March 10, 2023   4 MIN READ

Panthers On The Block

NFL Roundup: Bears Deal 1st Overall To Carolina; Former Birds 1st-Round WR Poised For Bigger Role


The first major trade involving the 2023 NFL Draft is a blockbuster one.

The Bears have shipped the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers on Friday in a reported deal worth multiple first-round picks, per the NFL Network.

The Panthers are now on the clock while the Bears, who are moving ahead behind second-year QB Justin Fields, will pick ninth overall and collect extra compensation.

Frank Reich

GETTY IMAGES: New Panthers HC Frank Reich has his pick of the litter for his next QB to groom.

Also going to Carolina in the deal, per Ian Rapoport: a 2023 second-rounder, a 2023 first-rounder, a 2025 second-rounder and wide receiver D.J. Moore.

Per Inside The Birds’ Adam Caplan, buzz in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine is that Chicago was seeking a major haul that combined multiple first-rounders and players.

In the end, the Bears didn’t get three-first round picks but brought back two first-rounders, two seconds, and a three-time 1,000-yard wide receiver who’s signed through 2025. That’s a pretty good haul and a complementary weapon for Fields.

The only question now is: Which QB do the Panthers have in their sights for new head coach Frank Reich?

Alabama’s Bryce Young is the projected No. 1 pick by many draft analysts, but both Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richard gained some steam coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine.

Say Goodbye

Reports surfaced Tuesday that Minnesota could be moving on from Adam Thielen, the 33-year-old, two-time Pro Bowl wideout.

Now, it’s official.

The move clears the way for former Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor, a 2020 first-round pick who disappointed in his first two seasons before being traded in August, to see an increased role in Minnesota’s offense.

Teams that could use a slot receiver include the Seahawks and Browns, the latter of which are coached by former Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski.

Other reported standouts released today: OLB Leonard Floyd (Rams), C Ben Jones (Titans), CB Ronald Darby (Broncos), LB Damien Wilson (Panthers), OG Graham Glasgow (Broncos), P Jake Bailey (Patriots) and RB Chase Edmonds (Broncos).

Also, Devin McCourty announced his retirement.

On the flip side, the Dolphins are reportedly picking up the fifth-year option on Tua Tagovailoa, per NFL Network.

‘Boys Thinking Big?

The Cowboys have restructured two major contracts to clear a ton of cap space ahead of free agency.

Dallas restructured the contracts of QB Dak Prescott and OG Zack Martin to clear roughly  $30 million in cap space, per the NFL Network.

The space paves the way for Dallas to be major players in free agency. Cowboys needs include cornerback (James Bradberry, anyone?), wide receiver and defensive tackle.

On The Mend

49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who injured his elbow in the NFC Championship after getting hit by Eagles edge defender Haason Reddick, underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament, per NFL Network.

Purdy underwent surgery to repair the UCL in his right, throwing elbow and is expected to start throwing in three months.

It’ll be interesting to see if Purdy enters training camp as the lead candidate to start over third-year pro Trey Lance, who is also coming back from major surgery.

Special Delivery

The Saints re-signed one of the NFL’s best gunners on special teams, inking JT Gray to a three-year deal, per NFL Network.

Gray’s deal is worth $9.6 million, with $2.4 million to sign, per Ian Rapoport, including an additional $500,000 annually in playing time.

Eagles special-teams star Zech McPhearson has studied Gray’s work:

– Staff report for

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