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Up for Debate: Who Won Bears-Panthers Blockbuster Trade?

The Chicago Bears dealt the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers on Friday in exchange for a massive package featuring multiple first-round picks. The Panthers sent the No. 9 and No. 61 overall selections in this year’s draft, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and wide receiver D.J. Moore to Chicago.

To get a 360 view of the trade, we asked former NFL team executive Joe Banner, former NFL head coach Dave Wannstedt, and former NFL tight end Clay Harbor who got the better end of this deal.

Who Won the Trade?

Banner: Panthers Might Have Underpaid

The Panthers have built a good defense, it was the quarterback position that was keeping them from any chance to become one of the top teams in the league.

But after acquiring the top pick on Friday, the Panthers now have the choice of any of the quality quarterbacks that will be available at the top of the draft. And, in my opinion, it was a reasonable price to pay.

They gave up a lot in the pick at No. 9. Then they traded a pick at 61 at the end of the second round, where there’s only about a 30 percent hit rate of producing a quality starter.

The Panthers did what they needed to do, and they did it at somewhere between a very good and – worst-case scenario – a fair price for a difference-making quarterback.

If they finally solve their quarterback problems, this will be viewed as underpayment.

Now they have a chance to build out the rest of their roster and become one of the better teams in the league playing in a very weak division.

So we could see a very quick turnaround in Carolina.

I applaud the Panthers because aggressiveness is what you see from winning teams. They don't act with the fear of failure. If they make a mistake, they rebound from it.

And that's what we're seeing in Carolina.

Wannstedt: Bears Make Out Like Bandits

The Bears got a first- and a second-round pick in this year’s draft, and should get two starters out of that. The future picks – a first-rounder next year, we used to always look at that as a second; and then a second-rounder in 2025, we kind of look at that as a three – are guys who should become starters.

And then the real bonus is this: They get wide receiver D.J. Moore.

I really thought the Bears were going to be serious and sign a wide receiver in free agency or trade for one like the Eagles did last year with A.J. Brown. But in this trade, they also get a receiver who is 25 years old and has averaged more than 70 catches and 1,000 yards over his five seasons in Carolina.

Throw in that he’s been healthy throughout his career and he immediately becomes WR1 for the Bears.

So they got a guy who’s going to come in, line up, and be a starter from Day 1. And that's like throwing in another No. 1 pick. 

Harbor: Ryan Poles Hits Home Run

I think Ryan Poles hit this one out of the park. This is exactly what the Bears needed. I know some people will say 'Hey, you're missing out on Jalen Carter, you're missing out on Will Anderson, I don't care. They got a big-time wide receiver.

Now we're dispelling any rumors, anything saying this isn't Justin Fields' team. Poles is giving Fields the keys, a big-time receiver, they have the No. 9 and 61 picks, and now they have an extra first-rounder for next year and a second-rounder in 2025. I think this was a great move.

Now we can stop with the rumor that Fields is being traded. They are not drafting a quarterback at No. 9. They're going to go edge rusher or offensive line, those are the positions they're looking at.

They have Carolina's first-round pick next year. That means that if Fields doesn't perform, if he doesn't improve and you're looking for a quarterback, you'll have that extra pick. Most likely the Panthers will be a top 10 pick next year, and the Bears will have that pick to select a first-round quarterback. Give Fields the weapons in D.J. Moore, you have some money to spend in free agency, and next year you'll have a top 10 pick and some draft capital if Fields doesn't pan out (which I think he will).

Joe Banner is a former front office executive for the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. He was a part of an Eagles franchise that made a Super Bowl and played in four NFC Championship Games. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeBanner13

Dave Wannstedt is a former head coach of the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins. Follow him on Twitter at @CoachWannstedt.

Clay Harbor played tight end for seven seasons in the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @clayharbs82