2023-03-10 · 2 min read · NFL/Football
Former Panthers receiver D.J. Moore and Bears General Manager Ryan Poles

Mike Comer via Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are the first team to make a big move ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, announcing on Friday that they have traded the #1 overall selection to the Carolina Panthers.
Instead, the Bears are adding a veteran presence to its roster next season, acquiring former Panthers receiver D.J. Moore, Carolina’s first-round selection at #9, and the 61st pick this year, plus another first-round choice in 2024 and a second-rounder in 2025.
There were rumblings of a move like this occurring during last week’s NFL combine, with Bears general manager Ryan Poles confirming their desire to trade away the first pick.
“A clearer view of what we need, and there’s scenarios where you could add players as well, potentially, which again, gives you some clarity on what you want to do in the draft and free agency,” said Poles.
Panthers gm Scott Fitterer also hinted that he’d be open to trading up for the top pick, saying,
“You go get the guy that you want,” he said. “If you have a conviction on a guy, you go get him. It’s pretty simple that way. If you don’t know and you’re going to give all these resources to go up and get it, you’re hurting your team in the long run. You better be right. You better have conviction if you do move up.”
“But when you do that, you’re all-in.”
As a result, the Panthers will be the first team on the clock on April 27th in Kansas City, marking the third time in franchise history that they receive the top pick.
Carolina previously chose first in their inaugural NFL campaign in 1995 but traded that choice to the Cincinnati Bengals, moving down to #5, where they selected quarterback Kerry Collins while also getting the 36th pick that year.
Auburn QB Cam Newton was picked first overall by the Panthers in 2011, leading them to a Super Bowl appearance in 2015.
For most of the 2022 season, Chicago pivot Justin Fields struggled to find a capable pass catcher, with Darnell Mooney leading the team with 493 yards through the air and a pair of scores even though he missed their final five games through injury.
Moore has put together three 1,000-yard receiving seasons from 2019-2021.
The Panthers, meanwhile, have been searching for a franchise QB since Newton began experiencing shoulder issues halfway through the 2015 season.
In 2021 Carolina traded the third overall pick to acquire Sam Darnold, who started most of their games down the stretch of last season after the club moved on from a former top selection in Baker Mayfield, who they acquired from the Cleveland Browns before the start of 2022.
Friday’s announcement marks the first time since 2016 that the team with the top selection in the NFL draft chose to trade it away when the Tennessee Titans allowed the Los Angeles Rams to select Jared Goff.
Chicago ended 2022 with a record of 3-14, while the Panthers narrowly missed the playoffs by going 7-10.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Joel Lefevre


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