CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – The Carolina Panthers have the ball.
Two people familiar with the deal said Friday that the Panthers have decided to trade to get the No. 1 overall draft pick from the Chicago Bears in exchange for Carolina’s No. 9 and No. 61 overall draft pick in 2023, a first-round pick in 2024, a second overall pick in 2025, and star wide receiver D.J. Moore.
Also because the trade had not yet been announced, the people spoke on the condition of anonymity to WNDN. The agreement is anticipated to be made public on Wednesday, the first day of the NFL’s free agency signing period.
The transaction allows the Panthers to obtain a potential franchise quarterback, a position the team has coveted for years, though it is unclear which Quarterback Carolina prefers. Because the Bears are devoted to Justin Fields at quarterback, they have the leverage to trade down.
Carolina has a choice between Bryce Young of Alabama, CJ Stroud of Ohio State, Will Levis of Kentucky, and Anthony Richardson of Florida. According to one person familiar with the situation, the Panthers are contemplating up to three quarterbacks.
If the Panthers had stayed at No. 9, they might not have garnered the quarterback they desired.
“You go and get the dude that you want, you know,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer spoke about possibly trading up for a quarterback last week at the scouting combine. “If you have a resolve on a guy, you go and get him. That’s pretty straightforward. If you don’t know and use all of your resources to go up and get it, you’ll be actually harming your team in the long run. You’d better be correct. If you want to advance, you must have resolve. You’re all in when you do that.”
Since David Tepper purchased the Panthers in 2018, the team has been looking for quarterback stability.
They’ve experimented with a number of quarterbacks, such as Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, and then even brought back Cam Newton for a second full season. But none of those strategies have worked, and Carolina hasn’t made the playoffs since 2017. Panthers have acquired the No.1 overall pick from the Bears
The Panthers haven’t had a No. 1 choice since 2011 when they drafted Newton. In 2015, he was named league MVP after leading Carolina to its 2nd Super Bowl appearance.
The Panthers made the decision against offering a contract to free agent Derek Carr in order to draft a quarterback. The division rival New Orleans Saints signed Carr to a four-year, $150 million contract. The Panthers did not want to spend that much money on a veteran.
Fitterer has stated repeatedly in the past that drafting a quarterback means allowing for further salary cap adaptability.
The Panthers’ only quarterbacks are last year’s third-round pick Matt Corral as well as Jacob Eason, who have seen action in one play as an emergency measure. Darnold as well as P.J. Walker, both of whom started at quarterback last season, are set toward becoming free agents.
In February, Panthers coach Frank Reich stated that finding quarterback stability was “a big deal.”
“It’s a matter of getting connecting with Scott as well as Mr. Tepper and developing a solid plan that we’ll do. “We’ve already begun discussing it,” Reich stated. “However, the plan must then be carried out.
Moore provides the Bears with a reliable downfield option to complement Fields, who relied on his legs as well as playmaking capabilities during an exhilarating second season. Fields rushed for 1,143 yards, and the Bears topped the league in sprinting but were last in passing.
Moore was regarded a must-have by the Bears, according to one person familiar with the transaction. The transaction couldn’t have been finalized without him, according to the source.
Moore has been the Panthers’ top receiver since being drafted in the first round of 2018. In five seasons, he has nabbed 364 catches for 5,201 yards and 21 touchdowns.
The Panthers sought to close the deal before free agency to fully understand how much space in the salary cap they had to work with. The Panthers will save $10 million underneath the cap by trading Moore.
Moore’s exit leaves a gaping hole at wide receiver for the Panthers, but the team retains a high second-overall pick (No. 39 overall) and could address that role in free agency. Carolina’s top remaining receiver is Terrace Marshall, a fmr second-round pick. Last season, he garnered 28 receptions for 490 yards and a touchdown. See Draft