The Chicago Bears are in the first year of yet another new administration, and a Week 7 Monday night road victory over the New England Patriots has given the organization a rare dose of pride.
General manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus believe they have a quarterback who can lead them for years to come in Justin Fields. The former Ohio State star is a brilliant athlete who can evade the rush and create big plays with his speed, and he made progress with his passing as he completed 13 of 21 passes for 179 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception against the Patriots.
But the Bears simply don't have the talent to compete for a playoff spot over a 17-week season, and they need to be sellers prior to the November 1 trade deadline. They have already traded defensive end Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles, and there are several other moves they could make to bolster their position for the future.
3. Trade RB David Montgomery for multiple picks
The thought of trading Montgomery may not sit well with many Bears fans, because he is the team's most established offensive skill position player. Montgomery is an excellent running back who can get through small holes and arm tackles, and then embarrass the defense once he gets to the second level.
Going into the Bears Week 8 game against the Dallas Cowboys, Montgomery has carried the ball 77 times for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he has also caught 10 of 11 passing targets for 113 yards. He has the kind of well-rounded skills that many teams would want to add.
The 5-11, 224-pound Montgomery is in his fourth year with the Bears, and the 25-year-old should have several solid seasons ahead of him. However, the Bears have another solid running back in Khalil Herbert (464 yards, 6.2 yards per carry), so they can afford to trade Montgomery for multiple draft picks.
2. Bears should move WR Equanimeous St. Brown
While Fields does not have a slew of excellent weapons at the wide receiver position, the belief here is that they don't need a veteran like St. Brown.
If the Bears were a contending team with two excellent starting receivers, St. Brown might be a valuable No. 3 receiver. The Bears have a very productive and hard working wideout in Darnell Mooney, but that's the extent of their wide receiving talent.
St. Brown has caught 10 passes for 158 yards and 1 touchdown, and that puts him on pace to top his career high of 21 receptions set with the Packers in 2019. He could bring a draft pick or two in return from a contending team.
1. Move star LB Roquan Smith for 1st-round draft pick, more
If the Bears are going to restock the talent pool by accumulating draft picks, they might as well move their best defensive player.
Smith is a tackling machine who can go sideline to sideline to make plays, but he wanted the Bears to renegotiate his contract this summer because he believes he deserves a raise.
Smith leads the Bears in tackles by a wide margin with 78 stops, and he also has 2.5 sacks, 4 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions. The 25-year-old has game-changing ability, and he is the team's most valuable asset.
If Poles can't get a first-round choice and perhaps another choice for Smith, he doesn't have to trade him. But if he does, it would give Chicago the kind of draft capital it hasn't had in years.