For 15 years, the New Orleans Saints didn't have to worry about the quarterback position with Drew Brees behind center.
But two years after the future Hall of Famers retirement, New Orleans is still looking to find its post-Brees franchise quarterback.
Jameis Winston is still under contract, but the 2015 No. 1 overall pick was benched this past season in favor of Andy Dalton.
Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland admitted to reporters at the 2023 Senior Bowl that they "need to find one."
“It has to be the right guy,” Ireland said via ProFootballTalk. “You don’t want to be throwing darts. ... Gotta have the right traits, gotta have the right intelligence. In the history of the game, generally, you have to take one early.”
That search might prove easier after the Saints acquired a first-round pick from the Denver Broncos as part of the Sean Payton trade.
The Bears and general manager Ryan Poles will be looking to cook up as much trade competition as possible for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, and Tennessee Titans are potential trade partners. The Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions are currently wild cards in the early stages of the process.
But a Bears-Saints draft trade is unlikely to be kismet.
After dealing Payton to Denver, the Saints now own the No. 30 pick in the draft. Denver received that selection from the Miami Dolphins (via the San Francisco 49ers) in the Bradley Chubb trade. The Saints finished with the ninth-worst record in the NFL, but they are sending that pick to the Philadelphia Eagles as part of a series of draft trades from last season that saw New Orleans draft wide receiver Chris Olave and offensive Trevor Penning in Round 1.
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The Saints have a desperate need to find a long-term answer at quarterback. If they owned the rights to the No. 9 overall pick, they'd be in the pack of teams behind the Texans and Colts as likely trade partners.
But Ireland and general manager Mickey Loomis lack the necessary trade assets to entice the Bears into a deal.
While turning the No. 1 pick into a haul of draft assets is important, the Bears need to add blue-chip talent to a roster that Poles spent the last year gutting. Moving down to the backend of the first round just can't be in the cards.
The Saints could find the answer to their quarterback question in the 2023 NFL Draft. It might even come in via trade-up.
But it won't be with the Bears.