DJ Moore

Ryan Poles explains why DJ Moore sealed the Bears’ trade with Panthers

The No. 1 priority for the Chicago Bears this offseason was to make sure QB Justin Fields was set up for success. Indeed, their free-agent headliners are on the defensive side of the ball. But the biggest offseason acquisition was WR DJ Moore.

GM Ryan Poles said Moore was a big reason why the Bears traded the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers. Adding a 2024 first-round pick undoubtedly helped too.

‘‘The fact that there was a young receiver who had consistent production — who had been healthy and was a great person, as well — to add into the mix really kind of took it over the top for me,’’ Poles said from the NFL Owners meetings. ‘‘Where we can improve the roster now, improve our quarterback, but also set us up for the future. Right now, we don’t talk about it that much. But I guarantee at this point next year, having those two [first-round picks], we’re going to be excited about it.’’

Beginning next season with two first-round picks will put the Chicago Bears in a powerful position once again in the 2024 offseason. If the team improves in 2023, and a 2024 draft prospect ranks high enough to be a difference maker for a potential Bears playoff team, packaging two first-round picks to move up becomes possible.

Until then, the Bears will reap the benefits fielding DJ Moore will produce. Not only will he level up the passing game with his own production, but the trickle effect on Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney will be massive. Fields will have a very talented wide receiver in single coverage on every pass attempt in 2023. That wasn’t the case — not even close — in 2022.

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