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Despite Initial Shock After Panthers Exit, WR DJ Moore Opens Up on Being Traded for No. 1 Draft Pick

Published 03/14/2023, 2:39 AM EDT

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The Chicago Bears kicked off the pre-draft excitement on Saturday. With the franchise planning to give up their first pick for a long time, they finally found the perfect match. And they got a lot in return. However, it did shock one player involved in the transaction; DJ Moore.

The Bears traded their 1st-pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers for their best wide receiver and much more. And D. J. Moore, though initially shocked, understands how the NFL world and trade deadlines work.

DJ Moore launches an emotional farewell after a shocking reaction

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Going into his sixth year in the league, former Maryland receiver DJ Moore has enjoyed three 1000-yard plus seasons during his five years in Charlotte, with 888 last year along with 7 touchdowns. Undoubtedly, this move came as quite a shocker to the 25-year-old. He responded with two emojis, expressing his awe.

However, today, he expressed gratitude for the memorable five-year start to his NFL career. “I am forever grateful to the Carolina Panthers Organization for making my dream come true by drafting me in ‘18. I want to thank all the people from the top down who have made the start of this journey special for me in Carolina. Thank You & Much Love,” he tweeted.

Chicago GM Ryan Poles pulled his first real off-season trade this year before the free agency negotiation window even opens on March 13. And fans absolutely loved the decision. With Justin Fields already proving to be worthy of the trust the franchise has shown in him, the NFC North side and former Super Bowl Champions wanted to focus on managing their leftover weaknesses.

This trade was mutually beneficial for both the Bears and the Panthers

And they can do a lot with this first-pick trade. The Panthers, in addition to their top wideout Moore, gave up this year’s 9th overall pick, a second-rounder from 2023, a 2024 first-round selection, and a 2025 second-round selection. For Panthers owner David Tepper, the priorities are clear. The franchise needs a quarterback for the future. And there are a few elite college quarterbacks to pick out from this year.

The 2022-23 season saw Carolina go through an entire roster of quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield, PJ Walker, Sam Darnold, and Jacob Eason all had their shots from the pocket. Sadly, none worked.

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Ohio State’s C. J. Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richardson impressed the most at the recent NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

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However, Alabama’s Bryce Young is also in contention to be the first pick in the 2023 draft for the Panthers. And while Carolina can build their future with their QB, the Bears just started filling up the rest of the roles around Fields. Win-win!

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Written by:

Soumyapriyo Ganguly

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Soumyapriyo Ganguly is an NFL writer at Essentially Sports. He holds a degree in Economics and Statistics from the Indian School of Business and Finance. Rivu is a sports nerd with his favorites being Soccer, American Football, Basketball, UFC, and Formula 1.
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Edited by:

Abigail Kevichusa