Jim Harbaugh says Bears won Keenan Allen deal.

The Chargers traded Keenan Allen to the Bears in his last year to comply with cap salary requirements. The Bears gave the Chargers their 2024 NFL draft fourth-round pick. Although the sixth-time Pro Bowler may perform well in Chicago and sign an extension, the Bears got a bargain at that price. However, Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh admits the Bears won that trade at that price.

"It's the business part of it," he told reporters about the move. "Everyone acts in their best interest. Who has it better than Keenan, who makes $23 million and plays in Chicago? Happy for Keenan. "That transparent section is cool. Not like anything else. This is honorable and excellent for you and his family, as everyone knows. Crazy deal for him. Did we want him? Yeah. He, Mike Williams, Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa."

As said, the Chargers are making many moves to stay under the cap. The Jets signed wide receiver Mike Williams, forcing them to dismiss him. They got Khalil Mack to restructure his contract. Naturally, they traded Allen. Allen has spent all 11 NFL seasons with the Chargers. Despite injury issues, Allen is a top NFL receiver.

From six Pro Bowl berths, Allen has had six 1,000-yard seasons, including a career-high 1,243 last season. His career stats include 59 touchdowns and 69.1% catches. He has great hands and a diverse skill set. That made trading him difficult for the Chargers.

Yeah, I knew who I was trading," general manager Joe Hortiz said. He's talented and I appreciate him as a player and person. It's hard to cut, trade, or release players. For a player like him, it's challenging, but it allows others to shine. Since we're still creating the room, we'll keep adding pieces. "I think when you're talking about trading Keenan specifically, yeah that's not a decision you make with no acknowledgment of, 'This is a talented player that can still compete.'

Chargers tried to re-sign him on a different terms. Allen's agent, Joby Branion, said the Chargers made one offer. Pay cuts for 2024 and a two-year extension were offered. Both years saw bigger wage cutbacks than his current. Counterclaim by Allen's attorney was dismissed. The Chargers traded him.

Allen refused a compensation cut after a career-best season last year. "There really was no emotion," Allen told Bears reporters at his inaugural press conference. "'I'm not doing it. Not doing it. I just had my best season, so no."

Allen, DJ Moore, and Charger Gerald Everett will form a new wide receiver core. And finally? Caleb Williams of USC is the Bears' anticipated first pick and quarterback. Ryan Poles said his squad quickly capitalizes on cap casualties across the league. They pursued the Chicago deal for Allen, a find.

"Keenan Allen popped up, which was a really cool opportunity for where we’re headed, which is going to be with a young quarterback," said Poles. I think it fit perfectly. I think no receiver in the league is better at knowing the NFL, timing, space, and defenses for a young quarterback.

"I like that addition. With DJ Moore on the other side, Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett at tight end, and D'Andre Swift as running back, it levels the field. Many wonderful things can start and make us dynamic and special."

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