There are times when being a Bears fan feels like being at the bottom of the pit of despair. And it doesn’t help when someone lists them as one of the NFL’s six most hopeless teams.
Chicago’s football team is in a tough spot right now. The Bears are 4-10, have an offense and defense both ranking in the bottom of the league, and have spent a ton of money to get to this point. Think about it. Chicago’s front office is spending $187,546,231 in total cap liabilities (per Oveer The Cap) to fund this mess. It all feels bad, especially when SB Nation’s James Dator lists “Ineffective GM” and “horrible coach” as the top reasons the Bears are where they are in this moment.
But that’s not an entirely fair characterization, given our expectations for the immediate future.
To be clear, Dator is right to identify Chicago’s general manager and head coach at the core of what is wrong with the team. The Bears have a GM who has presented Mike Glennon, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, and Andy Dalton as solutions to the revolving door of quarterbacking disappointment in Chicago. And, sure, Pace’s front office has done well in unearthing a wave of late-round picks on draft weekend over the years, but he’s also been too quick to trade away that same late-round draft capital.
Alongside the GM is a head coach who knows what a good and productive offense should look like, but doesn’t do the right things to make it happen. A head coach who says the right things about accountability, but doesn’t seemingly practice what he preaches.
Then again, where James Dator sees darkness, I see light.
Because where Dator views the Bears as hopeless because of the personnel occupying the roles of GM and head coach, I see the pending departures of Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy on the horizon.
Pace’s contract status is officially unknown, but the general conssenus is that he’s operating within a lame-duck year. Nagy’s contract, meanwhile, is set to expire at the end of 2023, but the Bears could tie his fate to that of Pace. The looming dismissals of Pace and Nagy are a flickering light at the end of a tunnel. Maybe we have to wait three weeks before things become officially official. Perhaps a new set of rules allowing teams to get a head-start on the organization-building process with early interviews will accelerate the breakup process.
In any case, it feels like the reasons that fill us with hopelessness will be gone in three weeks.
The Bears still have needs to fill, but they appear to have a QB in place and cap space with which to work. And soon enough, the should have two new sets of eyes fixed on old problems.
Guess the Bears aren’t that hopeless after all.