First-year Bears general manager Ryan Poles has shared some insight into his team’s strategy for the 2023 NFL Draft, one that will impact several teams throughout free agency leading up into draft night.

Poles, speaking Saturday with NBC Sports’ Peter King, said the Bears aren’t interested in drafting a quarterback, saying “we’ve got to see it through” with third-year signal-caller Justin Fields. He suggested the team wouldn’t use the pick on a player at another position, either.

Instead, Chicago — which has the top overall pick of the 2023 draft — is likely to trade down with one of the several teams that want the No. 1 pick, presumably to land a QB. Poles all but confirmed the Bears would trade down, adding any deal would include a swap of first-rounders in 2023 as well as first-round picks in 2024 and 2025 for the Bears.

“I believe in building something to sustain success for a long period of time,” Poles told King. “To me that’s gotta be through the draft. This is just a chance to load up this team up with a bunch of opportunity and flexibility to do that. It’s time for this organization.

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“Now, with this opportunity with the first pick, it feels like an opportunity to kind of heal some of the things that happened before and become a really good team. Everything feels right.”

Poles said he still wants to be in position following any trade to draft a “blue player,” which King notes is Poles’ term for a premier prospect. Excepting quarterbacks — from established products in Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud to fast-rising projects Anthony Richardson and Will Levis — there may only be a few such players in this year’s draft, most notably Alabama edge defender Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter.

Several teams have emerged as the likeliest trade partners with Chicago, having both a need for a potential franchise quarterback and a high draft position — an important factor for the Bears, which won’t want to trade down so far as to miss out on one of the so-called “blue players.”

Those teams include the Texans at Nos. 2 and 12; the Colts at No. 4; the Raiders at No. 7; and the Panthers at No. 9. Other teams that might inquire include the Seahawks at No. 5 and Titans at No. 11, though they could decide to ride with Geno Smith and Ryan Tannehill, respectively.

MORE: Bears trade options: Projecting Chicago’s return for Justin Fields vs. trading No. 1 pick in 2023 NFL Draft

Another factor Poles said will play into the Bears’ strategy is the availability of veteran quarterbacks. Several QBs are on the market this year, including the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo and, potentially, Aaron Rodgers.

Free agent Derek Carr’s reported four-year deal with the Saints highlights a potential need for Chicago to move quickly in trading the No. 1 pick: If one of the aforementioned teams secures a QB in free agency, it would cost Chicago not only a potential trade partner, but also draft flexibility.

“Should we do this before free agency? Or should we wait?” Poles said to King. “I don’t know. That’s what I’ve communicated (to teams). I could carry this all the way until we’re on the clock the night of the draft. But then there’s teams that want some certainty because, ‘If I need a quarterback bad, should I do that now when some of these guys, like Derek Carr, are out there?’ To me, they’ve got to go so much more above to do it now.

“I’m not greedy with it. But they’re gonna have to go above and beyond to close the door now.”

Either way, it’s clear Poles is holding the key.

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