One of the unsung heroes of the Chicago Bears and their rise from the ashes of the past five years is Champ Kelly. GM Ryan Pace brought him over from Denver in 2015 to become their Director of Pro Scouting. A job he excelled at, helping them to secure names like Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan in free agency. This work earned him a promotion in 2018 to Assistant Director of Player Personnel.

Since then the team has enjoyed arguably its two best offseasons in over a decade. Among their slew of acquisitions include Mitch Trubisky, Eddie Jackson, Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson, Roquan Smith, Anthony Miller, and Khalil Mack. Kelly played a prominent role in both the scouting and moves to secure all of those names. His importance to their success cannot be understated.

Unfortunately, in these sort of situations, a man is almost guaranteed to garner attention from other NFL team. That appears to be the case as Kelly has emerged as a prominent name in the New York Jets’ search for a new general manager according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Chicago Bears connections to Jets run deep for Champ Kelly

Few coaches have a better understanding of who Kelly is than Adam Gase. The Jets’ new head coach had a relationship with him that began over a decade ago in Denver. Then the two of them both came to Chicago in 2015 and have seen their careers take off since. Gase earned his head coaching stripes after one season and Kelly was later promoted.

It would make perfect sense for the coach want somebody he knows and trusts for the GM position. Similar to what Bill Belichick has done with Nick Caserio and Jon Gruden did with Mike Mayock. Whether Kelly will want to take a position where he’s unlikely to have ultimate say in the roster composition? That’s impossible to predict.

Still, given the lack of minority GMs in the league these days, it seems like it would be a hard offer to pass up. If that were to happen, it would be a tough loss for the Bears.