EXCLUSIVE CONTENT Get ESPN+ Panthers-Bears 2023 NFL draft trade: Winners, losers, questions
David Tepper finally found someone to draft him. The owner of the Carolina Panthers team has unsuccessfully attempted to take big fish like Matthew Stafford and Deshawn Watson through a trade in recent years, only to have those quarterbacks go elsewhere. Instead, the organization has changed five starting quarterbacks, three offensive coordinators, and two head coaches over the past three seasons before hiring Frank Reich in the offseason.
Reich and Tepper are hoping the sixth quarterback will be the last for a while. The Carolinas traded Friday for the first pick in April, sending the Chicago Bears in the first and second rounds in 2023 (No. 9 and 61), the 2024 first-rounder, the 2025 second-rounder and DJ Moore, the star wide receiver the general craved. Bears manager Ryan Poles. Presumably, the Panthers will use the best pick for their future quarterback.
I have no strong feeling about who won or lost that particular trade. This is a logical step for both parties at a reasonable price. The evidence strongly favored the Bears, who drafted quarterback Justin Fields in the first round two years ago. The Panthers were desperate for a solution to the quarterback problem and weren’t going to do it with the 9th pick. If Carolina had a guy she loved who wasn’t going to be number 9, and the team thought he was a franchise quarterback, that would be a smart deal.
The price is a bit more than what we saw last time the team climbed to first place when the Rams sent the Titans two first-round picks, one second-round pick, and three players in the third round for first place. 1 pick and two later picks. The Rams are up from 15th, not the Panthers from 9th, but teams are more aware of the value that quarterbacks create in rookie deals now than they were five years ago.
However, I can say more confidently that there are winners and losers as a result of the consequences of this deal. Let’s take a look at how this deal will affect NFL teams and players:
Winner: Justin Fields