Halas Hall Power Structure, Warren vs. Fields, Cunningham is Mr. Popular, and Other Bears Bullets

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Halas Hall Power Structure, Warren vs. Fields, Cunningham is Mr. Popular, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Things in my personal life have been messy of late. Because in addition to the grieving process, my household has been dealing with a busted garage door, replacing a broken water heater, and now wi-fi on the fritz over the last 18 days. A few weeks ago, the wi-fi unexpectedly crashing would’ve wrecked my morning. And possibly my day. But so much has been put into perspective lately, which is probably a good thing.

  • ICYMI: The Bears kicked off what is expected to be their busiest offseason in quite some time (maybe ever?) by hiring Kevin Warren to replace Ted Phillips as President/CEO:
  • You can read our write-up of the situation here. And I’d encourage you to browse through our Wednesday thoughts here. The more I think about it, I see the Warren hire through several different lenses. It is an inspired addition in the sense of the Bears getting out of their comfort zone. But in a way, it is also a safe hire. Warren is uniquely qualified for the job thanks to his NFL experience with the Vikings, Lions, and Rams. In other words, Warren should know how to navigate these waters. That should be helpful in the transition process. It is also an impressive hire. This is the first time they’ve ever gone outside of the building en route to installing a president. They’ve had just five presidents to this point. Hopefully, there isn’t another hire to be made there any time soon.
  • Clarification on the power structure at Halas Hall:
  • Worth noting: After making Warren’s hiring official, the Bears have a Black president (Warren), GM (Ryan Poles), Assistant GM (Ian Cunningham), Defensive Coordinator (Alan Williams), and quarterback (Justin Fields).
  • Get it, Bears!
  • Yes, I’ve seen the pushback on social media from Big Ten fans who are happy to see Warren leave his post as conference commissioner. And it makes for an interesting juxtaposition when paired with posts suggesting the Bears made a quality hire. It is possible that Warren is better off as a team president in the NFL than he was as a power conference commissioner. I guess we’ll see how that goes.
  • Brace yourselves! We’ve got a long offseason of things like this:
  • To be clear, I’m not saying that you can’t come off your position. I’m OK with flexible opinions. Things can change and opinions with them. But the way Emmanuel Acho presented two very distinct opinions in a short time span lines up with the unfortunate nature of the media landscape we reside in (both as consumers and producers). Yours truly knows there isn’t much room for nuance on the bird app. However, this situation deserves it. Hence, me being bugged by Acho’s changing narrative.
  • The Bears didn’t let Fields throw it at least 20 times until Week 4 of this past seasons. Fields’ passing numbers in the 12 games starting with that point: 169/273 (61.9%), 1,945 yards, 15 TD, 7 INT, 91.0 QB rating. As for his rushing numbers, they look like this: 133 attempts, 1,048 yards, 7 TD. Fields definitely has developmental strides to make. But there isn’t a reason to jump ship or even shop Fields. If someone wants to blow your socks off, then you should always be available to listen to that conversation. But there is no good reason to put Fields on the trade block. Not unless you want to intentionally sink his value.
  • I find this tweet to be supportive of my belief in Fields as QB1 moving forward:
  • Let the record show that I’m in line with Micah Parson here in thinking that the Bears will most likely be using that first overall pick to create a bunch of opportunities to build out this Bears roster. With that in mind, it is worth reading this from Adam Jahns (The Athletic) who teams up with a handful of colleagues to present potential trade partners.
  • The Texans (2nd overall pick), Colts (4th), Raiders (7th), Panthers (9th), and Titans (11th) are all in play here, per the collection of writes at The Athletic. I’d go as far as to add Seahawks (5th pick), too. The Jets (13th pick), Commanders (16th), and Buccaneers (19th) could conceivably be in the mix. But those spots are too far for the Bears to fall in a trade-back situation (IMO).
  • There is definitely a “time is a flat circle” aspect of this Fields-Bryce Young conversation that folks are having in spaces online:
  • There have been mixed reports on potential compensation coming the Bears way if Cunningham leaves for a general manager opening. But I believe the official word from the NFL is that a front office executive has to be in a place for two years before compensation becomes part of the equation should they leave. Not that we were needing another reason to root for Cunningham to stay, but we can add it to the list.
  • But let me be 100 percent clear: The reason we should want Cunningham to stick around is because the Bears losing Poles’ top assistant before the start of the most important offseason of Poles’ regime would suck. I’m sure Poles could find another top lieutenant. And working for the Bears has its perks. But that search would just chew into the time Poles can be doing other things. Let’s face it, that whole front office needs to have its eyes on the prize.
  • Best-case scenario: Cunningham stays, helps build out the Bears roster, watches the Bears go from having the top pick to making the postseason, and suddenly that résumé looks better. And maybe he’ll be a candidate for better jobs than a Cardinals gig that could pivot to a soft rebuild. Or a Titans job where Head Coach Mike Vrabel might wield more power.
  • Mike Florio (PFT) goes inside the Roquan Smith extension, which looks like a win-win for both the player (who was seeking to hit the top of the market) and the front office (which was looking to successfully negotiate an extension that had some notable hurdles).
  • OK, the Pro Bowl Games might actually be worth watching this year:
  • It doesn’t sound like Patrick Kane is returning to the lineup tonight. (BN Blackhawks)


Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.