As NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport correctly points out, the Bears’ recent trades of Jared Allen and Jonathan Bostic do not exactly constitute a “fire sale,” a term that has been generously applied to those transactions over the past week. After all, trading two players who were not integral to the team’s defense moving forward does not signal that the Bears are going to tear their roster apart and play for the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016.
Nonetheless, according to one rival general manager, Chicago has essentially told the other 31 teams in the league that they should not be afraid to ask if they are interested in someone on the roster. Rapoport writes that there are only a few players the Bears would not consider trading, and the list is fairly predictable: Kevin White, Kyle Long, Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Fuller, and Pernell McPhee. Noticeably absent from that group, of course, are Jay Cutler and Matt Forte.
It has been reported that the Bears considered dealing both Cutler and Forte during the draft, though a source familiar with the team’s thinking says the conversations regarding Forte never happened. And, although rumors surrounding Forte have heated up in the wake of Chicago’s disappointing start, it would be difficult for the Bears to recoup much value in a Forte trade, given the back’s age (30 in December) and salary (over $7MM).
That does not mean, though, that the Bears are not trying. Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, they are more than willing to deal the two-time Pro Bowler, who has been one of the club’s few bright spots this season, but they would want at least a second- or third-round draft pick in exchange. It would take a special set of circumstances for Chicago to net that type of return for Forte–perhaps a team with legitimate championship aspirations losing their starting running back to injury–and even then, any trade would likely not happen until closer to the November 3 deadline, when the Bears’ asking price would be more likely to drop.
As for Cutler, his declining production and contract have continued to make the prospects of any trade remote. But if you’re a GM and there is someone on the Bears that intrigues you, apparently all you have to do is ask; Ryan Pace is willing to listen.