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Bears right to have fire sale

The Chicago Bears are doing the right thing, although it is a rare move in the National Football League. Often in Major League Baseball, we see teams that have no shot of contending trade off their most valuable players to get a large haul of young players in return, normally minor leaguers.

In the NFL, the currency most coveted is draft picks. Chicago Bears first-year general manager Ryan Pace has begun the rebuilding process in earnest this week, by dealing veteran defensive end Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers and middle linebacker Jonathan Bostic to the New England Patriots.

Both men are useful players, but not to the Bears. Chicago desperately needs to overhaul a bland roster, and Pace is doing his best to stockpile draft picks. Most NFL teams don’t make trades – especially during the season – but Pace is wheeling and dealing. He clearly does not want to sit around and hope for better results, so he is being proactive. You have to give credit there, for sure.

The next moves should be to trade running back Matt Forte and receiver Alshon Jeffery. Forte is a great player, one of the most underrated in the league. However, Forte has a ton of mileage on him after playing eight seasons in the NFL, and most behind an awful line. Forte has been given a bevy of touches each campaign both in the run and pass game, and at 29 years old, he will be washed up before Chicago is good again. Pace should deal his star running back and garner a couple of picks for the future.

Over his career, Forte has racked up 7,980 rushing and 3,796 receiving yards with 58 touchdowns. Each of the last three seasons, Forte has gone over the 1,000-yard rushing mark and in 2014, caught 102 passes. His value will never be higher.

In the case of Jeffrey, the Bears have a tougher decision to make. Only 25 years old, he could be in the prime of his career when Chicago is good again, but is he worth more to the organization as a trade asset? Jeffrey is currently injured but last year amassed 85 catches and more than 1,000 yards for the second straight campaign. Pace could likely fetch either a first or second-round pick for Jeffrey, who would slot in as a top receiver on most teams.

Whether or not the Windy City likes it, Pace is making the right move by stripping this team for parts and moving on. The Bears have not been a true contender in years and are in desperate need of a makeover. Whether Pace can pull it off remains to be seen, but he is going in the right direction.

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