The Chicago Bears have three games left. It is clear now team chairman George McCaskey is going to stick by the usual mode of operation regarding the team power structure. No changes will be made until after the season ends. While that may frustrate fans to no end, the rumbling continues to surface that changes of some kind are coming. It is a matter of how high up they go. Right now it appears the crux of the issue is Ryan Pace.
Most agree that head coach Matt Nagy is likely gone at this point. Too many problems persist with this team to allow him a fifth season. Especially given the pathetic state of the offense. Pace on the other hand isn’t as clear cut. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport made that quite evident. When speaking on The Adam Schein Podcast, he was asked directly what is going to happen with the GM situation in Chicago.
His answer was quite telling.
“As far as the GM goes? I have not heard that Ryan Pace is in trouble. Anything is possible. I’m not going to make any definitive statements because I simply don’t know but I have not heard that Pace is in trouble. And I think Justin Fields being good, what he (Pace) did to get him, the promise there? That probably helps him. I would say Matt Nagy is in trouble.”
Now, remember Rapoport is one of the most well-connected insiders in the industry. His Bears sources are also arguably the best of any national guy out there. He’s the one who broke that explosive Aaron Kromer report back in 2014 and the Khalil Mack trade four years later. So when he says there isn’t much of anything happening on the Pace front? That seems pretty significant.
This reflects what most local Bears beat guys are saying as well. Both Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune and Adam Jahns of The Athletic have indicated George McCaskey is reluctant to part ways with Pace. While he might be willing to do so, it hasn’t reached a definite conclusion. Not like it has with Nagy.
Ryan Pace is trying to plead his case
It has been reported that the Bears are doing research on GM candidates. So they are keeping all options on the table. The general feeling according to SM’s own sources is that Pace is trying to plead his case to ownership that he deserves one more chance. His primary argument centers around the fact he got Justin Fields and understands the mistake he made when hiring Nagy. He can get it right this time around.
A fair argument but is it enough to justify keeping him after seven seasons with one winning record and no playoff victories? That is a hard sell. Especially to fans who have had to live through it. Not to mention Pace’s dubious reputation when it comes to finding viable weapons for his quarterbacks. To date, Allen Robinson is the only Pro Bowl-caliber player he’s acquired in that regard and the receiver is likely leaving this offseason.
Everybody else has ranged from okay to outright bad.
Getting the quarterback is only half the battle. Building the proper structure around him is the other part. Ryan Pace has not shown he can do that. His head coach hirings and overall roster acquisitions since 2015 prove this. Yet the reality is it comes down to what McCaskey wants. If he deems it too risky letting the GM walk, it will change the entire outlook of the coming offseason.