There are plenty of reasons why Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace should be on the hot seat.
The team is 39-51 since he took over in 2015. And he’s had more than his fair share of swings-and-misses in the draft (Kevin White, Mitchell Trubisky, Adam Shaheen, etc.) and free agency (Trey Burton, Cody Parkey, Robert Quinn, etc.), which have put the franchise in a rough spot both now and in the future. Yes, there has been some winning. But ultimately, we’re talking about a general manager on his fourth quarterback, second head coach, and with just one year left on his contract. So the fact the Bears are 5-5 at the bye after starting out 5-1 (and going 8-8 last year) means that seat should be scorching.
And yet … as league insider Michael Lombardi hears it, Pace’s job sounds safe.
“I think everybody thinks that Pace is safe,” Lombardi said during his Friday radio interview with the Mike Mulligan and David Haugh show on 670 The Score. “The word around the league is that he’s endeared himself to the family. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he would be back. Now, maybe that’s because nobody really knows and they expect that.”
There are two major takeaways from Lombardi’s statement. For starters, the idea that Pace is essentially a made man is eye-opening. Then again, the McCaskeys have been known to be loyal to a fault in their time running the team. Pace successfully dragged the team from the Trestman mess and led the charge on Halas Hall overhaul. So it’s not as if there are no reasons why he could’ve endeared himself to the McCaskeys.
Then again, Lombardi saying now, maybe that’s because nobody really knows tells us so much about how to read the situation (while using so few words). George McCaskey and Ted Phillips don’t peek their heads out from behind the curtains often. So it’s nearly impossible to get a strong grasp on what they’re feeling. What we do know is that recent buzz rooted in local reporting suggests that the brass upstairs isn’t happy with where the team is now. In the end, conflicting reports suggest it’s time to strap it in. I hope you’re ready for what could be a bumpy ride down the stretch.