DJ Moore Panthers Trade Bears News Rumors

Getty Bears wide receiver DJ Moore.

Chicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore is sending his heartfelt thanks to the Carolina Panthers after his former team helped his new team clinch the No. 1 overall draft pick for a second consecutive season.

Moore delivered another monster game for the Bears in their 37-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons on New Year’s Eve, catching nine passes for 159 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. It marked Moore’s fifth game eclipsing 100 receiving yards for the Bears since arriving in an offseason trade and pushed him to a career-high 1,300 yards on the year.

After the game, reporters asked Moore how he felt about the Panthers — who sank to 2-14 on the season in Week 17 — clinching the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft for the Bears. And frankly, his answer probably echoes how many fans in Chicago are feeling about it.

“I mean, s***, I feel like I was the No. 1 pick when they traded for me,” Moore said of the trade that sent him to Chicago in March 2023, via Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Chicago. “But, I mean, thanks to Carolina, that’s all I can say to that.”


DJ Moore Has Exceeded Expectations for Bears in 2023

Bears general manager Ryan Poles knew what he was doing when he insisted that the Panthers include Moore in the trade package for their No. 1 overall pick in 2023. They had Darnell Mooney returning from injury and Chase Claypool, at the time, looking like a quality addition as well, but they needed a true No. 1 for quarterback Justin Fields.

Still, Moore has gone above and beyond during his first season for the Bears and has made Poles look like a genius for orchestrating his arrival in Chicago.

Moore has caught 92 passes for 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns over his first 16 games with the Bears. His total receiving yards put him fifth all-time on the Bears’ list of single-season receiving leaders, and he needs just two yards in the season finale to move into sole possession of fourth place on the list. No Bears wide receiver has had more receiving yards in a season since Alshon Jeffery finished with 1,421 yards in 2013.

Beyond the raw numbers, Moore has also demonstrated a strong connection with Fields that has produced much success for the offense down the stretch. Fields himself said after the win over the Falcons that whenever he sees Moore in a one-on-one situation, he trusts him enough to put the ball up for him and let him win his matchup. And there were a few catches — including his endzone-corner touchdown catch — that emphasize why having that level of trust is an important thing for a developing quarterback.

Time will tell if the Bears can continue to build themselves into a legitimate contender, but they have to be feeling good about the first-year returns on last year’s big trade.


DJ Moore Reiterates Support for Justin Fields as QB

The Bears have their No. 1 receiver, but do they have their franchise quarterback? That is a question they could spend the better part of the next four months answering as they weigh what to do with their No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL draft.

On one hand, they could stick with Fields and trade back (again) from the No. 1 spot to acquire another franchise-altering haul. They could also trade Fields and use their top selection on one of the top quarterback prospects — Caleb Williams or Drake Maye — to reset the quarterback clock and avoid shelling out big money at the position. Without question, it is the more consequential decision of Poles’ tenure as general manager.

If Poles is listening to his star players talk, though, he knows what they want.

“I said it before, I’m going to keep saying it. Today, the Houdini act should’ve put the nail in,” Moore said in December 31’s postgame. “I want [Fields] to be the quarterback. I said what I said. Now it’s on the higher-ups. It’s up to them.”

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