With the NFL Draft concluded, talk around the league is reportedly still lingering on the stunning trade at the top of the first round.
The Chicago Bears’ decision to trade their third overall pick, two third-rounders, and a fourth-rounder to the San Francisco 49ers to move up one spot and draft Mitchell Trubisky looked bad initially.
However, in the days since, the NFL world is still baffled by the decision and the reported divide between GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS, an executive from another NFL team said the entire league is still talking about the Bears’ trade, particularly when Trubisky likely would have been available with the third pick anyway.
“We don’t know what the hell they were doing. It’s all anyone is talking about. It’s really bad between Pace and Fox. Fox is fuming about being left in the dark on the trade (for Trubisky). I don’t know anyone who likes their draft. From the first pick on, we can’t figure out what they were doing. Go back and look at how many small-school kids they took. People around the league are shocked. It’s really bad between Pace and Fox.”
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Fox didn’t know about the team’s plans to trade up until “a couple hours before.” Combined with the three-year, $US45 million contract the Bears gave Mike Glennon during free agency (although only one year and $US18 million of it is guaranteed), people are unsure what, exactly, the Bears are building.
Peter King of MMQB reports that the 49ers had decided that if Myles Garrett was still there at No. 2 they would pick him. If not, they’d take a “ransom” for the second pick. The Bears and 49ers had already had trade discussions, and King reports that after the Browns took Garrett No. 1, GM John Lynch instructed chief strategy officer John Paraag Marathe to see if they could squeeze a little bit more out of the Bears. From King:
“Marathe called the Bears. ‘To try to solidify this now,’ Marathe said to Pace, ‘we’re gonna need a little bit more to finish. It wouldn’t have to be much. Like, your four. So let’s say your third, 67 overall, this year, your three next year, and your four this year, 111 overall … I’m not gonna string you along … No … I will do it quickly. Let me get with John and Kyle and I’ll call you right back.’
“The Bears agreed. They’d give two third-round picks and a fourth-rounder to move up one spot.
“‘Man, who do they want?’ Lynch said. ‘Gotta be Solomon, right?’
“‘Call me crazy,’ Marathe said. ‘But I think it’s Trubisky.'”
The pressure is now on Trubisky, fair or not. Though the long-view will almost certainly be taken with Trubisky, the picks it cost to get him won’t help a talent-depleted roster. Additionally, as La Canfora notes, some of Chicago’s remaining draft picks came from schools like Ashland University, North Carolina A&T, and Kutztown — small schools without big-name players.
According to La Canfora, if Chicago hasn’t made strides in its rebuild by 2018 “there is almost certain to be a significant shakeup there come January.”
If the Bears are right in believing Trubisky could be a franchise quarterback, then perhaps the trade will have been worthwhile. In the meantime, the rest of the NFL has raised its eyebrows at what could be a franchise-altering deal.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.