Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Ian Cunningham GM Saga Had A Wild Final Twist To It


Ian Cunningham has been a rising star in the NFL scouting ranks over the past few years. Many believe he is destined to run his own team not too long from now. It is a big reason why Ryan Poles sought him out to become the Chicago Bears’ first-ever assistant GM. While he knew Cunningham might not be around long, the benefits of having his expertise at Halas Hall were worth the trade. It appears the Bears dodged a major bullet this off-season when he did not secure any of the open GM spots.

However, it wasn’t due to a lack of interest. Cunningham was a widely-reported finalist for the Tennessee Titans job, recently vacated by Jon Robinson. He interviewed twice and was in the final two. Ultimately, the Titans opted for 49ers personnel director Ran Carthon instead. Most thought that was the end of it. Then Fox insider Jay Glazer dropped a minor bombshell. It appears Cunningham had another team in hot pursuit, and this one actually did offer him the job. He chose to decline it.

Ian Cunningham avoiding Arizona was a surprise, but also not really.

It is rare for somebody to decline the chance to run an NFL team. That takes a lot of guts because such opportunities don’t come around often. Cunningham must’ve had a good reason for saying no. Arizona is somewhat notorious for being a challenging environment to function in. Their owner Michael Bidwill is part of a family that doesn’t have the greatest reputation in league circles regarding properly running a franchise. Hiring and extending Kliff Kingsbury is his latest gaffe.

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There is also the fact Ian Cunningham would be shackled to quarterback Kyler Murray who just signed a lucrative contract extension. New GMs often prefer to have flexibility at the league’s most important position unless the guy is a future Hall of Famer. Murray is not. The team also has the second-oldest roster in the NFL and limited salary cap flexibility. Outside of holding the #3 overall pick, there isn’t much to work with. Cunningham clearly felt it was a better career decision in the long run for him to stay in Chicago.


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Jan 21, 2023 10:47 am

Maybe next year but not now. He and Ryan Poles are a great team and Chicago needs them both this offseason to build back the Bears.

Gator Joe
Jan 21, 2023 7:30 am

I’m glad he’s still here. Guy is pretty sharp and we have a big off-season brewing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gator Joe
Jan 20, 2023 3:45 pm

I would have been nice tho and he could have let the bears get Anderson by picking someone else lol wishful thinking

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Jan 20, 2023 2:29 pm

An old roster, a meddling owner and a head case quarterback on a long-term contract. I’m surprised he even accepted the interview.

Jan 20, 2023 1:21 pm

Bodes well for Cunningham getting hired next year and the Bears receiving a couple of compensatory 3rd round picks. If Poles can trade down effectively from the 1 slot in this years draft and get extra picks for both this year and next years draft, Bears should be in a great position moving forward.

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