The calendar flipping to 2023 was met with the end of the Chicago Bears’ regular season, but also the start of the offseason.
And while there is an obvious (and deserved!) focus on the Bears’ cap space, draft position, and on-field needs, let’s not lose focus on what is happening on the business end of things. Specifically, the pending departure of President Ted Phillips. And the hiring of his replacement.
To that end, long-time ESPN 1000 radio host John Jurkovic shared on the Carmen and Jurko Show that “confidence is high” that Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren is set to become the Bears’ next president.
“Even before the end of the week,” Jurko said. “Kevin Warren will become the president of the Chicago Bears.”
OK, so who is Kevin Warren?
Let’s dive in together.
Name, Current Status
Kevin Warren, Big Ten Commissioner (2020-present)
- Minnesota Vikings Chief Operating Officer (2015-19), Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs & Chief Administrative Officer (2005-14); Detroit Lions Senior Vice President of Business Operations and General Counsel (2001-03), St. Louis Rams Vice President of Football Administration (2000), Vice President of Player Programs & Football Legal Counsel (1997-99)
Warren’s résumé resides on the corner of business operations and football. Not just as a power conference commissioner overseeing Big Ten football (and other things), but also in the NFL. Warren’s time with the Vikings, Lions, and Rams could allow him to bring a unique perspective to the Bears’ presidency. At a minimum, Warren should bring fresh ideas because of his past as an executive in the NFL and a power player in the college ranks.
Existing Rumors and Bears Ties
One of the biggest criticisms of Ted Phillips’ presidency was his lack of football IQ. With all due respect for Phillips and his business acumen, there were many times over the years when it felt like it would’ve been nice having someone who had the chops to handle business and football decisions. Should Warren get the gig, it would make sense because he has a background in both.
And that could prove to be a deal-maker in this process.
Warren was a chief executive with the Vikings when they built U.S. Bank Stadium. Considering that the Bears have their hearts set on moving to suburban Arlington Heights to build a stadium on the property that used to host Arlington International Racetrack, hiring someone with experience in that area makes a ton of sense.
In The End …
This is an important role to fill for the Bears, so they shouldn’t take it lightly when making a choice.
The time has come to (once again) modernize the organizational structure. To his credit, GM Ryan Poles did some heavy lifting to put some new pieces in place to try and catch the Bears up with the rest of the league. However, the franchise can’t stop there. Moreover, the business operations should also be making moves this offseason in the same way the football operations was at this time last year to get this thing on the right track. Ultimately, it begins with the installment of a new president. And Warren might be the guy for the job.