Football

Chicago Bears should face reality and clean house after 2021

The Chicago Bears were fooled by a playoff appearance in 2020 and kept everybody. Regardless of how 2021 turns out, it’s time to clean house.

It’s over for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.

The two men may still have their respective jobs of general manager and head coach with the Chicago Bears, but neither should be comfortable. In fact, barring a reversal of fortunes bordering on the paranormal, both should start thinking about where they might like to buy real estate next. Or maybe rent.

Last season, Chicago started 5-1 before falling apart, finishing 8-8 and making the playoffs as the NFC’s first No. 7 seed. The Bears were quickly trounced by the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome, going one-and-done for the second time in Nagy’s tenure as head coach.

 

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Last offseason, the Bears brought in veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn as their big-ticket signing. Quinn, 30, had 20 tackles in two sacks. However, the most important move was trading for quarterback Nick Foles, who ended up playing an ugly game of hot potato with the starting gig along with Mitch Trubisky.

Fast forward to now, and Trubisky is a backup for the Buffalo Bills. Yet Foles is also a backup after Pace decided to sign Andy Dalton to a one-year, $10 million pact. Dalton, who was poor last season after being pressed into duty with the Dallas Cowboys, takes over in Chicago. Pace could have explored trading a Day 2 pick for Sam Darnold or Gardner Minshew, or even spent the same money on Ryan Fitzpatrick. He also could have used said capital to built up the offensive line and then drafted a rookie quarterback. Alas.

While Nagy has nothing to do with those errors, he’s going to be the man stuck trying to create an offense that scores with the combination of Dalton, star receiver Allen Robinson and virtually nothing else. It’s an unfair lot but in a league which doesn’t worry about fair, that’s Nagy’s problem and his alone.

 

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Even if the miraculous happens and Chicago ends up rising to 8-10 wins, the process has been utterly horrendous. The Bears have moved out one bad quarterback to replace him with another in the most unimaginative way possible. The weapons didn’t get better, the lone one they have wasn’t re-signed to a long-term deal and the defense is regressing with the losses of corner Kyle Fuller and lineman Roy Robertson-Harris.

Chicago has been adrift for years. The only way to save it might be shedding dead weight.

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