Jim Trotter has been around the NFL for a long time. He’s a Hall of Fame voter, a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and also worked for Sports Illustrated. This guy is among the most respected and connected football reporters out there. So when he makes a strong statement about somebody, it can be banked on that what he says is the truth. That’s why his words for Ryan Pace weren’t encouraging.
In a recent article, Trotter pinpointed three general managers who are on the hot seat going into 2020. The first two were obvious. Bill O’Brien seems to be systematically destroying the Houston Texans with a series of misguided trades. Bob Quinn is in a win-or-go-home situation with the Detroit Lions after a misguided switch at head coach and other talent acquisitions.
The third man? The Chicago Bears GM himself.
“If Ryan Pace could find talent in the first round the way he locates it in the middle rounds, the Bears would be a force. Unfortunately, Chicago’s general manager has struggled to land impact players at the top of the draft.
Pace has made four first-round selections in his five drafts, each coming in the top 10. Two of them — wideout Kevin White (No. 7 in 2015) and edge rusher Leonard Floyd (No. 9 in 2016) — are no longer with the team, and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (No. 2 in 2017) has been so disappointing he likely will have to compete with veteran Nick Foles for the starting job this year….
…The trade for edge rusher Khalil Mack before the 2018 season was central to the team’s only winning season since going 10-6 in 2012, but the fallback to 8-8 last season reflects deficiencies that can be traced in part to first-round misses in the draft. Imagine if Pace had selected Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson in 2017, instead of Trubisky. Imagine if Floyd had been a capable complement to Mack, who is one of the game’s most disruptive players. Imagine if White had been the No. 1 threat the club envisioned.”
Ryan Pace can’t hide behind the rebuild idea anymore
Through the first four seasons he was in charge, Pace was rebuilding a franchise almost from the ground up. However, as time has gone on it’s impossible to hide behind that idea any longer. This isn’t a young team still learning their way anymore. It’s filled with a lot of established veterans. Pro Bowlers in their primes. Chicago has one of the best defenses in the NFL. A credit to Pace’s work. At the same time, like his predecessors, the GM has failed to solve the quarterback problem.
Trubisky was his big gamble at the position and it flopped. Hard.
All ownership is seeing right now is that Pace has one winning season in five years. If that pushes to one in six by the end of this coming season? It will be almost impossible for them to justify that he’s done his job well enough to keeping it. Pace hired the head coaches. He made the big 1st round decisions like Trubisky, White and Floyd. He threw tens of millions at Mike Glennon and other massive free agent failures.
For all the good things he’s done, it doesn’t matter if the team doesn’t win.