While digging through our archives earlier this week, I unearthed one of our old posts in which we declared the year of reckoning for GM Ryan Pace was upon us. Therein, we explored thoughts from Bears Chairman George McCaskey, who made it clear that he had championship aspirations for his club in 2020. McCaskey wanted to see if the Bears were “the team that took the NFL by storm two years ago … ” or the team that fell back significantly last season? Through 10 games here in 2020, I think we’re seeing which team showed up.
Naturally, rumblings this week have begun suggesting something bubbling up under the surface. Multiple hints that George McCaskey was displeased with the Bears’ situation were dropped, and although a Friday report suggested Pace’s gig could be safe, it wasn’t said with any authority whatsoever.
So with all of that in mind, I’ve rounded up some potential GM candidates who might be on the Bears’ radar. You know … just in case the Bears push Pace out the door rather than letting him play out the final year of his deal (or extending him).
Champ Kelly, Assistant Director of Player Personnel
Kelly is a star on the rise in NFL front office circles.
He interviewed for the Jets GM opening that ultimately went to former co-worker Joe Douglas in 2019. And while Kelly didn’t leave for a promotion then, he has since added to his résumé. It’s worth noting that Kelly participated in this year’s Quarterback Coaching Summit. The two-day program hosted by the NFL and Black College Football Hall of Fame sets forth to create a path for minority coaching and payer development candidates to develop and advance professionally. That’s a darn good place to get your name out there for the future. And for Kelly, the future could be coming up soon.
Mark Sadowski, Director of College Scouting
Sadowski is a local product who played football at St. Rita, then collegiately at Tulane. And as Dan Pompei of The Athletic points out, has lived one heck of a football life.
Sadowski worked for the Saints after pestering Mike Ditka with résumé, after résumé, after résumé. He landed a gig working for Jerry Angelo, who lauded Sadowski as a hire. “Strong work ethic, bright, team guy, very respectful and humble,” Angelo told Pompei. “One of the easiest hires I had to make and one of the better ones.” If you’re looking for a football life to be an organization’s football guy, then Sadowski is worth interviewing. However, he’ll need to clarify why Mitchell Trubisky was his QB1 in 2017 before that process goes to the next level.
Mike Borgonzi, Chiefs Director of Football Operations
I don’t need to waste too many words explaining why the Chiefs pipeline is so hot.
And while I understand that Phil Emery was a Chiefs employee before arriving to take over GM responsibilities with the Bears, we should also point out that Chris Ballard is doing a heckuva job with the Colts. With that being said, Borgonzi will make all sorts of “future GM” lists between now and the time comes for teams to start their respective searches. Borgonzi was an assistant under John Dorsey when he pulled the trigger on the draft day trade to select Patrick Mahomes. At minimum, it would be nice to pick the brain of someone who was in on the process.
Louis Riddick, ESPN Monday Night Football Broadcaster
If you listen to Riddick’s analysis on Monday Night Football, his words sound like they’re coming from someone whose knowledge shouldn’t be limited to prime-time television.
That’s because Riddick was a player and executive in the league before sliding into the broadcast side of things. However, I can’t help but wonder if he’ll eventually scratch that itch to return to the front office side of things. And if he does, what better team than the Bears? After all, he already knows Head Coach Matt Nagy (and this team) quite well.
Hey, if it can work out for John Lynch…