Details have continued to emerge four years on from that fateful day in 2017 when Ryan Pace shocked the NFL world by taking Mitch Trubisky 2nd overall. The camera wanted people to think there was total consensus within the organization for that move. In reality? That was far from the truth. Not only did then-head coach John Fox not want Trubisky. A number of other coaches and scouts didn’t care for him either. They saw too many red flags. Pace ignored them. Is it possible the same thing happened this past spring with Nick Foles?
Chicago was looking for competition in an effort to push Trubisky. Somebody they could turn to in case the experiment finally failed. Despite an array of noteworthy QBs being available as free agents, the Bears traded a 4th round pick to Jacksonville in exchange for the former Super Bowl MVP and his overinflated contract. While the price was high, it was made to seem like this was a team decision.
That may have been stretching the truth a bit.
In speaking with a source, it was revealed that Pace didn’t have nearly as many backers for that trade as he made it seem. A number of his scouts were skeptical of the move. They were wary of Foles’ injury history and how he’s never finished an entire season healthy. The price tag was also an issue, feeling a decent pick and $21 million in guaranteed money was a bit much to swallow.
The primary argument for Foles was obviously his connections to the coaching staff. He’d worked with quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor in Philadelphia. He’d also spent a year with Matt Nagy in Kansas City. That didn’t seem to impress some people. They argued they could’ve gotten Andy Dalton, who also had connections to the staff, for a fraction of the price.
Nick Foles flop has hurt Pace’s standing a lot
Remember that he was the one who traded up for Trubisky. So his track record for quarterbacks was already questionable. For him to “overpay” to get Foles from Jacksonville was a huge gamble. One that blew up in his face. In seven starts for the Bears, the 31-year old threw for 1,669 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. The team was 2-5 during that stretch.
It probably doesn’t help that Dalton is 3-2 in his last five games for Dallas with 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The Bears offense was a complete wreck by the time Foles went down with his hip injury before the bye week last month. George McCaskey was reportedly furious and a lot of the heat was directed at the GM.
This explains the recent narrative filtering through Bears media.
Whenever discussing the topic of changes in the team power structure, you’ll notice several of the top insiders like Brad Biggs and Adam Jahns mentioned their belief that the man most likely to get fired is Pace. There are several reasons why this is the case, but one that isn’t getting enough attention is his decision to trade for Nick Foles. It was met with a lot of skepticism behind closed doors but he went ahead with it anyway.
He better hope the Bears make the playoffs because it likely may be the only thing that saves him at this point.