Bears Trade Proposal Swaps 1st-Round Pick for $96 Million WR

Stefon Diggs Trade Bears Rumors NFL Rumors

Getty Bears general manager Ryan Poles.

If the Chicago Bears draft a rookie quarterback in 2024, they will have already done him a favor with last year’s trade for DJ Moore. Would they be willing to do him another if the cap-strapped Buffalo Bills are looking to trade Stefon Diggs?

Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton proposed exactly that scenario for the Bears during the 2024 offseason after Diggs appeared to cast uncertainty on his future with the Bills with the comments he made at the 2024 Pro Bowl Game this past weekend.

“I’m ready to go no matter which way it goes,” Diggs told ESPN’s Stephen Holder when asked if he was ready to go forward with the Bills.

Diggs is one of Buffalo’s best offensive players, but the Bills are financially in a tough spot with a $51.2 million salary-cap deficit they must resolve before the start of the 2024 league year on March 13. Should they decide Diggs’ contract is no longer worth carrying and look to trade him, Moton argues the Bears could be a realistic fit.

His proposal? The Bears ship the worst of their two first-round picks in the 2024 NFL draft — currently the No. 9 overall selection — to the Bills in exchange for Diggs.

“That being said, Chicago should make an attempt to trade down with a quarterback-needy team to acquire draft capital rather than give up a top-10 selection for a 30-year-old wideout in a straight-up deal,” Moton wrote on February 5. “If not, the Bears can request a middle-round pick along with Diggs for an added resource to address their draft needs after free agency.”

Stefon Diggs’ Contract Complicates Trade Prospects

In a perfect world, the Bears would be able to realistically trade either a Day 1 or Day 2 draft pick and add Diggs to their offense without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, the four-year, $96 million contract he signed with the Bills in 2022 makes that a bit tricky.

If the Bears got to a place where they would be comfortable trading away one of their first-round picks for Diggs — and it would take a lot for them to get there — they would have to somehow find how to fit another high-end receiver contract on their books.

Currently, Diggs has salaries of $18.5 million, $18 million and $19 million over the next three seasons, respectively. Even if the Bears restructured his contract, it would still be a four-year commitment to a 30-year-old receiver. That would be an odd choice with the Bears due to pay Moore about $16 million in each of the next two seasons.

The Bears are in a good place financially with a projected $46.8 million in cap space for the start of the 2024 league year. They can also free up roughly $21 million more in space if they cut Cody Whitehair and Eddie Jackson. Still, Chicago would likely prefer to put that money toward filling some of their more obvious roster holes — and extending Jaylon Johnson — instead of investing in another high-priced wide receiver.

Bears in Good Position to Land Top WR in 2024 Draft

In fairness, the Bears are going to need to add receivers this offseason. Darnell Mooney and Equanimeous St. Brown will become unrestricted free agents on March 13, and if neither one of them re-signs, a veteran free agent signing is not out of the question.

If the Bears want to find their own Stefon Diggs, though, they will have an excellent opportunity to invest in a rookie wide receiver in the first round of the 2024 draft.

Regardless of which route the Bears take at quarterback, whether they keep Justin Fields or use the No. 1 pick to draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, a wide receiver in the first round makes a lot of sense for Chicago. If they build around Fields, the logical target is Marvin Harrison Jr. somewhere inside the first three picks. If not, they could still potentially land Malik Nabors or Rome Odunze with the ninth overall pick.

Either way, the Bears would land a formidable complement for Moore and put themselves in a good position to improve their passing offense next season. And they would not have to spend Stefon Diggs money to make it happen. An easy choice.

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