Chicago Bears GM Opens Up About Blockbuster Trade

Ryan Poles, Chicago Bears
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

When Ryan Poles became the general manager of the Chicago Bears in Jan. 2022, the team had more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

Whether it be the receiver room containing Darnell Mooney as their No. 1 receiver or a defensive unit that couldn’t stop a nosebleed, the scene in Halas Hall wasn’t pretty, and it earned the Chicago Bears the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Ryan Poles made the Chicago Bears a contender with a single blockbuster trade

Instead of drafting Bryce Young at the top of the draft, Ryan Poles completed one of the biggest blockbuster trades in modern NFL history.

Chicago sent Carolina the No. 1 pick in 2023 (Bryce Young), and in return, the Bears received:

  • D.J. Moore
  • Darnell Wright (No. 9 in 2023)
  • Tyrique Stephenson (No. 61 in 2023, traded up to No. 56)
  • Caleb Williams (2024 first-round pick)
  • 2025 second-round pick

The entirety of this trade still has yet to pan out, and with the Carolina Panthers in contention for one of the worst teams in the league again this upcoming year, the Bears could be picking early in the second round of the 2025 NFL Draft.

This is a trade that Ryan Poles still thinks about to this day, as was revealed in an interview between Poles and ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about if that trade didn’t happen, how would we have gotten this roster to be a winner?”

Ryan Poles on blockbuster trade with Carolina Panthers

The Chicago Bears are incredibly fortunate that the Panthers accepted this trade because, had they not, things could look a whole lot different for the Bears.

There would be no D.J. Moore, Tyrique Stephenson, Caleb Williams, or 2025 second-round pick.

Now, hindsight is always 20/20, and there’s a firm belief that the Panthers wouldn’t have done this trade had they had hindsight on their side, but the nice thing about the NFL is there are no trade reversals. Both sides agreed on the trade at the time, making it permanent.

The Panthers probably wish they hadn’t sold their souls for Bryce Young, but, as the saying goes, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

In this instance, the Bears are the rich, and the Panthers are the poor.

Who knows what the Bears’ roster would look like had that trade not gone through? Since it did, Ryan Poles gets to sit back, thankful that he gets to relish in the fact that he and the Bears are on the right side of history.

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