Monday, January 24, 2022

List Of Chicago Bears GM Candidates Is Growing (And Getting Better)

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The Chicago Bears couldn’t afford to waste any time after dismissing Ryan Pace as GM of the organization. They knew other teams were already working fast to find their next head coach. If George McCaskey wanted to be in on those top candidates, he would have to find a GM sooner than later. Still, he also seems to know how vital it is he gets this next hire right. That is why he called the upcoming process “thorough” and “exhaustive.”



Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian is helping with the search. Despite concerns about his age at 79-years old, the man remains well-connected in NFL circles and has one of the best football minds out there. He knows what good GMs are supposed to look like and provided McCaskey with a list of names to explore. Three of those names quickly surfaced in Colts college scouting director Morocco Brown, Browns VP of Football Operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and Browns VP of Player Personnel Glenn Cook.

That is just the beginning.

Several more names have surfaced since then. According to insider Aaron Wilson and also Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears will likely meet with Jets assistant GM Rex Hogan for an interview. Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog who was the first to break the Pace news revealed that the team has also reached out to Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland and former Texans GM Rick Smith.

That isn’t all. According to a source, there are other names to expect as well. Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds will be one, as will be Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz and Cowboys VP of player personnel Will McClay. It is becoming evident that McCaskey is getting good advice because most agree these are some of the most proven names on the market. Highly respected talent evaluators.

So who are these Chicago Bears GM hopefuls?

Rex Hogan (Jets assistant GM)

The right-hand man to Joe Douglas. He has helped to start rebuilding one of the worst rosters in the NFL since the 2020 season. Prior to that he spent two years in Indianapolis and had a big hand in their celebrated 2018 draft that produced All-Pros Quentin Nelson and Darius Leonard. Yet the biggest note here is Hogan worked as a scout for 12 years in Chicago. He is credited with having a hand in selections like Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, Matt Forte, Kyle Fuller, Devin Hester, Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Long, and Greg Olsen.

Jeff Ireland (Saints assistant GM)

Grandson to former Chicago Bears scouting director Jim Parmer, rumors have persisted that Ireland views their GM position as a dream job. His qualifications certainly aren’t anything to scoff at. Since 2005, the man has played a central role in the drafting of 18 eventual Pro Bowlers. His work in New Orleans was considered pivotal to their four consecutive division titles from 2017 to 2020. It feels like only a matter of time before he’s running another team. Chicago would be a nice fit, but his ability to find a good head coach might be a problem considering his two questionable choices in Miami as their GM.

Rick Smith (former Texans GM)

It is fair to wonder if Smith would even be available right now had his wife not contracted cancer and Texans owner Bob McNair not died. Those two events led to his eventual exit from Houston. This despite providing the organization with 11 Pro Bowlers between 2007 and 2017 including Duane Brown, Brandon Brooks, J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, and Deshaun Watson. This doesn’t include signings like Arian Foster and Johnathan Joseph. The guy could find talent anywhere and had Houston poised for Super Bowl contention before he was forced to leave.

Erik Lambert
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.

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