The New England Patriots and the Chicago Bears are both rumored to be in the market for rookie quarterbacks, but a recent trade proposal suggests they could partner on a draft-day deal.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell suggests the Patriots send their No. 15 pick to the Bears in exchange for Chicago’s 20th, 52nd and 204th selections in the 2021 draft. Citing a previous deal that resulted in the Bears selecting wide receiver Anthony Miller back in 2018, Barnwell notes that the two teams already have a working relationship.
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“Bill Belichick has changed his roster-building style in recent months out of necessity, but unless he’s making a major move up to grab a quarterback, I still think he’s going to lean toward amassing extra picks while taking advantage of desperate teams,” Barnwell said. “He has hooked up with general manager Ryan Pace and the Bears in the past, with Chicago moving up in the second round to grab Anthony Miller in 2018.”
Too Late for One of the Top Picks?
The 15th pick might be too late to grab one of the Top-5 quarterbacks in the draft, so Barnwell suggests the Bears could be moving up to fix another position while Belichick and the Patriots are stockpiling valuable picks on Day 2 and 3.
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“This time, the Bears would be moving up ahead of the Cardinals for a cornerback such as South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn,” suggests Barnwell. “Chicago was forced by cap constraints to swap out Kyle Fuller for Desmond Trufant this offseason, and the former Falcons corner has been alternately injured and ineffective over the past few years. Horn would step in as the team’s third corner before forming the team’s starting duo of the future alongside promising 2020 second-rounder Jaylon Johnson. The Pats would move down and add an extra second-rounder, which would be helpful for a team that lost a second-rounder in 2020 to the Mohamed Sanu trade and a third-rounder in 2021 for filming the Bengals during a game.”
In this scenario, both the Patriots and Bears would be content drafting a quarterback after the first round. By moving back, but adding more picks, the Patriots could put themselves in a position to pick up a second-round QB like Kellen Mond or Kyle Trask, while also grabbing a wide receiver (a primary need) like Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore.
If that happens, New England’s fans should be thrilled with the top portion of the draft haul.
The Answer to Fans Who Want the Patriots to Trade Up for a QB
There is no guarantee the Patriots are going to trade up for a quarterback. Some would argue this proposal from Barnwell is more in line with what we’ve come to expect from Bill Belichick.
Over the past 20 years, Belichick hasn’t seemingly placed as much value on trading up to get Top-10 picks. You could argue he’s never had to, but who’s to say a 7-9 season in an admittedly rebuilding year is enough to make him switch his philosophy?
Furthermore, who says Belichick is as sold on the Top-5 quarterbacks in this draft any more than he is Florida’s Kyle Trask, Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, or perhaps even Stanford’s Davis Mills?
The Patriots have loaded their roster with talent at several positions, and they have the draft assets to fill a few more holes. Will they draft a quarterback this year? That’s probably a certainty, but the closer we get to the event, the more Patriots fans may have to embrace the thought that it won’t be until Day 2, or even 3.