While it’s never wise to say the future is already written, the truth can sometimes be different. The Chicago Bears certainly hope they have a bright future in 2020. They have reasons to feel confident. Their defense, on paper, remains one of the best in football. They have Allen Robinson and now have acquired Nick Foles via trade, who should provide a little more stability at quarterback. Will it be enough to save head coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace from being fired?
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report certainly made it seem unlikely. He claims to have a connecting with a former NFL executive. One who was highly critical of Pace’s 2017 draft when he selected Mitch Trubisky and Adam Shaheen. He claimed that draft would get the GM fired. From recent comments, it appears his prediction is all but certain to come true after this season.
“One of the more popular tweets of my career was when, in 2017, a high-level executive told me Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace “just got fired” after trading up to select Mitchell Trubisky and then taking tight end Adam Shaheen…
…The source, who is now out of football, texted me this week with reminders that he was right and that sometimes what appears to be a hit early can end up a miss.
When I asked for a prediction on what happens in Chicago, he said the rumor is both Pace and head coach Matt Nagy will be fired after this season, with Nagy returning to Kansas City to replace Eric Bieniemy when he becomes a head coach after the 2020 season.”
Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace are making their last stand
From the way the executive phrased those words, he makes it seem like those plans are already in motion and almost nothing can change it. Is it possible George McCaskey and Ted Phillips wanted to make a change this year but couldn’t because of the contract situations for the coach and GM? That is speculation. However, one could argue that simply making the playoffs might not cut the mustard anymore.
The NFL just passed its new CBA to expand the postseason format to 14 teams instead of 12. This makes it easier to get in. If the Bears were to say go 8-8 again but make it as the final seed and then get eliminated in the first round, should that save Nagy and Pace? One could argue it should not. Ownership has high expectations for this team and six years with one winning season is not what they’re paying for.
Pace made those bad draft decisions. Nagy is his hand-picked head coach. The Bears may just want a clean slate in 2021 with plenty of draft picks and a chance to reshape the roster with a new regime.