The Bears have made 11 player trades in the first five years of Ryan Pace’s regime, including blockbusters (Khalil Mack), culture changers (Brandon Marshall) and even one to exorcise “double-doink” demons (Eddy Pineiro).
We really led with the recent trade history not because of the current QB hysteria in town (#evergreen), but a strong column Monday from MMQB’s Albert Breer that includes potentially a far tastier nugget pertaining to this pressure-packed Year 6 for Pace and third alongside Matt Nagy.
“Keep an eye on the Bears looking to augment their roster with a trade over the next couple months. Their cap situation will make it tough to be too active on the free agent market, but if there are players late in their rookie contracts made available, that’s one place where GM Ryan Pace could creatively improve what remains a win-now roster.”
A bunch to unpack here — and because it’s the offseason, we’ve got the time! — beginning with “over the next couple of months.”
While we’re essentially on Andy Dalton watch at this very moment, perhaps Pace could be penciling in a few targets post draft — which is merely a month and a half away — that wouldn’t prevent the Bears from first seeing how this assuredly wild and unpredictable free agency unfolds and maximizing their minimal draft capital with the idea of trading future assets.
Keep in mind that Pace traded for Mack on the eve of Week 1, when he signed Josh Sitton. Pace found Tracy Porter in the middle of June and Cre’Von LeBlanc in early September. Don’t assume that if the Bears don’t make a big trade splash right when the new league year opens, it isn’t still coming.
As Breer also mentions, the Bears’ cap situation is tight, hence the possibility of trading for guys on rookie deals who are more affordable. Obviously, that also likely makes them more volatile because good teams aren’t in the business of trading away cheap, competent labor.
And that’s where this gets fun for us, the ones whose jobs don’t depend on it, because we get to make some educated guesses on which players Pace’s Bears could covet. Again, check out Breer’s entire column when you get a chance because it’s very informative.
For now, here’s our list of potential Bears’ trade targets who remain on rookie deals and could both be available and strengthen the depth chart, arranged by position. Note: It's not a coincidence that the majority of our listees have previous ties to the Bears coaching staff.