Bears trading No. 1 pick to Panthers, WR DJ Moore: Sources

By Kevin Fishbein, Adam Johns, Joseph Burson and Jeff Howe

The Chicago Bears have traded the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers, team and league sources have confirmed. Athletic. Here’s what you need to know:

  • In exchange for the top pick in the draft, Chicago will receive Carolina’s No. 9 and No. 61 picks in 2023.
  • The Bears acquired the No. 1 pick this offseason thanks to the strong play of QB Justin Fields in the second half of 2022.
  • Fields finished 2022 with 2,242 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions along with 1,143 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. He threw 12 touchdowns in the team’s final eight games.
  • The Bears were 3-14 in 2022, while the Panthers were 7-10.

AthleticInstant Analysis:

Why did the Panthers make the move?

After three years on the quarterback carousel with Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield, they needed to try something different. Owner David Tepper is a fan of making a big change, which he tried to do over the past two seasons by pursuing Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson. Plus, the Panthers aren’t going to hire former NFL quarterback and QB coach Frank Reich and give him no one to work with. — person

So who are the Panthers going up for?

The team’s party line is that Reich and general manager Scott Fitterer will use the next seven weeks to evaluate which of the Big Four quarterbacks they need: CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Lewis or Anthony Richardson. But league insiders believe it will be Stroud, who is bigger than Young, more accurate than Richardson and more of a playmaker than Lewis. Stroud showed accurate passing at the combine last week and proved he’s not afraid to leave the pocket when needed in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Georgia. The Panthers passed on another Ohio State quarterback two years ago and took Jaycee Horn at No. 8 when Fields became available. — person

Evaluating trades for bears

It was a win for Bears general manager Ryan Boles. And a report to the rest of the League. The Poles are rebuilding the Bears, and now he’s picked it up. First choice is a tremendous resource and he knows it. Teams always go above and beyond their quarterbacks.

The Panthers have now picked them up to add an additional first-rounder in 2024 and a second-rounder in 2025 to their roster. Moore also acquired the No. 1 receiver in Far Fields. It is indeed an impressive haul. — John’s

What Moore Brings to Chicago

Draft capital is crucial for the Bears long-term, but Moore could be a big part of this deal. He had 1,100 yards in each season from 2019-21 for the Bears — and he turns 26 next month. Moore could be a much-needed cornerstone on this roster at a premium position, and that lessens the need to pour resources into free agency or the draft. Getting a veteran playmaker to join Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool is also big for Fields. — Fishpain


Quarterbacks Young and Stroud are expected to be the first players selected in the upcoming draft, with the Bears, including Beals, cashing in on their NFL-worst record. With the new picks, Chicago is expected to either build the roster around Fields or turn the picks into even more assets.

Moore, the 24th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has started 73 games in his five-year career with Carolina. Last season, he led the Panthers with 888 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

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(Photo by Bears GM Ryan Poles: Matt Marton / USA Today)

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