The message was evident when the Chicago Bears traded Robert Quinn last week. GM Ryan Poles is focused on building for the future. That means acquiring draft picks and clearing salary cap space. It seems highly unlikely that the man will turn around and seek to acquire a player for his team. Yet such things can often be dictated by circumstances. The Poles might feel pressured to move if the right player is available at the right price.
NFL.com’s Kevin Patra thinks such a scenario could be on the table. The Denver Broncos flounder at 2-5. Kansas City and Los Angeles are already far ahead in the division. Any hope of a playoff push is already dead. That’s why speculation is rampant that team management may be looking to offload multiple players for draft picks. One name that has a lot of steam is Albert Okwuegbunam. The former 4th-round pick has shown tremendous progress in 2021 with 330 yards and two touchdowns on 40 targets. Still, he wasn’t used much by new head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Chicago could be an ideal landing spot for him.
“I know the Bears are called ‘sellers’ after selling Robert Quinn, but there is still a huge need to invest in weapons for Justin Fields. Why not set a deadline to land a talented player like Albert O, Who’s buried on the depth board in Denver? In previous seasons, the former fourth-round pick has shown certain playing skills and the ability to generate separation, traits the Bears need in their pass-catching corps.
Given that he has been inactive in good health for the past two weeks, 24-year-old shouldn’t cost much to get away from Denver. Still on his rookie contract, Okwuegbunam is the type of cheap flyer Chicago should hunt at the deadline to help Fields with his development and complement Cole Kmet, who has impressed offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. Worst-case scenario for the Bears: Ryan Poles does not pursue him and the TE ends up with rival Green Bay.
Albert Okwuegbunam weighs 260 pounds and moves like this pic.twitter.com/NTX7hsqA9w
—Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) June 17, 2022
The #Broncos receive calls about their TEs, with Albert Okwuegbunam generating the most interest, according to ESPN.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 19, 2022
The Chicago Bears should at least explore that idea.
Okwuegbunam is a physical specimen with a height of 6’5 and a speed of 4.4. He has a much bigger match-up problem in the passing game than Cole Kmet. Unlike Russell Wilson, Bears quarterback Justin Fields does a good job of keeping tight ends involved in the passing game. Kmet is the third most targeted player this season for Chicago. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy could find all sorts of ways to involve Okwuegbunam. He could threaten defenses far more than Kmet.
Currently, the Chicago Bears have six picks in the first five rounds of the draft. The Poles have shown their ability to create many more via trade downs. So giving up a 5th round for Okwuegbunam wouldn’t be a terrible bet. The kid still has a year left on his rookie contract. If he excels, the team can easily sign him for the long term. Otherwise, it won’t be a massive loss in the grand scheme. Much depends on the size of the market for the young tight end.
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