Projected Trade: Bears Eyeing Former First-Round DE in 'Buy Low' Move

Vince Carbonneau
May 30, 2024  (10:08)

Ryan Poles in action
Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

### Bears Considering Trade for Former First-Round DE to Bolster Pass Rush

As the 2024 NFL season approaches, speculation is rife that the Chicago Bears might seek to enhance their pass rush by signing another veteran to support Montez Sweat. However, they might also explore the trade market to "buy low" on a former first-round pick in need of a fresh start.
The Bears have limited options among free agents if they aim to add another pass rusher before training camp begins. They could consider bringing back Yannick Ngakoue, provided he recovers from his injuries. Alternatively, they might look at less familiar veterans like Emmanuel Ogbah or Carl Lawson.
Despite these options, the Bears might prefer a trade over signing a veteran nearing 30. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report suggested the Bears could take a chance on New Orleans Saints defensive end Payton Turner, the 28th overall pick in 2021, banking on his untapped potential.
«It might be a little shocking that any team other than the Saints remember what made him a first-round pick,» Ballentine wrote. «But, assuming the cost is low, he could be the type of high-upside player the Bears need right now.»
### Payton Turner: High Potential, Injury Concerns
Turner, with his 6-foot-6, 270-pound frame and impressive 83 5/8-inch wingspan, offers an intriguing option for Matt Eberflus' defense. His sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash time at the 2021 NFL Combine also highlights his speed. However, Turner's career has been marred by injuries, limiting him to just 15 out of a possible 51 games over three seasons. His most recent setback was a turf toe injury in 2023, which sidelined him after just two games.
In his limited playtime, Turner has recorded 29 tackles, three sacks, and eight tackles for loss. While the Saints likely see him as a bust, the Bears might view him as a low-risk, high-reward project, especially since they need rotational edge rushers rather than full-time starters.
The acquisition cost for Turner would likely be minimal. The Bears might secure him for a sixth-round pick, of which they currently hold three in the 2025 NFL draft. Additionally, Turner's cap hit for 2024 would be about $2.67 million, making him a financially viable option.
### Long-Term Gamble on Turner
There are no guarantees with Turner. The Bears could trade for him and end up with a one-year rental who doesn't significantly impact their pass rush. However, Turner could provide more value than older free agents if he flourishes in their defense.
Montez Sweat is set as a long-term anchor for the Bears' defensive line, having signed a four-year extension through 2027. Outside of Sweat, the Bears lack clear long-term prospects, except for fifth-round rookie Austin Booker, who is still seen as a developmental player.
DeMarcus Walker is effective against the run and showed improvement as a pass rusher with Sweat's arrival, but he turns 30 in September and might be a cut candidate in 2025 without further progress. Dominique Robinson, a 2022 fifth-round pick, also faces an uncertain future.
The Bears can restock their defensive line in the 2025 draft, with three picks in the first two rounds. However, if acquiring Turner costs only a sixth-round pick and $2.7 million, it could be a worthwhile risk to uncover potential in the 25-year-old.
In conclusion, while Turner's injury history is a concern, his physical attributes and potential upside make him a gamble worth considering for the Bears as they seek to build a formidable pass rush for the future.
As seen Here - Bears projected trade
MAY 30   |   35 ANSWERS
Projected Trade: Bears Eyeing Former First-Round DE in 'Buy Low' Move

Should the Bears trade for Payton Turner to enhance their pass rush?

Yes1851.4 %
No1748.6 %
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