The Chicago Bears front office has remained intact for the past two years. However, that could be about to change. The New York Jets found their new GM in Joe Douglas of the Philadelphia Eagles. For a moment it looked like the Bears had dodged a bullet. Their prized Assistant Director of Player Personnel Champ Kelly, who had also interviewed for the position, appeared to be staying put.
Turns out that may not be the case. It’s easy to forget that Douglas and Kelly worked together for two offseasons in Chicago from 2015 through 2016. That familiarity, combined with the Eagles clamping down on letting any other in their own front office from leaving, has caused the Jets to make a major push to get Kelly. The idea is he would become the Assistant GM, right-hand man to Douglas.
There is no doubt it would be a significant promotion and something Kelly would likely be interested in. What’s unclear is what the Bears will do. They have the power to block it if they wish, but GM Ryan Pace could’ve done the same three years ago with Douglas but chose to let him leave. Now Douglas is a GM. Pace has shown a willingness to let his guys seek advancement.
Kelly may be next on the list.
Chicago Bears front office likely to promote within if Kelly leaves
Some people may panic at the idea of Kelly leaving. He’s been a central figure in the Bears front office since Pace took over in 2015. His expertise on the pro personnel side helped them to secure major free agents such as Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Allen Robinson, and Bobby Massie. There is no doubt his exit would be felt. However, it is unlikely the team will suffer from it.
For one, Pace is still the guy running the show. It’s ultimately been his final word running this ship. Then there is the fact the Bears front office and the scouting wing is noted for being quite deep in talent. Odds are there will be a couple of promotions from within rather than Pace seeking a replacement from the outside. It’s merely a matter of who gets the nods.
As things look right now, it’s likely Director of College Scouting Mark Sadowski would be moved into Kelly’s spot at Assistant Director of Player Personnel. His work with the Bears over the past few years in the draft has been of significant note. The same can be said of their Southeast Area Scout Sam Summerville. He’s been a big part of drafting players like Eddie Goldman, Leonard Floyd, Mitch Trubisky, Eddie Jackson, Tarik Cohen, and Roquan Smith.
Not a bad string of names. Summerville would be the obvious choice to take over as Director of College Scouting for Sadowski. None of this is set in stone though. It will be interesting to watch over the coming weekend.