The Chicago Bears don’t necessarily need a new quarterback, though they could definitely use an elite edge-rusher to pair alongside Montez Sweat.
That is the premise behind a trade proposal authored by Bill Zimmerman of SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron on Saturday, January 27. In his proposal, the Bears ship the No. 1 overall pick in 2024 to the Las Vegas Raiders in return for seven total draft selections over the next three years and two-time All-Pro edge defender Maxx Crosby.
This mock gets off with a bang as the Chicago Bears trade all the way down to 13 overall with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders want to make a really big splash and Mark Davis is enamored with the idea of Caleb Williams playing in the city of Las Vegas, he thinks it’s a match made in heaven.
The trade is a massive haul for Ryan Poles. The Bears land 13, 44 and 77 this year. They land the Raiders first and third round picks in 2025, they land the Raiders second and fourth round picks in 2026 and they bring in Maxx Crosby as well.
Maxx Crosby Would Elevate Bears Pass-Rush Significantly and Immediately
To be fair, Crosby’s talent would make him an excellent fit just about anywhere in the NFL, but he could fill a desperate need in Chicago.
The Bears finished 31st out of 32 teams with 30 sacks in 2023. That number jumped up from 20 sacks the year prior, when Chicago was dead last in the league in the category.
Crosby has played five seasons in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl honors in each of the previous three years and second-team All-Pro honors in 2021 and 2023. He has played in every one of the Raiders’ games over the last half-decade and finished the 2023 campaign with career-highs of 14.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss (tied for the most in the league), per Pro Football Reference. He also tallied 50 pressures (career-high) and 31 quarterback hits.
Crosby signed a four-year, $94 million extension in March 2022 that runs through the 2026 campaign. His salary cap numbers of $25 million, $27 million and $27 million in the next three seasons, respectively, are expensive but not unrealistic for Chicago. The Bears have $49.1 million in 2024 cap space as of Sunday.
Bears Can Add Help Around Justin Fields, Continue to Stockpile Draft Picks With More Trades
If Chicago trades the top pick and acquires a talented pass-rusher like Crosby or wide receiver like Drake London of the Atlanta Falcons, that means the Bears won’t be moving on from quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields is cost-controlled for the next two seasons if that’s the path Chicago chooses to tread. He will play the final year of his rookie deal in 2024 and the Bears can exercise his fifth-year option to keep Fields under contract through 2025.
Holding onto Fields and moving off the top pick opens up a world of possibilities for Poles and the Bears front office across the rest of the upcoming draft, particularly in the first round. Also part of Zimmerman’s mock draft is Poles trading off the No. 9 overall pick, moving down to No. 13.
“What? Another trade down. Ryan Poles is rubbing his hands together like an evil genius as he pulls in even more draft capital for the future,” Zimmerman wrote. “Poles plays hardball and is able to land [No.] 16 overall and the Seahawks‘ 2025 first rounder for the 9th pick and the Bears 2025 third round pick.”
Zimmerman went on to pitch wide receiver Rome Odunze to the Bears at No. 13 and defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton at No. 23 after a third trade, flipping the recently-acquired No. 16 selection to the Houston Texans for pick Nos. 23 and 59.
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