To be honest with you, I expected Pace to make one last move at yesterday’s deadline. I wasn’t expecting a blockbuster or anything, but more so a trade to add more draft capital. However, the Bears stay put, and this was probably the best move for the team’s sake this season. The Bears stay put, and I’m fine with that. Teams around them made very significant, and perplexing moves, and it had a huge impact on the competition they have to face in the second half.
The Detroit Lions trade wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2019 3rd round pick. The Lions are an up and down team this season, as they are most years, but the Lions finally got a solidified running game for Matt Stafford in Kerryon Johnson. When he handles the bulk of the carries for the Lions, they usually won their games. Their offense looked to be scary, as they were finally clicking with a new coaching staff. Then they traded their number one wide receiver. The Lions aren’t bad at the position, by any means, as they still have Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. However, this trade will certainly mess with the chemistry this offense was starting to build, and it could hurt them in the long run. The Lions will not find a better player in the third round of this year’s draft than Golden Tate. That player will be a lot cheaper, but not as productive. The Lions didn’t want to pay their best receiver since Calvin Johnson, one who also caused headaches. This shows the Lions are playing for draft picks when they were in the thick of the NFC North race. This is a classic Lions move, to say the least. Ever since the Lions acquired Tate in 2014, the Bears have beaten them once. Now he is gone. Just one more thing the Bears don’t have to worry about. The Bears play the Lions twice in 11 days. They aren’t gimmes, as they are still divisional games, but they just got a lot more winnable.
The Green Bay Packers traded running back Ty Montgomery to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a 2020 7th round pick. This trade I understand a lot more. Montgomery just messed up big time on Sunday by costing Aaron Rodgers a chance to beat the now 8-0 Rams, and Montgomery expressed his frustration with his role in the offense. The Packers also have two other backs they like in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. However, they got a pretty bad return for a very versatile player. A 2020 7th right now provides very little value, and Montgomery is worth more. The Packers will not find a more impactful player than Montgomery with that pick. The more significant of the two trades was the Haha Clinton-Dix deal. The Packers shipped off the former pro bowl safety to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a 2019 4th round pick. Clinton-Dix expressed his feelings about his impending free agent status earlier this year; That is that he did not plan on returning. So the Packers panicked and shipped him off for below market value. The Redskins got a great safety for only a 4th round pick. Clinton-Dix has played a major role on that Packer defense ever since he was drafted, and I don’t think Josh Jones or Jermaine Whitehead can fill his void. The Packers, like the Lions, are playing for draft picks, and it seems like the NFC North is coming down to a two-team race. With the Packers schedule becoming a lot more tougher, a playoff run seems more and more unlikely, but not impossible.
The Bears chances to win the NFC North got better, and they did absolutely nothing at the deadline. The Packers and Lions will account for three of the Bears final eight games. Those three games became a lot more winnable. Even though the Bears were not active at the deadline, I expect them to be active in the offseason, perhaps testing the market for guys like Jordan Howard or Leonard Floyd, especially since the team has a need for draft picks. The Bears odds just got a whole lot better by doing nothing, and that feels really good.