The Chicago Bears and New England Patriots decided to swap players on Monday just three days before both teams play their first preseason game. The Bears received linebacker Matthew Wells, while the Patriots added offensive guard Ryan Groy.
The last time the Bears made a trade where both sides received a player was when they traded Kyle Orton for Jay Cutler back in 2009. This time it is Wells, who was drafted in the sixth round in this year’s draft. It is unusual for a team to give up on a drafted rookie before even seeing them in preseason action.
Wells, 6’2” 222 lbs, played his college ball at Mississippi State where he started 26 games in his final two seasons with the Bulldogs. He impressed scouts during his pro day when he ran a 4.43-second 40 yard dash. There is some speculation that the Bears could try and convert him to a safety position due to his speed and size.
The Patriots were in desperate need of adding some offensive line depth due to the amount of injuries they are dealing with. The guard position is especially thin with the retirement of Dan Connolly and Ryan Wendell still recovering from a shoulder injury.
Groy was an undrafted rookie in 2014 and started the year on the practice squad. He worked his way up to the 53-man roster during the season and due to some injuries he actually started the last three games of the season at left guard for the Bears. He will be in competition with a couple of rookies in Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason.
Both players were not expected to make their 53-man rosters, but now they both have a better shot than before. This trade could end up a win-win for both the Bears and Patriots.