Carroll's QB remarks put Seahawks on Bears' radar for No. 1 pick


INDIANAPOLIS -- A new suitor for the No. 1 overall pick might have entered the ring.

Fifteen minutes after Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio made it seem like he's content sticking at No. 2, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll put himself on the Bears' radar.

"The position that we are in, we are totally connected to the quarterbacks that are coming out," Carroll said. "This is a really huge opportunity for us. It's a rare opportunity for us. We've been drafting in the low 20s for such a long time, you just don't get the chance for these guys. So we're deeply involved with all of them."

The Seahawks currently own the No. 5 pick thanks to last offseason's blockbuster trade that sent Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

Quarterback Geno Smith is coming off a season in which he threw for 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns en route to being named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Smith is set to hit free agency on March 15, but Carroll sounded optimistic the Seahawks will get a deal done to bring the veteran back.

"We are working hard to keep it going," Carroll said of getting a long-term deal done with Smith.

The Seahawks weren't the only team to crawl into the picture for the No. 1 pick on Tuesday.

Jarrett Stidham and Chase Garbers are the only quarterbacks currently on the Las Vegas Raiders' roster. The Raiders were expected to be in the running for Tom Brady before the seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his retirement.

Sitting at No. 7 in the draft, head coach Josh McDaniel knows he has to find a long-term option behind center.

“I think there’s always urgency at that position,” McDaniels said Tuesday. “The goal for us eventually is to have somebody that’s going to be here for a long time. I think that you see the teams that are having success right now in our league, I would say in our conference, and specifically, in our division, they’re young players that were drafted by their clubs, and they’re being developed there under the same continuity. And so, I think that eventually, yes. Do I think you have to do that if you’re not sure or sold on the player, and now you’re making a mistake just to try and say that you’re trying to solve a problem? I don’t think that’s really a smart decision.

"But the goal, eventually, is to try to have a young player here that’s going to be a Raider for a long time.”

On Tuesday, Bears general manager Ryan Poles reaffirmed that Justin Fields will be the team's starting quarterback in 2023 unless Poles is "blown away" by a quarterback in the draft process.

Assuming the Bears get through the combine without being blown away by Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, the best thing for the franchise to do is trade the No. 1 pick and accumulate valuable draft capital.

The Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Carolina Panthers are all viewed as teams who could be interested in moving up. After Tuesday's opening remarks at the combine, the Seahawks and Raiders might be creeping onto the periphery.

Let the bidding begin.

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