The “Fire Nagy!” chants have been heard throughout the stands of Soldier Field, United Center, and even high school stadiums around the state. However, there hasn’t been much chanting regarding what the Chicago Bears should do with their general manager.
As it turns out, GM Ryan Pace could join his head coach on the chopping block.
“Whether it happens today, or tomorrow, or any day between now and Jan. 10 following the final game of the regular season, Bears head coach Matt Nagy will be relieved of his duties in Chicago,” writes CBS Sports NFL reporter Jonathan Jones. “It’s likely that general manager Ryan Pace will meet a similar fate,” he continues, “and it’ll be the dawn of a new era in the Windy City.”
Jones’ reporting is certainly eye-opening. As is his sharing that a clean slate at Halas Hall could be appealing to folks around the league. After speaking with sources, Jones makes it seem as if the buzz around the league that the Bears GM and head coach positions are among “the best on the market.”
Justin Fields has franchise QB potential. Roquan Smith, Jaylon Johnson, and Darnell Mooney are nice young building blocks. David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert make for a solid backfield tandem. Khalil Mack still brings it when he is healthy. An Eddie Jackson bounce-back year isn’t all that far-fetched. This team doesn’t have much draft capital, but there is cap space to be utilized and interesting pieces sprinkled throughout the roster. Given a thrifty general manager and better coach, this could work in Chicago.
All this without mentioning how a new GM-coach combo could be walking into a division that could be there for the taking. The Packers could be dealing with the potential departure of Aaron Rodgers from Green Bay. In Detroit, the perennially rebuilding Lions are once again rebuilding. Out in Minnesota, an inconsistent Vikings team alternating playoff seasons since 2015. This leaves the Bears job(s) as being quite appealing.
No, a 4-7 record in 2021 isn’t pretty. Neither is a 20-23 mark since the start of the 2019 season. And don’t even get me started on the Bears’ 46-61 record since hiring Pace in 2015. But that isn’t to say the Bears job shouldn’t be attractive moving forward. Let’s be clear. Whoever’s in charge of putting this team together still has work to do. However, it’s not as much of a lost cause as some make it out to be.
Once all of that is taken into consideration, perhaps that could explain reporting from earlier in November that new coach and GM candidates would be “begging to get an audience” with the Bears if things bottom out.
Of course, things will need to fully bottom out first before those jobs open up. But to this point, there hasn’t been much evidence suggesting they won’t do just that…