Colts ‘Ready’ to Offer Bears No. 1 WR, Picks for Chance at Top QB, Per Insider

Pittman Bears Trade Offer

Getty Colts general manager Chris Ballard could be giving the Chicago Bears a call about the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

The Chicago Bears might not have to wait for too long before receiving their first trade offer for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

According to longtime Bears insider David Kaplan, the Indianapolis Colts are “ready to put a deal together” to trade for Chicago’s top pick that could include wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. along with multiple picks and “potentially” another player.

“Sources around the NFL say the Bears are going to be inundated with phone calls,” Kaplan reported on his YouTube show, reKAP, on January 13. “There are a lot of teams ready to pay a stiff price to get the Bears’ No. 1 pick. It certainly looks like the Bears are all-in on Justin Fields. In fact, the Colts reportedly [are] ready to put a deal together that could include wide receiver Michael Pittman, potentially another player and a bevy of draft picks.”

For the Colts, trading for the No. 1 spot would mean going up to get their choice of quarterback prospect and end the recent cycle of veteran additions that have gotten them nowhere at the position since Andrew Luck retired before the 2019 season. Kaplan even suggested they have become “infatuated” with one prospect in particular in the 2023 draft class: Kentucky’s Will Levis.

“It appears Indianapolis is infatuated with Will Levis, the Kentucky quarterback,” Kaplan said. “There are others that like Bryce Young, including Houston, but Will Levis is expected to rocket up the draft board.”

Michael Pittman on Verge of Becoming True No. 1 WR

Pittman, 25, has become a rising star in the NFL over the past two seasons despite the Colts finishing with a bottom-third passing offense each year. While he fell short of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2022, he delivered a career-high 99 receptions in the Colts’ “X” receiver role and finished tied for the seventh-most contested catches in the league (15), according to Pro Football Focus. With better quarterback play on his side, the 2020 second-rounder could solidify himself as a true WR1 in the league.

Despite Pittman’s production, though, it could be against the Bears’ best interests to acquire another starting receiver out of the 2020 class. They already have Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool scheduled to be looking for new contracts after the 2023 season and adding Pittman to the equation would only make negotiations trickier, especially without any meaningful depth behind them for leverage.

Then again, there is always a chance general manager Ryan Poles is willing to roll the dice on letting three good receivers with high ceilings duke it out for the right to a long-term contract extension. At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, Pittman could be the big physical piece the Bears have been missing from their offense, and it helps that he has a proven track record of high-volume receiving production, averaging 94 receptions per season in each of his last two seasons in Indianapolis.

Colts’ No. 4 Overall Pick Would Be Valuable to Bears

Kaplan didn’t mention any specific picks that the Colts would be willing to offer up in a trade with the Bears, but it goes without saying that any deal between the two teams would have to involve Indy’s No. 4 overall pick going to Chicago.

The Colts’ desperate need for a young franchise quarterback is a big reason why they have become favorites to trade for the Bears’ top overall pick, but another reason they could become trade partners is how much sense it would make to Chicago to gain a significant haul only to move down three spots in the draft order. Not only would the resources come in handy for expediting their rebuild, but they would also most likely still be able to get one of either Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. or Georgia’s Jalen Carter at the No. 4 spot with at least two quarterback-desiring teams ahead of them in the order.

Additionally, the Bears might also pick up a few more premium picks in the deal, including the Colts’ second-rounder in 2023 — No. 35 overall — or their 2024 first-round pick. There are also a few players who they could request as compensation instead of Pittman, such as veteran defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson and cornerback Kenny Moore II.

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