Chicago Bears: Offseason changes could include more than Pace, Nagy

LAKE FOREST, IL - JANUARY 09: General manager Ryan Pace (L) and new head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears pose after an introductory press conference at Halas Hall on January 9, 2018 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
LAKE FOREST, IL - JANUARY 09: General manager Ryan Pace (L) and new head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears pose after an introductory press conference at Halas Hall on January 9, 2018 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Many people expect the Chicago Bears to fire both general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy. There may be other changes that happen as well, though.

This sure has been a disappointing season for the Chicago Bears. They currently own a 4-9 record and have lost seven of their last eight games. To put it more clearly, they’ve won one game in the last 66 days.

Through it all, we’ve seen a lot of dysfunction surrounding the team. Reports of the imminent firing of head coach Matt Nagy overshadowed that lone victory in all that time. The situation with rookie quarterback Justin Fields being completely mishandled. Players going public about things that should have stayed inside the locker room.

Even this week, we learned that Eddie Goldman was placed on the COVID list for the second time this season. We also found out that he wasn’t vaccinated, curious because he opted out of last season due to COVID concerns.

Because of all the dysfunction and losing, it is a foregone conclusion that head coach Matt Nagy will be fired. The question is if the Bears do it before the season ends or wait until Black Monday, the day after the regular season ends and many teams officially fire their coaches.

There are also calls for the firing of general manager Ryan Pace. He is the architect of this roster that contains so many holes. It was he who thought John Fox was too old-school and fired him to hire Nagy. Additionally, he reached and missed on too many draft picks.

While all that is true and Pace and Nagy likely get shown the door, there might be other big changes on the horizon. There is a report that team President/CEO Ted Phillips, who has had that title since 1999, may step aside from football operations.

The McCaskey family, owners of the Chicago Bears, really like Phillips. He has done a good job with the financial side of the team. When it comes to football operations, however, that’s a different story.

Under Phillips, the Bears have a record of 175-190. In that time, they’ve had four general managers and five head coaches. The team hasn’t been a shining example of stability.

This news likely brings a lot of joy to Chicago Bears Nation. They’ve called for Phillips’ head for a long time now. Their feeling, and by the look of the record and turnover, that Phillips isn’t much of a football person.

Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune wrote about the discussions of Phillips’ departure.

"According to multiple sources connected to the team, Phillips has privately discussed distancing himself from football operations in recent months, making a frank acknowledgment to some confidants that the organization would benefit from a leader with greater football aptitude to oversee those in charge of the on-field product."

Rumors of Phillips leaving his post are nothing new. There was a report that he would retire after last season. It hasn’t happened, however. With how horrible this season turned out, though, and with rumors that the younger McCaskeys want Virginia to sell the team, things could change. The team already has the Arlington Heights land to build a state-of-the-art stadium. That, and building a stable organization, would make an already valuable team worth even more.

If the Bears do indeed clean house and Nagy, Pace, and Phillips leave, the team is considering a structure change. Phillips could actually stay but in another position. The team would then hire a president in charge of football operations, who would oversee the team’s moves. The general manager would report to that person. Apparently, this has also been discussed.

This move would add stability to the franchise. Adding someone who has a strong understanding of football certainly helps. Pace was someone who didn’t have any previous experience as general manager and needed someone to rein him in sometimes. Phillips didn’t know how to do it, and it hurt the team.

This could be the start of a new era in Chicago Bears football. The team has 31 free agents this offseason and a few more who could be bought out. The roster will look drastically different next season. That, and having some electric young players like Fields, Darnell Mooney, Trevis Gipson, and Jaylon Johnson, among others, could turn this team’s fortunes around quickly.

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However, for that to happen, the franchise needs to have the right people in charge to make the decisions necessary to build a consistent winner on the field. They might finally realize that what they’ve been doing hasn’t worked.