Since 1997, the Chicago Bears have always looked outward when looking for a new GM. This was the case for Mark Hatley, Jerry Angelo, Phil Emery, then Ryan Pace. Many forget that it was not always like this. After Jim Finks left in 1983, the Bears’ next three GMs were all internal promotions. Jerry Vainisi was first, then Bill Tobin and finally Rod Graves. So it shouldn’t be too crazy to think that they might try this route again in 2021.
Remember, George McCaskey is a huge admirer of Pace. He didn’t want to leave the CEO but felt he had no choice. That said, that doesn’t mean he has to completely demolish the front office that Pace built. A good way to do this would be to promote one of his main lieutenants. In this Case Assistant Director of Player Personnel Champ Kelly. Probably the most respected man in the entire Bears front office. It shouldn’t be surprising that the team interviewed him for the GM role according to Jeff Hughes and Adam Schefter.
(Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Champ Kelly – who I believe weren’t mentioned previously – are interviewing today.)
– DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) January 13, 2022
Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly is interviewing for the Chicago general manager position today, according to the source.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2022
Kelly has been with the Bears since 2015.
He has been a huge addition to their professional personnel department, playing a key role in acquisitions like Josh Sitton, Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan and Prince Amukamara. It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the team’s writing ability started to improve once they promoted them to cover both the pro and college ranks in the summer of 2017. Their strong draft draft since then can be attributed to his work.
Since then, Kelly has been interviewed by three different teams for their CEO roles. The Jets, the Falcons and the Broncos. Most think it’s only a matter of time before he leads his own team. The Chicago Bears wouldn’t do the smart thing by at least giving him a chance to make his case for the job. As it stands, his chances of getting it aren’t too good. That said, don’t be surprised if the organization seeks to take it forward with some sort of promotion.
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