The Panthers apparently had competition in the effort to acquire the most coveted pick in next month’s draft.
Carolina now is scheduled to pick first April 27 following a blockbuster trade with Chicago. The Panthers sent two first-round picks (including No. 9 overall this year), a pair of second-rounders and star wide receiver D.J. Moore to the Bears in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
It won’t come as a surprise to learn other teams outside of Carolina reportedly contacted Chicago about the selection that allows a franchise to control the draft. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin and David Newton identified one of the interested clubs in a column published Friday.
“Talks for the No. 1 pick had intensified since last week’s scouting combine, sources told (Adam) Schefter, with multiple teams, including the Houston Texans, expressing interest in making a deal with Chicago,” Cronin and Newton wrote.
A potential deal with the Texans must have been pretty enticing for the Bears. If Chicago moved down one spot to No. 2 — where Houston currently is scheduled to make its first pick — it would have allowed the Bears to execute another trade for a monster haul. Stockpiling early picks is the name of the game for a rebuilding team like Chicago.
A historic double trade would have put the Bears in a terrific spot, but the future in the Windy City still is bright following the organization’s latest move.