Just because the Chicago Bears have a new general manager and head coach, it doesn’t mean that the organizational building stops. (UPDATE: It’s happening. The rest of the original post follows.)
In fact, just as the buzz was dying down surrounding the hire of new head coach Matt Eberflus, a report surfaced suggesting the Bears were targeting Eagles executive Ian Cunningham for a “high-ranking front office job” with new GM Ryan Poles. And those reports continue to heat up.
Geoff Mosher (Inside The Birds) reports the Eagles are “poised to lose” Cunningham to the Bears. Mosher notes that Cunningham and Poles have never worked together, but are still close. So much so, sources have indicated to Mosher that there’s a “90 to 95 percent chance” Cunningham leaves Philadelphia for Chicago. Adam Caplan and Albert Breer hint at an Assistant GM title being on the table coaxing Cunningham out of the City of Brotherly Love. Trading in Philly cheesesteaks for Chicago’s Italian beef? Talk about a man after my own heart.
To be clear, nothing is official yet. And Cunningham still has to go through the interview process. So we’ve still got some time before we cross those bridges. However, this feels like an important first step as Poles and the new regime try to hit the ground running.
One of the Bears’ biggest organizational short-comings has been in building out their front office. Chicago’s football team fancies itself as a family-run business and has been hesitant to expand and modernize. It is one reason why it took Ryan Pace to kick-start the efforts in refurbishing Halas Hall in 2015. And while that was an admirable first step in the process, it wasn’t nearly enough. But if Poles can do what Pace was unable to complete (building an upper-management juggernaut), then that could help accelerate the process. Heck, that Poles is already reaching out to those he knows around football with the intent on adding to the front office is encouraging.
In the end, this situation might be just the first of many to keep tabs on as we go on through this offseason. Sure, the general manager search might’ve taken some time to get cooking. But that Poles is wasting little time in trying to grow the organization sure feels like a sign of things to come.