LAKE FOREST, IL - JANUARY 17: General manager Phil Emery of the Chicago Bears explains his choice of Marc Trestman to be the new head coach of the Bears at Halas Hall on January 17, 2013 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Over the past few weeks we've discussed players who the Bears should consider drafting in the 2013 draft.
But the Bears don't have to use their 20th overall pick on a player. Would it make sense for the Bears to trade their pick?
Bears general manager Phil Emery has indicated he is open trading. When talking about the signings of Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett, Emery said their success in free agency has allowed them to be flexible in the draft.
"We don't have to stay at 20 and say, 'Well, we've got to have a tackle' or 'We have to have a tight end,' " Emery said. "We can't come out of that pick. So yes, it's extremely important to have that flexibility."
Even after Bushrod and Bennett were added, the Bears continued to wheel and deal to address their needs. The Bears added linebackers, more help on the offensive line, and beefed up back-ups in the defensive backfield. Their roster isn't perfect by any stretch, but the big problem areas, like the offensive line, tight end and linebackers, have been looked at. The Bears don't need the draft to find a starter.
And it's a good thing, too, because the Bears aren't in a spot to draft a great player. At no. 20, top linemen like Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and even Chance Warmack will likely be gone. The draft isn't chock-full with top linebackers.
The Bears are also in a win-now mode. As active as they have been in free agency, Bears are up against their salary cap. They have given out a bevy of one-year contracts, and Jay Cutler is near the end of his. If they can't get a top-5, impact-now kind of player, why keep the pick?
Instead, the Bears could trade the pick for players or picks they can use to develop in the future. This would allow Chicago to prepare for the future while still working on winning now. It's a formula that has worked for Green Bay for years. Chicago would be smart to adopt it.
If there's a stumbling block, it will be that there aren't enough people looking for the No. 20 spot. The Bears need the right buyer to step up and make an offer. Draft week can be wild, and no movement now doesn't mean movement won't happen seconds before the Bears announce their pick.