Bills Star Defender Fuels Bears Trade Rumors With Cryptic Message

Ed Oliver Bears Trade Rumors

Getty Ed Oliver has stirred up some trade speculation about him potentially heading to the NFC North.

Buffalo Bills star defensive tackle Ed Oliver’s cryptic Instagram story has Chicago Bears fans wondering if a blockbuster trade is in his future.

Rumors have started swirling that Oliver — the No. 9 overall pick in 2019 — could soon be on the move to the NFC North by way of trade after he posted pictures and clips of himself sacking the quarterbacks of the division to his Instagram story on March 22.

Initially, Oliver’s story only included images of him sacking the three non-Bears starters in the North. He had a picture of him sacking Jared Goff with some crying-laughing emojis, followed by another one of him wrapping up Aaron Rodgers set to 2 Chainz’s “Feds Watching” and, lastly, a clip of his overtime sack against Kirk Cousins in their Week 10 matchup, complete with the caption: “Enjoyed myself.”

Oliver did eventually add a captionless, music-less clip of him sacking Justin Fields in the Bears’ 35-13 loss to the Bills in Week 16, but only once Bears fans started working themselves into a frenzy on social media over his original posts.

If Oliver is, in fact, hinting at a trade, it would make some sense for the Bears to be interested in him. He is a 25-year-old defensive tackle who could immediately fill the 3-technique role in head coach Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 scheme, which is something that will be essential for the Bears in 2023 if they want to take a step forward defensively. He is also going to be reasonably affordable in 2023 playing on a fifth-year option that is set to cost $10.753 million next season, according to Over the Cap.

Would the Bears be able to justify giving up the draft capital for Oliver, though?

Bears Insider Dismisses Ed Oliver Trade Rumors

One longtime Bears insider, Greg Gabriel, isn’t buying the rumors about Oliver one bit, and not just because it started with cryptic posts on social media. He called the idea of the Bears trading for Oliver “hogwash” and was rather critical of the 6-foot-1, 287-pound defensive tackle in his response to the rumors on March 22.

“[In my opinion], this Ed Oliver to Bears is hogwash,” Gabriel tweeted. “Due [$10.5 million] this year and not close to being a [$10.5 million] player. He’s the weak link along the Bills’ [defensive line] and I watch all their games. Sounds like strictly [a] rumor.”

Gabriel’s right; Oliver is supposed to be a disruptive penetrator for Buffalo’s defense, but his production hasn’t lived up to what his cap number is scheduled to be in 2023 and beyond once he signs his next contract. He finished with career-lows in sacks (2.5) and solo tackles (20) in 2022 and missed three starts with a high-ankle sprain. He has also struggled to stuff the run for the Bills, which is a major red flag for a Bears defense that would treat him to be a run-stuffer as the “engine” of their defensive scheme.

Jalen Carter Remains Best 3-Tech Option for Bears

Carter Oliver Bears Trade

GettyGeorgia star Jalen Carter might still be the best option for the Bears in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.

While the Bears could certainly explore the option of trading for a veteran defensive tackle such as Oliver — or maybe even Indianapolis’ DeForest Buckner — the best situation for them at the moment might still be holding out hope for Jalen Carter.

The Georgia star defensive tackle has seen his NFL draft stock take a dive over the past month, beginning with his arrest during the week of the NFL Scouting Combine and continuing with his poor showing at the Bulldogs’ pro day. But before that, Carter was considered one of the few “blue-chip” prospects in the draft class right up alongside Alabama star pass rusher Will Anderson Jr., which could have Bears general manager Ryan Poles keeping his fingers crossed that he will fall into their hands at No. 9 overall.

Carter would have a chance to be the foundational defensive piece in Eberflus’ defense if the Bears managed to get him at No. 9. And even if they can’t, Poles might still prefer to draft and develop his own 3-tech engine than give up assets for a proven veteran.

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