People can assume the Chicago Bears trade plans are likely done for 2018. With good reason too. They gave up two future 1st round picks, a future 2nd round pick, and a future 3rd round pick in 2019 and 2020 for the rights to Khalil Mack and Anthony Miller. Smart money says they keep the picks they have left, right?
Except it looks like the Bears, for the first time in years, might be in a winning position. They’re 3-1 with a full game up on both the Packers and Vikings in the NFC North. They could actually be in the thick of the playoff race come the second half of the season. In those situations, a team might seek one more bold move to push them over the top.
GM Ryan Pace may find a nice bargain waiting for him at the trade deadline in a few weeks. Several teams may be angling to sell off certain players to get a head start on next offseason. Players that might have a much greater impact on a team like Chicago. It’s a question of finding the right team and the right deal.
Teams that could be selling in a Chicago Bears trade plan:
- Oakland Raiders (1-4)
- Arizona Cardinals (1-4)
- New York Giants (1-4)
- Indianapolis Colts (1-4)
All four of these teams have seen new GMs and head coaches arrived in at least the past two years, which means there are likely a number of players left over from previous regimes they might look to get rid of. In fact, there have already been some rumors hinting at that from multiple locations. It’s a matter of figuring out the intriguing names the Bears may want to target.
Oakland Raiders targets
Gareon Conley (CB)
The former 1st round pick looked like a pretty solid addition to a secondary that badly needed help. He came in with some off the field questions but has remained out of trouble since being drafted. His problem last year was a nagging shin injury. He’s healthy now but the Raiders, now under Jon Gruden, aren’t giving him a chance to progress. Word is he’s been benched by the coaching staff. This after having six passes defended and pick-six in the past four games.
Karl Joseph (S)
Scouts and draft experts loved Joseph coming out of West Virginia. He played with fire and reportedly had an ideal character for football. The way he’s been utilized in Oakland seems to have robbed him of what he does best. It also hasn’t helped that he’s had three different defensive coordinators in three years. There is some injury risk with him but the upside is something worth exploring.
Arizona Cardinals targets
Deone Buccanon (S/ILB)
Buccannon has done a fine job in a variety of roles for the Cardinals over the past couple of years. Initially, he was playing strong safety for them but after signing Antoine Bethea, they asked him to move to inside linebacker. A position he hadn’t played much before. He complied and had a good year in 2017 with 82 tackles, a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles. Now that the Cardinals have shifted to a 4-3 though, he’s out of position.
Haason Reddick (ILB/OLB)
Reddick was another of those tweener types of players the Cardinals loved to utilize. He had the speed and range to play inside linebacker but also the explosion and strength to deliver a strong rush off the edge. That’s why he had 2.5 sacks and six QB hits as a rookie. If Arizona can’t find a position for him, bet money Vic Fangio would.
New York Giants targets
Janoris Jenkins (CB)
The Bears tried to sign Jenkins as a free agent back in 2016 before the Giants outbid them. It’s unclear if they might still have interest but the odds are New York would love to unload his heavy contract and might do it cheaply if they continue to lose. The odds don’t favor it though. Jenkins is approaching 30 this year and has given up three touchdowns.
Eli Apple (CB)
This idea is a bit more intriguing. Apple has been a bit of a head case in the past year with a number of personality problems. However, he’s remained out of trouble this season and has played well when given opportunities. The former 1st round pick has tons of ability and is still quite young at 23-years old. He might be a worthwhile gamble.
Indianapolis Colts targets
Le’Raven Clark (OT)
Harry Hiestand is supposed to be one of the best offensive line coaches in football. Giving him a project like Le’Raven Clark would certainly be interesting. Many called him arguably the most physically gifted tackle in the 2016 draft class with elite foot quickness and long arms. He just needed time to adjust to pro offense and add strength. His place on the roster though became a question mark when Chris Ballard took over last year.