The first Monday after the regular season ends is often referred to as Black Monday in the NFL. It is the day when most of the unsuccessful teams fire their head coach, general manager, or both.
The Chicago Bears are expected to be one of those teams.
Reports say head coach Matt Nagy will be boxing up his office. General Manager Ryan Pace’s status is not so clear.
He could be given the boot. He could also get a promotion.
That would be so like the Chicago Bears to fire the man with a winning record–Nagy is 34-31 in the regular season–and keep the guy with the losing record. The Chicago Bears are 48-65 with Pace making the roster decisions over seven seasons.
Nagy deserves to go in spite of his first season winning record. Since then, the Bears’ overall play has been mediocre at best. Mitchell Trubisky failed to develop as a quarterback—some of it was his own doing but most was Nagy’s coaching. The offense just could not score enough points. The final nail in Nagy was his inability to develop Justin Fields.
Pace needs to go because in six of seven seasons the Bears have finished at or below .500 with two playoff losses sprinkled in.
The Chicago Bears under Team President and CEO Ted Phillips have been to the playoffs six times since he was elevated to the position in 1999.
Since taking the chairman’s gavel in 2011. George McKaskey’s tenure has been one of the most disappointing eras in Chicago Bear history.
Sweeping changes need to be made starting Monday if the Chicago Bears ever hope to compete for the playoffs and ultimately win the Super Bowl.
Here are the dream, nightmare, and realistic situations that will happen on Monday, or possibly Tuesday, with the Bears frightful four in McCaskey, Phillips, Pace, and Nagy
Dream situation: 99-year-old team matriarch Virginia McCaskey surprisingly steps to the podium, and as in 1999 when she kicked her son Mike McCaskey out of the Team President and CEO role, removes George McCaskey from the chairman of the board. Additionally, she announces one of the following:
- Since time is not on her side and she already has a Super Bowl ring, she is putting the team up for sale.
- Someone else in the McCaskey family is not only taking over the chairman role but learning football.
Nightmare situation: George McCaskey stays as chairman and brings back Phillips, Pace, and Nagy because he still likes the collaboration between the three. Even worse, Pace is added to the board of directors.
What will realistically happen: George McCaskey stays on as chairman and just makes another comment that his mom is still upset about the team’s performance.
Dream situation: He retires or is fired.
Nightmare situation: He stays in his current role for the Chicago Bears. He gets to give input yet again on the new head coach—it would be his sixth head coach during his tenure. The McCaskeys being the McCaskeys do not recognize the need to get Phillips out of the football side because the man has made that family billionaires.
What will most likely happen: Phillips is moved to business operations president or given another title to focus on getting the new stadium built in Arlington Heights. The Chicago Bears are going to need someone dedicated to getting them out of the Soldier Field lease by 2026. That means a fight with Chicago politicians–so, maybe that is a way to hold Ted accountable for 22 years of failure. The Chicago Bears also need financing to build a new stadium in the suburbs. Phillips’ track record shows he can be trusted to do that.
Dream situation: He is fired and the McCaskeys bring in Bill Polian, Tony Dungy, and a former player to help search for a new general manager or football czar.
Nightmare situation: Chicago Tribune beat reporter Brad Biggs’ report is true and Pace is promoted to football operation president. A man who is barely qualified to be a general manager based on his losing record and very flawed rosters gets moved into a job he is even less qualified to do.
What will likely happen: After the second half drubbing in Minnesota along with a negative reaction to a possible Pace promotion, I would say it is a 50% chance he is fired, 25% he is promoted, and 25% he is reassigned to Ted Phillips’ stadium team. The Chicago Bears ownership did like Pace leading the Halas Hall renovations so maybe they think he could help design a great stadium.
Dream situation: There is none. Nagy’s status was probably determined by Thanksgiving. While he does bear a good amount of responsibility for this season’s debacle, he did not deserve this type of exit. He should have been let go before the season ended. He should have been spared the weekly ‘what is your future look like’ questions. He should have been spared having his fate sealed while the general manager who brought him to Chicago may survive.
Nightmare situation: George McCaskey still somehow likes how the Chicago Bears never quit on Nagy and he runs Nagy back as head coach again for the 2022 season.
What will happen: He gets fired but we have to wait for the announcement.