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If the Chicago Bears are going to get a significant market for the No. 1 pick, they need to see how the veteran landscape opens up through free agency and trades. Depending on where the biggest names go will affect which teams may or may not be interested at No. 1 overall. Many experts and insiders believe that GM Ryan Pauls will keep the phone lines open and they will be busy in the coming months. However, real movement isn’t likely until late March. That’s when the veterans market should mostly be settled.

No one can say for sure how things will develop. Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated decided to make predictions about how he sees things breaking down. Based on his assessment, this is exactly the kind of scenario the Bears should be happy about.

  • Tom Brady – Retires (since confirmed)
  • Aaron Rodgers – Staying with the Packers
  • Derek Carr – signs with Washington
  • Jimmy Garoppolo – Signs with Miami
  • Lamar Jackson – staying with the Ravens
  • Geno Smith – Staying with the Seahawks
  • Daniel Jones – Stays with the Giants

The primary significance of this is that none of the top picks ended up in the top 10 as a team. Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Carolina failed to secure any big names. That means they will all be more desperate for a quarterback in the draft. It stands to reason that at least one of them will be willing to pay a heavy price to get the guy they want.

The Chicago Bears need one more thing to make this work.

They need top quarterbacks Bryce Young and CJ Stroud to blow away one or both of those teams in practices and interviews. They must fall in love with someone. If and when that happens, anxiety starts to set in. What if someone treated this quarterback the same way? They might get to him before we do. At that time, the phone calls to Halas Hall will increase. Poles can carefully weigh the proposals. When he gets one that is impossible to dodge, he can pull the trigger.

Nothing is set in stone. One of those defenders could always do something unexpected. However, all indications are that the Chicago Bears have a strong list of teams interested in the No. 1 pick. It will depend on how much they offer and how far the Poles are willing to go. Anything can happen. If there is a trade, the smart money says it comes together in the weeks leading up to the draft between late March and early April. Keep up with quarterback workouts until then.


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