This is an actual trade proposal courtesy of an NFL analyst — and while it’s an admittedly ludicrous one, the audacity and unlikelihood of it make it ridiculously intriguing.
In what he admitted was a “really absurd” trade suggestion, Chris Roling of Bleacher Report suggested sending A-Rob North to Green Bay, which he says makes sense “based on need, future trajectory and financial reasons.”
Roling’s logic for the interdivisional trade and the odds it could happen? Let’s discuss those things.
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Bears Would Never Trade a Top Player to a Divisional Rival
In their 100+ year rivalry, the Packers and the Bears don’t exactly have a long trade history. In fact, the last time these two teams were actually trade partners was back in August of 1998.
The Bears acquired running back Glyn Milburn in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. While Milburn became a Pro Bowl return specialist, eventually setting the team’s record for kickoff return yards (a record that was later broken by Devin Hester), the Packers selected wide receiver Donald Driver with that seventh-rounder, so the trade actually worked out really well for both teams.
The fact that these two teams haven’t done business in nearly 25 years says it all, though: A trade between the Packers and the Bears just ain’t gonna happen.
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Sending Robinson North Could Haunt the Bears for Years
Robinson just turned 28 in August, and while he’s having a slow start to the season so far, catching just 21 passes for 234 yards and a score, he’s an incredible talent who has never had a quarterback anywhere close to Aaron Rodgers. A-Rob has 478 catches for 6,233 yards and 40 touchdowns over his career playing with the likes of Blake Bortles and Mitch Trubisky, and he has been the Bears’ top wideout each of the last three seasons. Imagining what he could do with Rodgers tossing him the ball and top corners paying attention to Adams is terrifying — and for those reasons, Chicago won’t do this.
Still, Roling things shipping Robinson to give the Packers the most ridiculous receiving corps in the league would be a good idea for the Bears, too, and here’s why:
Green Bay “desperately need another quality target besides Davante Adams. … Green Bay would likely have to pay extra to make a deal happen because Chicago won’t want Robinson in the division. But with the relationship between the Bears and Robinson so spoiled and one foot out the door already, most teams likely aren’t going to give more than a third-round pick to offset what would be Chicago’s compensatory pick if he leaves in free agency. If Green Bay bumps that to a second-rounder—with the idea being it would extend Robinson for the long term—Chicago might have to swallow its pride and admit this is a rebuilding year anyway.”
The Bears could have inked A-Rob to a long-term deal already — they’ve had a year and a half to do it — and they haven’t, likely signaling the end of his days in the Windy City. If the Bears could recoup a second round pick in exchange for Robinson, they would have to at least strongly consider it, as their needs on offensive line and in the secondary are glaring.
But while Chicago clearly has to start building around rookie quarterback Justin Fields, they shouldn’t do it at the expense of making their biggest rival better — particularly considering they can’t figure out how to beat Green Bay with any kind of regularity anyway. The Bears should absolutely consider trading Robinson, particularly if they could get a second rounder — although that’s not likely. Still, trading him to another team in the NFC North? Not gonna happen.