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Chalk Talk

Why did Bears trade a draft pick?

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Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Why did the Bears trade a draft pick for an undrafted rookie tight end?

Paul H.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearing on "The Bears Coaches Show" Monday night on WBBM 780, general manager Ryan Pace explained why the Bears traded a 2017 sixth-round draft pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for tight end Khari Lee, an undrafted rookie. Said Pace: "If we identify a player who fills a need and clearly upgrades us, then we'll talk about [a possible trade], and that was the case with Khari Lee. In this case, Khari Lee is a physical, aggressive blocking tight end that we identified early in the preseason process. For me, he clearly upgraded us and gave us something that we were lacking. He's a young player that's still ascending and we traded a sixth-round pick in 2017, and the reason why I like that is that gives us some time to make up that pick through a variety of avenues."

I noticed that of the players the Bears released only David Bass was picked up by another team. Has that changed? I am especially curious about Jordan Mills given that he started so many games for the Bears.

Rick G.
Springdale, Arkansas

Former Bears tackle Jordan Mills was claimed off waivers by the Dallas Cowboys. Outside linebacker David Bass, as you mentioned, was claimed by the Tennessee Titans. In addition, offensive lineman Michael Ola joined the San Diego Chargers practice squad and quarterback Zac Dysert signed onto the Houston Texans practice squad.

When a team trades a future draft pick for a player who ends up being cut, is that pick lost? Are those trades conditional on the player making the 53-man roster?

John N.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

There are both conditional and non-conditional trades in the NFL. In some cases, a team must surrender a draft pick only if the player it trades makes the 53-man roster or plays in a minimum number of games. The pick may also be conditional in terms of the round based on playing time. There are also non-conditional trades like the one the Bears made with the Texans. It would have cost the Bears a 2017 sixth-round pick regardless of whether tight end Khari Lee made the 53-man roster (which he did).

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