Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace and the Covert Ops at Halas Hall

  • Chicago Bears
  • Free Agency
  • Halas Hall
  • Ryan Pace
By Donnie Zelaya March 4, 2020 0 Comment
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As Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears plan for free agency, one thing is certain – the fans and the media have no clear cut idea of his plan of attack.

As we sit two weeks away from the beginning of free agency, the one fact  Chicago Bears fans have come to realize is that we have no idea what Ryan Pace is going to do. Since his arrival, Pace has been a masterful poker player in keeping his cards “close to the vest” in terms of free agency and the draft. With the existing media “watchdogs” and “insiders” attempting to get the inside track on as many free agency moves as possible, few, if any, have been able to infiltrate Halas Hall.

In spite of all the whispers and reports of bringing in a veteran quarterback to push Mitchell Trubisky for the starting job, what do we have? Reports of the Bears talking with the Bengals about Andy Dalton? That’s it. It shouldn’t shock anyone with the connection to new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. It’s far from a scoop, and the Bengals have already made it known, they want to do right by Dalton. Cincinnati looks to send Dalton somewhere he has the chance to earn the starting job. Chicago still has a chance, but there are reports tying him to New England and possibly Indianapolis as well.

Reports out of Jacksonville have the Jaguars wanting to move on from Nick Foles and the four years 88 million dollar deal signed just last year. Pace knows Jacksonville intends to move on from Foles, giving him (and the rest of the NFL) the upper hand. Easy to connect those dots as well since Foles has worked with Nagy, Lazor, and new quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. It’s a storyline that might not get addressed at the beginning of the free agency free-for-all.

Are Dalton and Foles serious targets? What about tight end? Earlier, Albert Breer dropped a little insight in his MMQ column that “… I’m not saying the Bears won’t go forward without supplementing at the position, but word is they’re OK with Trey Burton being the headliner there, on the belief that he’s just had a lot of bad injury luck the last couple years.” Again, Pace has been upfront in his public defense of Burton. More misdirection on the part of Ryan Pace? Early in the week, the Bears were supposedly all in on Austin Hooper. Now they feel comfortable with Burton as the feature tight end? Confusion abounds.

How about the offensive line? Kyle Long has retired, and the Rashaad Coward experiment was a failure. Bobby Massie and Charles Leno, Jr. were a shell of their 2018 selves. Do the reports of Carolina wants to deal Trai Turner of any interest? How do the Bears fit his schedule into a tight salary cap and make other necessary moves? Something will happen yet, Halas Hall has been as quiet as a nest of monasteries concerning the o-line.

As far as meetings go, in the East/West game, Senior Bowl, and Combine, the positions of “need” for the Bears include quarterback, tight end, and offensive line. Ryan Pace and his scouts have met with a combined total of two quarterbacks (James Morgan and Jake Fromm), four tight ends (Jared Pinkney, Brycen Hopkins, Adam Trautman, and Dalton Keene) and four offensive linemen (Matt Hennessy, Logan Steinberg, Charlie Heck, and Ben Bartch). The offensive line group who had the most meetings? Linebackers/Edge Rushers with nine.

Two weeks of speculation, guesses, stab in the dark, armchair/Twitter GM moves will flood our inboxes and timelines. Some of these will range from outrageous and head-scratching moves to logical ones. But it won’t be because someone inside Halas Hall leaked any information to the press.

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