One of the most intriguing mysteries heading into this year’s NFL Draft is whether or not the Chicago Bears plan to move up to select their first quarterback since taking Mitch Trubisky second overall in 2017. Multiple Bears insiders, including Brad Biggs and Jeff Hughes, seem to think they’ll at the very least try to move up in the first round, and as it turns out, that’s the perception amongst others in the league, as well.
In his most recent mailbag for Sports Illustrated, Albert Breer answered questions from fans about whether or not Chicago is plotting a move in the upcoming draft, and Breer’s answer was telling — in more ways than one.
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Breer: ‘Rival Teams’ Think Bears Are Laying in Wait
According to Breer, some teams around the league with an eye on the Bears think general manager Ryan Pace is going to be watching the draft unfold while waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce if a player like Trey Lance should fall into the No. 8 or No. 9 range.
“Rival teams believe they are lurking as a potential trade-up team. Two, as of a couple days ago, they hadn’t really started burning the phone lines up on that. So they could be in play, but they haven’t been yet,” Breer said about the Bears, adding: “They’ve certainly done their homework on the quarterbacks. GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy have seen Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance live.”
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Bears Brass May Have Ryan Pace & Matt Nagy on a Tight Leash
Breer elaborated on the current situation in the Windy City, and added a wrinkle that raised a few eyebrows, noting Pace and head coach Matt Nagy may not have the OK from upper management to send a ton of first-rounders for an unproven commodity at quarterback:
“One question being batted around in NFL circles is whether ownership would sign off on a massive move up the board, which would take moving future assets to pull off. There were questions about the job security of Nagy and Pace in the middle of last season, and the team has been coy about the contract status of the GM and coach. And sometimes, in situations like that, owners will be careful about letting guys sell out in the draft,” Breer said.
It makes little sense that the Bears would retain both Pace and Nagy only to severely limit them going forward, but it’s entirely possible. “On the quarterback, it’s a critical position for us,” Pace said in early April. “Every single thing is on the table. I think we owe that to ourselves.”
The Bears GM also suggested that whatever move the team may be planning to make at quarterback, everyone on the building will be on board when they make it. “It’s not just one or two people — it’s an entire building making these decisions. It’s not just short-term. There has to be a long-term thought process in place and that’s the right way to do it and that’s the way we operate,” Pace said.