The Chicago Bears trade machine tends to whir once or twice this time of year. Sometimes it goes slowly, resulting in minor moves. Others? GM Ryan Pace decides to get aggressive, going after certain players he feels are capable of making his team a contender. This is why many are wondering if he might try to go after a solution at quarterback with the biggest name out there being Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders.
The idea sounds appealing in several aspects. Carr is just 28-years old. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler who just got done throwing for 4,000 yards with a 100.9 passer rating in 2019. He has a big arm that would fit well in the uncertain weather of Chicago and doesn’t mind attacking down the field. Something that would appeal to head coach Matt Nagy.
Now as rumors persist that Carr could be on his way out, is there any possibility the Bears could pull a deal off? Here is how it might be able to happen.
Chicago Bears trade machine pursue Derek Carr
Key event needed: Raiders sign Tom Brady
It’s no longer a secret the Raiders are looking for an exit ramp from Carr. The guy they want is Tom Brady. This hardly a new thing with Jon Gruden. He likes older quarterbacks. He pushed hard for Brett Favre back in 2008. Now Brady is his new unicorn. Las Vegas is prepared to offer $30 million per year to make it happen. That would be the most he’s made in his NFL career. Is that enough? Hard to say. It certainly puts them in the conversation. Presuming Brady agrees, this starts the ball rolling.
Biggest threats: Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rest assured the Bears will not be the only team interested in Carr. Looking across the landscape, there are two other franchises that stick out as serious threats. The Indianapolis Colts are in the market for a quarterback and have plenty of salary cap space to take on his deal. The same goes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who seem prepared to move on from Jameis Winston. Carr has the kind of arm that fits their offenses.
Chicago would want at least one of them to find their option elsewhere. Philip Rivers has been directly connected to both in the past couple of weeks. That happening would make the odds much better in the Bears’ favor. Otherwise, it could devolve into a bidding war, which they are not equipped to win.
Possible compensation: Leonard Floyd and #50 pick
Is this a lot to give up? Yes. That said, it’s a sacrifice worth making if it finally lands the Bears a franchise-caliber quarterback. The Raiders would like this trade because it nets them a high draft pick in the 2nd round. At the same time, they secure an athletic and versatile linebacker in Floyd. Linebacker is easily one of their biggest needs on defense. With his run defense and coverage ability, Floyd would become a significant upgrade over anything they have.
For the Bears, this move works because it removes $13.222 million from their salary cap, enabling them to take on Carr’s $21.5 million cap hit for 2020. It does open up a problem with the depth at outside linebacker, but that is something to address after getting the quarterback.