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Carolina Panthers acquire No. 1 pick in NFL draft from Chicago Bears

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore makes a running catch during a game.
The Carolina Panthers traded wide receiver D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears on Friday as part of a deal to acquire the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)
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The Carolina Panthers are on the clock.

The Panthers have traded up to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the draft from the Chicago Bears in exchange for Carolina’s No. 9 and No. 61 overall picks in 2023, a first-round pick in 2024, a second-round pick in 2025 and star wide receiver D.J. Moore, two people with knowledge of the deal said Friday.

The people spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

The move allows the Panthers to acquire a potential franchise quarterback — the sort of player the team has coveted for years — although it remains unclear which quarterback Carolina prefers. The Bears are committed to Justin Fields at quarterback and that gave them leverage to trade down.

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The Rams, in another major move to cut costs, plan to release edge rusher Leonard Floyd on Friday, people with knowledge of the situation said.

March 10, 2023

Carolina has its choice of Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson.

The Panthers may not have gotten the quarterback they wanted if they had stayed at No. 9.

“You go get the guy that you want, you know,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said last week at the scouting combine about potentially trading up for a quarterback. “If you have a conviction on a guy, you go get him. It’s pretty simple that way. If you don’t know and you’re going to give all these resources to go up and get it, you’re hurting your team in the long run. You better be right. You better have conviction if you do move up. When you do that, you’re all in.”

The Panthers have been seeking stability at quarterback since David Tepper bought the team in 2018.

They have tried several starters — including Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater and even bringing back Cam Newton for a second stint. But none of those options has worked out and Carolina hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2017.

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