The Chicago Bears are operating with an eye toward next year. They know that they won’t be competing this season, so they are maximizing their chances at building a better future by trading some established veterans for draft capital. After trading for Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Chase Claypool, could the Bears now try to acquire KJ Hamler from the Denver Broncos?
In the last week, they have said goodbye to pass rusher Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith. Quinn was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round pick and Smith is on his way to the Baltimore Ravens after being traded for A.J. Klien, a second and fifth-rounder in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Chicago is doing an excellent job building up its cache of draft picks. The new regime of general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus were behind the eight-ball when they were hired as the previous regime traded their 2022 first-round pick to the New York Giants for the chance to select quarterback Justin Fields.
The supporting cast around Fields this season would be enough to get people fired for malpractice, but Chicago is beginning to find their footing offensively. Trading for Claypool was a huge step in the right direction. Fields is having an incredible stretch the last four weeks and the team should consider adding some weapons around him.
When you acquire the draft capital that the Bears have, it allows you to make other moves. If the opportunity presents itself, Chicago should make a move for wide receiver KJ Hamler of the Denver Broncos to compliment Claypool and Darnell Mooney.
Hamler, a second-round pick out of Penn State in 2020, has been hampered by injuries during his career so we haven’t been able to see what his ceiling may be. But, he is also stuck lower on the pecking order in Denver behind Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and the emerging Greg Dulcich. When healthy, Tim Patrick and Javonte Williams are also ahead of Hamler.
In Chicago, he could carve out a role as the No. 3 option behind Mooney and Claypool with enough preparation time.
The price for Hamler is considerably lower than Jeudy’s, so the Bears won’t have to break the bank to acquire him. Offer a fifth-round pick, whether it is their own or Chicago’s, should be enough to get a deal done with a Broncos team looking as if they are open for business.