Bears Players Who Should Be on the Trade Block After Week 3

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2021

Bears Players Who Should Be on the Trade Block After Week 3

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    Nam Huh/Associated Press

    The 2021 season is not getting off to the strongest of starts for the Chicago Bears. A 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns gave them their second 20-point loss of the season, and the offense managed fewer yards than Justin Tucker's record-setting 66-yard field goal. 

    Sure, a 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals the week prior showed they are capable of winning some games this year, but the optimism that comes with a new season is fading quickly. 

    Matt Nagy's seat has to be getting warm. The offense was completely stagnant, and rookie quarterback Justin Field was left to contend with a fierce Browns pass rush. 

    All of this could mean the Bears could be a seller come time for the trade deadline. Things in the Windy City are likely to get worse before they get better, and shipping off some expensive veterans could put the Bears in a better position to surround Fields with a better team next season. 

    So as the Bears potentially look to add picks, gain some financial freedom and move forward in a rebuild, here's a look at three players who should be on the trade block. 

WR Allen Robinson II

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    It's a little counterintuitive to trade your best wide receiver while trying to give a rookie quarterback the best chance to succeed. But Robinson's contract situation is such that the sooner the Bears deal him, the better. 

    Robinson and the team had the opportunity to come up with a contract extension last season but failed to do so. The Bears ended up applying the franchise tag, which came out to be a one-year deal worth $18 million. 

    That makes him the second-highest paid receiver in the league this year, and each year the tag is applied it becomes more expensive for the team. That means the Bears are going to either come to terms on a long-term agreement, pay him like a top-three receiver on the tag again next season or watch him walk away and get draft compensation for him. 

    That's if they aren't proactive. 

    Instead, the Bears could look to give Robinson a fresh start with a team willing to part with a high-value draft pick or picks. Through three games, Robinson has only caught 10 of his 21 targets, and Darnell Mooney has been the most productive receiver on the team. 

    That can't be good for Robinson's desire to stay in Chicago. With teams looking to gear up for playoff runs, the Bears could possibly bring back their best haul by trading him in season. 

QB Nick Foles

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    At this point, the Chicago Bears should be willing to trade Nick Foles for just about anything. Even with Andy Dalton's injury moving him to the backup quarterback spot, he's an expensive option there and stands to eat up more cap space in 2022. 

    Foles' cap hit this season is $6.7 million, and if he isn't traded next season, he could cost them $10.7 million, per Spotrac

    However, trading him during the season would clear somewhere around $4 million on the cap this year and help them to avoid $5 million in guaranteed money in 2022. 

    Foles started seven games in 2020, and the Bears went 2-5 in those games as he threw 10 touchdowns to eight interceptions. 

    Still, Foles is 4-2 as a starter in the postseason with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He's a veteran quarterback who could still provide adequate quarterback play with the right coach in the right situation. 

    There's no doubt the Bears should at least be keeping an eye on injury reports around the league and calling teams with an ailing quarterback. 

DL Akiem Hicks

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This would be trading from a position of strength for a long-term approach to building a more balanced roster. The Bears have the third-highest sack percentage in the league and are a respectable 16th when it comes to rushing yards allowed per attempt. 

    Hicks is a part of that, even if indirectly. He has half a sack through three games, but he's stout against the run and ranks as the 42nd interior defender through three weeks, according to PFF

    But trading Hicks has more to do with his age and contract situation than his play. He'll be 32 in November and isn't as dominant as he once was. He's also in the final year of a contract that is paying him $12 million this season. 

    Hicks' play is just good enough he's going to command a good chunk of money in free agency next season, and the Bears have other pressing needs with the space they will have available. For instance, Bilal Nichols, who is only 25, will be up for a new contract as well. 

    The Bears would be better off shopping him while his value is likely to be as high as it's going to get and start building draft capital now. 


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