Chicago Bears: Ryan Pace’s plan better work — for his sake

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

As free agency begins to unwind, the Chicago Bears’ plan has come into focus — and it better work — for Ryan Pace’s sake.

The Chicago Bears have made some interesting moves during this free agency period. On balance, they have drawn a lot of criticism from national pundits, with some questioning what general manager Ryan Pace is thinking.

While they may not like the moves, it shouldn’t be that difficult to figure out what Pace is thinking — which is — “I better win now!”

After going all-in on Mitchell Trubisky by trading much draft capital for Khalil Mack, Pace seems to be in ‘salvage mode.’

After three years, it appears Trubisky is not the quarterback Pace thought he was. The problem is the rest of the roster is pretty darn good and exactly what Pace thought it would be. But without locking down the most important position in sports, it doesn’t really matter.

That dilemma led Pace to make an aggressive move for Nick Foles this offseason. Besides the guaranteed money, Pace gave up a valuable 4th round pick. He also signed a productive but aging Robert Quinn and threw Jimmy Graham $9 million guaranteed despite his best years being behind him.

Although the Bears have holes at safety, cornerback, and right guard, their approach to filling them has been to either backfill with role players already on the roster (Deon Bush) or sign reclamation projects (Artie Burns and Germain Ifedi).

All of those players signed just one-year deals so none present long-term solutions at the positions. And with limited draft capital, it’s not reasonable to expect all of those holes to be filled by rookies.

In other words, it’s distinctly possible the Bears will be looking to fill the same holes next year, and if the Nick Foles experiment doesn’t pay off, they may also be looking for another quarterback.

Said another way, Pace did nothing this offseason to set the team up for longer-term success. All of his moves made it clear that he is looking only at the short-term. Again, that’s what happens when you miss on your franchise quarterback and end up having to manage for your job.

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However, if these moves don’t pay off it’s likely another general manager will be sidled with the responsibility of walking back a potential mess left by Pace. So for Ryan’s sake and that of the organization, let’s all hope this plan works.