The Chicago Bears would’ve liked to improve their entire roster more this off-season. That is a common misconception about what has happened in the past few months. GM Ryan Poles knew he couldn’t fix everything, so he did his best. The one area of the roster that has fans upset the most is wide receiver, where the only notable additions are Byron Pringle and Velus Jones. One had a decent season in 2021 but was mostly a backup before that, and the other is an older rookie with uncertain upside. This is why many are urging the team to make a run at somebody like DK Metcalf.
The 6’4 freak receiver has established himself as one of the top 10 in the NFL. Not only is he blazing fast, but his size and strength make him difficult to bring down once the ball is in his hands. After the Seattle Seahawks traded Russell Wilson, it felt like they might be hitting the reset button. With his contract up after 2022, it might make sense for the team to unload the receiver for draft compensation rather than pay him. Thus far, that hasn’t happened. Most believe it won’t, but Brady Henderson of ESPN isn’t so sure.
“Metcalf surprisingly skipped mandatory minicamp in an apparent statement about his unsettled contract situation. The Seahawks are still optimistic about extending him, but it doesn’t seem like a slam dunk given how costly the receiver market has become.”
It isn’t hard to understand.
Paying big money, given their roster right now, may not make sense. The Seahawks have zero certainties at the quarterback position and a roster in the middle of a significant overhaul after steady deterioration over the past five years. Losing a talent like Metcalf would sting in the short-term, but the high draft choice they’d get back and the money saved could allow them to accelerate the rebuild.
Conversely, the Bears have their young quarterback in place with Justin Fields. His big arm and deep accuracy make him an ideal fit for a downfield threat like Metcalf. Chicago is also scheduled to have the most cap space of any team in 2023 at over $90 million. So they can afford the contract necessary to secure the receiver long-term if they wish.
DK Metcalf trade goes against the identity of the new Bears GM.
Ryan Poles has said from the beginning he isn’t a fan of bold moves like this. While it may help in the short-term, giving the Bears a quick burst of winning, it ends up hindering them in the long run. He wants this team to compete every year; in his mind, that means building through the draft. If the Bears give up a 1st round pick for Metcalf (which is what it will take), then they’re left with only five picks next year.
It is challenging to build a team that way. That would mark the fourth time in five years the Bears will have traded a 1st round pick to another team. Such a philosophy hasn’t done them much good. DK Metcalf is a star. There is no question about that. He’s averaged over 1,000 yards during his first three seasons with 29 touchdowns. He is also still only 24 years old.
The benefits to the trade could be huge.
He and Darnell Mooney would make a lethal combination if Fields takes a step forward as many hopes. It is just difficult to imagine a single wide receiver can turn around the fortunes of this entire team. Considering how weak other positions are right now, that feels unlikely.
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