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Chicago Bears Trade Deadline Preview

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The Chicago Bears are 3-3 but look closer to going the wrong way than heading in the right direction throughout the remainder of the 2021 NFL season. Most of their defeats have been by handsome margins, while Chicago’s three wins have generally been narrow and hard-fought. The Bears’ defense remains one of the toughest in football, but the offense is still at a crossroads. Rookie quarterback Justin Fields is finding his way without the support of injured workhorse running back David Montgomery.

Writing may already be on the wall for this season, but the Bears have trade-worthy assets they can turn into draft picks for next year’s rebuild. Specifically, general manager Ryan Pace could flip either one of backup quarterbacks Andy Dalton or Nick Foles for draft picks or veteran help. Defensive end Akiem Hicks is another notable name who would earn Chicago more draft capital.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Trade Deadline Previews.

The Chicago Bears’ Current Status

Current Record: 3-3

Division Standings: Third in NFC North

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In the Playoff Picture: No

Buyers or Sellers: Sellers

Current NFL Draft Slot: 16th overall

Potential Trade #1: Andy Dalton and 2022 sixth-round pick to Denver Broncos for Kyle Fuller and a 2022 fifth-round pick

The Bears need some help at cornerback and know what they would be getting from Fuller. He played some solid football during six seasons in Chicago. He’s not guaranteed a place in the Broncos’ rotation now that Ronald Darby is healthy again. Bryce Callahan is also in the fold, while rookie Patrick Surtain II is beginning to live up to his billing as the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Fuller was originally considered a solid get for the Broncos in free agency, but Vic Fangio’s team needs better play at quarterback more. Dalton could be an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater for a franchise that has tried pretty much everybody under center since Peyton Manning called it a career. Bridgewater has been hurt and has thrown five interceptions during Denver’s four-game losing streak.

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A knee problem has wrecked Dalton’s attempts to be the Bears’ starter, but he has proved in the past that he can thrive in the right situation. Dalton twice broke the 4,000-yard barrier with the Cincinnati Bengals and could get more from Denver’s underrated receiving corps. Despite decent numbers, Dalton is never going to fetch a major haul in trade, so Pace would need to sweeten the pot with a late-round pick to help get a better choice in return.

Potential Trade #2: Nick Foles to the Washington Football Team for a 2022 sixth-round pick

Foles’ stock may have fallen in recent years, but he’s still a Super Bowl winner who beat Tom Brady. If the Bears aren’t going to use Foles, Pace should flip him for a draft choice. Extra draft currency would be welcome for a team with only four picks in 2022. There are few franchises more in need of quarterback help than the Washington Football Team.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is injured while the Taylor Heinicke bubble has well and truly burst. There’s already talk that Heinicke is destined for the bench after throwing six interceptions in as many weeks. Ron Rivera is being non-committal about starting Kyle Allen, but the Washington offense is consistently stymied by miserable play under center.

Coordinator Scott Turner’s unit has become small ball, something Foles would solve. He’s always been a feast or famine passer and still has the arm to exploit the big-play capabilities of Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Dyami Brown. Some clutch deep throws from Foles could change the tide of Washington’s so-far disappointing season. That’s worth giving away the 189th overall pick in next year’s draft.

Potential Trade #3: Akiem Hicks to Los Angeles Chargers for 2022 fifth and sixth-round picks

A porous run defense is likely to wreck the Los Angeles Chargers’ Super Bowl hopes. That weakness saw L.A. fall flat during Week 6’s headline AFC showdown against the Baltimore Ravens, who rushed for 187 yards. The Cleveland Browns amassed 230 on the ground against the same defense a week before.

Head coach Brandon Staley needs to fix the Chargers’ soft middle, so a trade for Hicks should be top of his agenda. The Chargers considered striking a deal for Hicks during the offseason, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. It’s time to revisit the idea armed with the 168th and 216th overall picks.

Hicks is a monster in the trenches who can crush the pocket and stuff the run when at his dominant best. Yet he’s also 31 and has been brittle the last two years. It means the Bears shouldn’t expect to receive a major haul in trade, but two late-round draft picks would surely suffice.

Pace would be wise to accept an offer on this level because the Bears are less beholding to Hicks in 2021. The two sides still haven’t agreed on a new contract, while Hicks’ fellow interior defensive linemen Angelo Blackson, Bilal Nichols, and rookie Khyiris Tonga have all been pleasant surprises. Eddie Goldman is also still in the mix. Two extra picks would give the Bears more options next April, even if Pace is unlikely to be making the picks.


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Main Image Credit: 

Embed from Getty Images

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