Barnwell: Winners, losers and dominoes from the huge Carolina-Chicago trade
- Bill Barnwell is a staff writer for ESPN.com.
David Tepper finally got somebody to take his draft picks. The Carolina Panthers team owner has tried and failed to land big fish such as Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson via trade in recent years, only for those quarterbacks to head elsewhere. The organization has instead gone through five starting quarterbacks, three offensive coordinators and two head coaches over the past three seasons before hiring Frank Reich this offseason.
Reich and Tepper will hope the sixth quarterback of the bunch will be the last for a while. Carolina on Friday traded up for the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft, sending the Chicago Bears first- and second-round picks in 2023 (Nos. 9 and 61), a 2024 first-rounder, a 2025 second-rounder and DJ Moore, the star wide receiver Bears general manager Ryan Poles has craved. The Panthers will presumably use the top pick for their quarterback of the future.
I don’t have a strong feeling about who won or lost this specific deal. It’s a logical move for both sides at a reasonable price. The evidence was strongly in favor of the Bears — who drafted quarterback Justin Fields in Round 1 two years ago — trading down. The Panthers desperately needed a solution at quarterback and weren’t going to get there with the No. 9 pick. If Carolina had a guy it loved who wasn’t going to be on the board at No. 9 and the team thinks he’s a franchise quarterback, this was going to be a reasonable deal.
The price is a little more than what we saw the last time a team moved up to No. 1, when the Rams sent two first-round picks, a second-round pick and three third-rounders to the Titans for a the No. 1 pick and two later selections. The Rams moved up from No. 15 as opposed to the Panthers jumping from No. 9, but teams are more conscious of the value created by quarterbacks on rookie deals now than they were five years ago.
What I can say more confidently, though, is that there are winners and losers as a result of the reverberations of this deal. Let’s hit how this deal shakes out among the NFL teams and players:
Winner: Justin Fields
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