The offseason has been full of big dreams for Bears fans. There’s been talk of drafting a generational talent on the defensive line, putting an extraordinary amount of salary cap space to work, and of course, blockbuster trades. Among all the buzz, debates about trading for a top-flight wide receiver to help Justin Fields have come up time and again. On Tuesday, Pro Football Focus published a list of five trades to look out for this offseason, and three of them would probably interest Bears fans. However, PFF didn’t predict the Bears to be involved in any of them.
DEANDRE HOPKINS TO GIANTS
This deal only happens if the Cardinals go into full rebuild mode, since Hopkins proved upon returning from his suspension that he can still play at a high level. But if Arizona does move on from Hopkins, PFF believes a 2023 second-round pick and a 2023 fifth-round pick get the deal done.
“The Giants are desperate for help at the position and have smaller, speedier options like second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson returning from injury, but here they add a legitimate X receiver on the outside,” wrote Brad Spielberger about the hypothetical trade.
If Hopkins wants a new deal, the Giants have the cap space to pull it off, too. According to Spotrac, the Giants rank fourth in the NFL for 2023 cap space, and third for 2024.
BRANDIN COOKS TO PATRIOTS
Cooks isn’t the flashiest name on the market, but he’s managed to consistently produce given bad circumstances in Houston. So PFF has the Patriots sending a third-round pick to the Texans in exchange for Cooks and a 2024 seventh-rounder.
“Cook earned an 82.1 cumulative receiving grade, which was a top-30 mark at the position,” wrote Spielberger. “His 1.90 yards per route run ranked in the top 25, his 66 explosive receptions ranked 17th and his 30 receptions on balls thrown 20-plus yards downfield ranked eighth.
“Cooks remains one of the better deep-ball trackers in the NFL, with the ability to consistently handle significant volume.”
All those advanced metrics are great, but in terms of raw production Cooks caught 57 balls for 699 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games. Given the Texans’ offensive ineptitude last year that feels like a miracle. Finally, Cooks just turned 29 last September, so he’s slightly younger than many of the other wide receivers whose names get floated in the rumor mill.
TEE HIGGINS TO LIONS
There’s a good chance Higgins never hits the trading block, but if he does he’ll instantly become the crown jewel of the market. He’s proven to be a sure-handed receiver with the ability to make explosive plays, and he’s only 24 years old. That’s why PFF has the Lions shipping a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 fourth to bring him to Detroit.
“Higgins can be the new big-bodied receiver in the Lions' offense, filling the void left by Hockenson and potentially free agent D.J. Chark Jr.,” Spielberger wrote.
Spielberger goes on to say the Lions can make this deal work because they control two first-round picks this year: their own and the Rams’, which they acquired in the Matt Stafford trade. The Bears don’t have that type of capital to make a move of this magnitude, but maybe they will after some draft day wheeling and dealing?