The Chicago Bears have long decided to move on from head coach Matt Nagy at the end of the season, league sources said, which will become official early this week. However, major questions remain about how the organization will be restructured.
Sources said longtime team president Ted Phillips and general manager Ryan Pace have made the case for remaining in their positions, but ownership has also had discussions about going in several different directions, with some consideration given to agent Trace Armstrong. League sources said that some involved in the decision making process are also very high on former NFL executive Rod Graves, who currently runs the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works with the NFL to try to promote diversity in the coaching and front office ranks. Graves was with the Bears as a scout and personnel director from 1984-1996 before becoming GM of the Cardinals, and is one of just several former Bears players or staff whose name has come up internally through what has already been a long process.
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It’s been clear the Bears would be making a head coaching change for weeks, sources said, with numerous factions working within that organization to either retain their job or to bring others they are friendly with in from the outside. Various allegiances and alliances have been formed, though it remains to be seen what effects, if any, those have.
Some close to the situation believe that ultimately a new coach and GM will report to a new head of football operations, with Philips moving to a purely business role overseeing construction of a new stadium. However, Pace is very well liked by ownership and, quarterback decisions aside, has done some nice work. There could be scenarios where he stays in the organization as well.
Regardless, the Bears will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in the coming weeks, with so much potential variance in the breadth of their reworking of coaching, football operations and the overall organizational flowchart.