I would make a reference to the well-received Chicago Bulls documentary “The Last Dance”. However, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace will have at least some say in whether or not the 2020-2021 NFL season will be his last.
The man in charge of the Chicago Bears finds himself in a bit of a sticky wicket of sorts.
Pace does a fantastic job of saying things and then either following through on them or just blatantly lying similarly to everyone else. Be it draft or free agent smokescreen, he is no different from all the other ballclubs. The difference is the general decision-making, which is quite the wormhole to enter.
It’s become hard to take anything he has said with anything more than a grain of salt because no one knows where his head is at this time of the year; the guy is either following the GM manual or is so far inside his own head that he is terrified of other teams making moves or taking “his guys” before he does.
Since overseeing Chicago’s rebuild since the winter of 2015, Pace has put out something of a mixed bag when you view his resume. We’ve either seen him smoke his fair share of doubles, triples, or dingers. Conversely, we’ve watched him flail miserably on trash 0-2 breaking balls.
His place in Chicago Bears’ organizational lore can end in many different ways. Should it soon end in an abrupt exit stage left, everyone shoveling dirt on to his grave will point to Kevin White, Leonard Floyd, and Mitchell Trubisky as reasons why and how he had failed to evaluate several top-end talents.
But for every miss, you need to point out his hits. While misfiring on first-rounders is extremely bad, he has at least had his share of draft hits (Eddie Goldman, Cody Whitehair, Anthony Miller, Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, Bilal Nichols, etc.) and undrafted hits (Bryce Callahan, Roy Robertson-Harris, Kevin Toliver). Similar principles apply to free agency when it comes to his good and bad signings, regardless if he was able to maneuver out of bad ones via contractual language.
So what exactly happens after this weekend?
Well, only he decides his own fate.
The Bears are in win-now mode and that means that Pace needs to bring in guys who will help the team win tomorrow. Bringing in players who are ready to be a part of a Super Bowl contending team should be the absolute top priority. Whether that means that Pace opts to keep both second-rounders, drafting “safer” players, or trading out of one of those picks to get more potential starters, no stone can be left unturned.
Even if he moves out of both the 43rd and 50th picks, I wouldn’t be shocked. Between the Bear’s second and third picks, there is a gap that spans over 100 selections. For a team that is trying to win a Super Bowl now, that simply won’t do. They need to add more top-end talents and stockpile more depth. The more swings at the bat, the better.
Ryan Pace finds himself in something of a similar stance as General Custer; two men on their last legs.
Fortunately for him, he can control his own fate.