When talking about changes to the Chicago Bears’ power structure, most of the conversations always center on the head coach and GM. That is only natural given they make the football decisions, right? Yet for many fans, the rot of this organization goes higher than that. They feel the true source of the problem is team president Ted Phillips and have said so going back several years.
He took over that job in 1999. Since then, the Bears have made the playoffs exactly six times. In 22 years. People try to argue that he has no true say in the football decisions at Halas Hall but that is hard to believe when he is involved in the interview process for every GM and head coach they’ve hired since he took over. His track record over that span?
- Dick Jauron
- Lovie Smith
- Marc Trestman
- John Fox
- Matt Nagy
- Jerry Angelo
- Phil Emery
- Ryan Pace
Not the most inspiring list.
If the Bears have been such a disappointment for so long, then why is he still employed? The answer has never changed. Despite zero background in football, Phillips is an excellent businessman. He makes the McCaskey family a lot of money. That might be good for them, but it’s a rotten deal for the fans that have to watch his football teams remain stuck in the Dark Ages year after year.
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Now here they are again. On the precipice of another regime change with Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace staring down a 3-7 record and likely termination within the next two months. That is all fine and good, but for many, it doesn’t mean much because Phillips will still be there hovering in the background. Or will he? According to Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog, it seems things at Halas Hall have begun to change in regards to the team president.
Phillips won’t be in the organization beyond 2023.
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) November 22, 2021
What could this mean for the Chicago Bears?
The likeliest indicators are one of two things. One is that Phillips plans to retire in 2023. He turned 64-years old this year and will be 66 by that point. The logical idea is the Bears are keeping him around long enough to see the purchase of Arlington Racecourse International through to its conclusion. Something he has spearheaded from the start. Once that is done, he will step down.
Another possibility? The 2023 date is when Phillips’ contract with the organization will expire. While such details remain unknown, there is a logical sense behind it. The McCaskeys historically don’t fire top executives with multiple years left on their contracts. Given all Phillips has done for the Chicago Bears in their eyes? Letting him work through the remainder of his deal would be the classy move.
Either way, this doesn’t erase the big picture.
If this information is true, the Phillips era is coming to an end. The Bears organization will have a chance to finally put somebody in overall charge who might have actual football acumen. How to run a successful organization from the top down. People may caution about getting too optimistic, but honestly it this change is long overdue. Making money can’t be the priority for this organization. It should be winning. After all, money always comes with winning.