Earlier this week CBS Sports insider Jonathan Jones revealed it is likely that Ryan Pace will not return as GM of the Chicago Bears. SM reached out to a source about this subject and came away with a few details. Based on where things stand with the team, it is believed to be a “60/40 chance” that Pace is gone after the regular season concludes on January 9th. The uncertainty isn’t so much about him remaining GM. It is more about whether the McCaskeys consider reassigning him to another position or just fire him outright.
That will likely be determined by how the Bears finish the season. Specifically many of the young players Pace has drafted the past two years. A big surge might help his case. Then again, it feels like it might be too little, too late. Either way, the signs are pointing in a definite direction. One that sees the Bears with a new GM within the next two months. So where are they at on that front?
Still the early stages.
As with the head coaching situation, it is believed George McCaskey has a shortlist of names he’s been compiling. GM hopefuls that are worth looking into from across the league. One thing the source did mention about it? If and when Pace is gone, they want to make “a splash.” This is to say it’s a strong possibility they pursue the most prominent front office names out there and perhaps even a sitting GM.
What sort of names come to mind upon hearing that? There are a few notables. John Schneider is headed towards his first losing season in Seattle since 2011. Many believe the power structure could be broken up and he might seek an exit door. Some have speculated that Ozzie Newsome, the longtime former GM of the Ravens, could be lured away from Baltimore with the right offer. He is 65-years old with one of the best track records in the NFL.
It comes down to sending out feelers and getting the response they’re hoping for.
Chicago Bears have every right to aim high this offseason
Not only are they a charter franchise in one of the largest media markets in the world. They also have Justin Fields. It is evident the young man has immense talent and the flashes he showed against San Francisco and Pittsburgh got the NFL world buzzing. There is a widespread belief the Bears are the premier destination because of this. Get a proper offense around him and retool a still decent defense? This team could compete sooner than later.
It is an attractive situation. Still, it falls to McCaskey to pick the right guy. He caught a lot of people by surprise back in 2015 when he chose Pace. This over former Bears scout and respected Chiefs personnel director Chris Ballard. Somebody most in the NFL felt was the obvious choice. Perhaps the Chicago Bears have learned a lesson in that.
Choosing the most notable options can actually lead to good things.
There is a strong possibility that the fate of Pace will be set in stone over the next two games. Both of them against top NFC contenders in Arizona and Green Bay. If the Bears end up losing them and losing them badly? That should cement the end result of him and Nagy getting their walking papers come January. Then the real intrigue will begin.