Chicago Bears Rumors: Is Ryan Pace loading up for 2021?

Do the Chicago Bears’ moves so far in free agency suggest they’re focused more on 2021?

The NFL legal tampering period is officially in full swing and the Chicago Bears have been heavily involved in the rumors that have been swirling throughout social media since Wednesday. However, while fans have focused on the moves that could be made, an interesting trend is developing with respect to the moves they aren’t making. Could it all suggest that general manager Ryan Pace is really gearing up for the 2021 NFL Draft? Let’s take a look at why that could be the case.

For the last day and a half, rumors have linked the Bears to Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton, and Nick Foles. And with the news that the Carolina Panthers will work with Cam Newton to seek a trade, his name has become en vogue.

However, while all the focus has been on what quarterback the Bears might add, they have been slowly accumulating compensatory draft picks through the moves they haven’t made — most notably, letting go of Nick Kwiatkoski, Nick Williams, and Chase Daniel. For a team who this year accumulated their first compensatory pick in 10 years, According to Over The Cap, they currently now have a fifth and two sixth-round compensatory picks for 2021. They also have one pick in each of the first through sixth rounds next year, likely losing their seventh-round pick from the Eddy Pineiro trade.

Right now, that would give them a total of nine picks with the possibility of adding more picks depending on what additional moves they make.

All of this is, of course, dependent on what additional moves the Bears make, as the compensatory formula takes into account the players lost and gained through free agency. In other words, bringing in a high-cost quarterback would most certainly jeopardize their current compensatory pick haul.

Perhaps the Bears aren’t sold on Mitchell Trubisky, but they may also not be sold on any of the quarterback options available via free agency or a trade. If that’s the case, it is at least conceivable that they could be trying to accumulate as much draft capital as possible to make a run at one of the high profile quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft which will include Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Brock Purdy, among others.

Next: Weird start to free agency for the Bears

We’ll have to see how the rest of free agency plays out but it’s definitely a thought worth keeping in the back of your head over the next few weeks.

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