Tick-tock, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are on the clock:
#Bears DC Vic Fangio isn't a free agent until next Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. Teams must ask for permission from #Bears to interview for a lateral position until then. #Packers likely waiting until then since Fangio is #Bears head-coaching candidate.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) January 5, 2018
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets the Packers are playing the waiting game with regards to their pursuit of Vic Fangio as the team’s defensive coordinator. Silverstein notes that Fangio, whose contract expired at season’s end, isn’t a free agent until Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., which means, before then, the team would have to ask for permission from the Bears to grant an interview request.
And as the Packers have learned first-hand, that doesn’t always go as planned. The Detroit Lions have declined the Packers’ request to interview Teryl Austin for their open defensive coordinator position. The Minnesota Vikings denied Green Bay’s interview request for Assistant GM George Paton for the team’s vacated general manager’s spot. A rejection from the Bears for a Fangio interview would have made for a special kind of hat trick.
Fangio has long been believed to be a highly sought-after coaching target once he hit free agency, with the Packers being described as a “logical choice” for a landing spot once the team parted ways with Dom Capers. Green Bay have interviewed/will interview three in-house candidates to replace Capers, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, but it sure seems like they’ll pursue Fangio thereafter.
As it stands, a move from Chicago to Green Bay as a defensive coordinator would be a lateral move at this exact moment. After all, Fangio is still a candidate for the team’s head coach position after interviewing with the team on Wednesday. Even if Fangio doesn’t get the call to replace John Fox as head coach, the Bears are holding out hope and would still like to bring him back in some capacity.