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Bears avoided temptation to wait and see if they could get more for No. 1 pick in NFL draft

Bears general manager Ryan Poles “couldn’t be happier” with the draft picks he received from the Panthers.Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

General manager Ryan Poles acknowledged the temptation to wait and see if the Chicago Bears could get more for the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL draft.

He couldn’t pass up the chance to add a star receiver when the Panthers offered DJ Moore to go with a haul of picks. That’s why he decided it was time to make the big move.

“I think at some point, when you feel comfortable with what you’re receiving, you pull the trigger,” Poles said Thursday. “Sometimes, you wait too long and things move on. Trades are hard. When you’re a part of them and they pop up and you’re having those conversations, they’re not comfortable conversations when you’re moving on from a player. The longer that you’re talking about it and thinking about it, you can start to sway a little bit.”


The Bears addressed a big need when they agreed to send the No. 1 pick to Carolina for Moore. Besides giving quarterback Justin Fields a top-tier downfield option, they also got the Nos. 9 and 61 overall picks in 2023, plus a first-rounder in 2024 and a second-rounder in 2025.

Once free agency started this week, Chicago continued to make moves.

The Bears immediately made two additions at linebacker, agreeing Monday to contracts with Bills two-time Pro Bowl selection Tremaine Edmunds (four years, $72 million, $50 million guaranteed) and former Eagle T.J. Edwards (three years, $19.5 million, $12 million guaranteed).

The Bears also signed former Tennessee guard Nate Davis (three years, $30 million), Titans defensive end DeMarcus Walker, and Seahawks running back Travis Homer (two years, $4.5 million). And on Thursday, they agreed to a two-year contract with Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker.

“I thought we did some really good things,” Poles said. “We got better as a football team.”


The Bears certainly had room to improve after setting a franchise record for losses. They went a league-worst 3-14 in their first season under Poles and coach Matt Eberflus.

But there is a palpable optimism surrounding a franchise with just three playoff appearances since the 2006 team reached the Super Bowl.

Poles “couldn’t be happier” with the draft picks from Carolina. But he was “over the moon” about landing Moore, who had 5,201 yards and 21 touchdown catches in five seasons with the Panthers.

Moore was looking forward to working with receivers Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, not to mention developing a rapport with Fields after seeing a revolving door of quarterbacks in Carolina.

“I won’t call that a mess, but [to] come to a better situation with a stable quarterback, the sky’s the limit from there,” Moore said.

Carter avoids jail time

Jalen Carter, the former Georgia defensive lineman considered likely to be a top pick in the NFL draft, reached agreement with prosecutors on charges stemming from his involvement in a car crash that claimed the lives of a teammate and a Georgia recruiting staff member January.

Carter entered no-contest pleas in Athens-Clarke (Ga.) County to charges of racing and reckless driving. He was sentenced to 12 months probation, a $1,000 fine, and 80 hours of community service, and must complete a state-approved defensive driving course, Kim Stephens, his attorney, said in a statement.

What does the future hold for Jalen Carter?John Bazemore/Associated Press

Stephens’s statement said that Carter “never left the scene” of the Jan. 15 crash in which teammate Devin Willock and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy were killed the night after the Bulldogs celebrated their second consecutive national championship.


Stephens added that Carter “did not cause the tragic accident . . . If the investigation had determined otherwise, he would have been charged with the far more serious offenses of vehicular homicide and serious injury by vehicle.” According to the attorney, Carter was not under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance at the time of the crash.

Titans release Dupree

The Titans released outside linebacker Bud Dupree two years into a five-year contract, parting ways with the big free agent they acquired in 2021 to boost their pass rush, the team announced. Dupree signed a contract worth up to $82.5 million contract in March 2021 after spending his first six seasons with the Steelers The Titans signed Dupree despite the 6-foot-4-inch, 269-pound linebacker tearing an ACL in early December 2020. Dupree had been due the second-highest base salary on the Titans’ roster at $17 million, along with a bonus of $3.2 million. He was set to count $20.2 million against the cap. With a dead cap hit of $10.8 million, the Titans get a cap savings of only $9.35 million … The Browns added two more defensive pieces, agreeing to contract terms with free agent tackles Trysten Hill and Maurice Hurst. Both players are getting one-year deals … The Chiefs wasted little time filling two enormous holes on their Super Bowl-winning roster. After reaching agreements earlier in the week, the Chiefs announced the signings of offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor and defensive end Charles Omenihu. Taylor is expected to replace Orlando Brown Jr., who agreed to a deal elsewhere in free agency, and Omenihu is expected to help replace Frank Clark, who was released in a move to create salary cap space … The Seahawks are bringing back the same quarterback combo from last season and addressed one of their needs on the offensive line. Seattle reached agreement with quarterback Drew Lock and offensive lineman Evan Brown on one-year contracts. Lock’s return keeps continuity in Seattle’s quarterback room after the Seahawks signed Geno Smith to a new contract earlier this month. Brown started 24 games over the past two seasons with Detroit at both center and guard, both positions the Seahawks need to fill.