that if there was a can't miss prospect in the draft, Chicago would have traded Fields to get him. The Athletic's James Boyd said:
"There isn’t a surefire star quarterback in this draft class. No Andrew Luck, no Trevor Lawrence and no Joe Burrow. If that type of QB were available, the Bears would’ve drafted him and traded Justin Fields without hesitation.
"So, it’s understandable why Chicago shopped the pick and why Colts GM Chris Ballard wasn’t compelled to do 'whatever it takes' to get it, which he suggested at the end of the season was a possibility."
Based on most expert opinions, neither Bryce Young or CJ Stroud are a Trevor Lawrence or Joe Burrow-type prospect.
Bears free agency rumors: Who stays, who goes?
Chicago has a few key free agents this offseason, but their decisions are a lot less stressful now after receiving the trade package from the Panthers. They now have a true wide receiver one and a lot of picks in the draft.
That makes free agent Byron Pringle expendable. He's likely not coming back and neither is N'Keal Harry. Riley Reiff is likely returning since Chicago needs to invest heavily in protecting Fields.
With the emergence of Cole Kmet, tight end Ryan Griffin is probably going to play elsewhere this season. Running back David Montgomery is also likely gone. Khalil Herbert was arguably better than him and won't cost a hefty second contract.
The Bears have a lot of free agents on defense, but not too many of note. They need help on that side of the ball, but expect a lot of fresh faces in the draft and free agency.