Second interviews for the two remaining candidates for general manager were concluding on Friday. The prevailing assumption is that the choice between former Bears scout Phil Emery, currently the director of college scouting for the Kansas City Chiefs, and New England Patriots college scouting director Jason Licht will come down formally after a weekend of discussions and deliberations.
The GM is a direct report to president Ted Phillips, who personally spearheaded the search for a second general manager during his tenure. The screening process involved coach Lovie Smith, who will remain in place for 2012; Scott Hagel, senior director of corporate communications; and Cliff Stein, the Bears de facto chief financial officer.
The decision now will run through chairman George McCaskey as well, based on his description of the Halas hierarchy.
Ownership is involved in three key hires: president, general manager, head coach, at different levels, McCaskey said.
Both Emery and Licht have familiarity with the Patriots manner of operations. Licht is in his second stint in New England and Emery worked with several individuals key in the building of the Bill Belichick regime.
Chicago Bears fans can't escape the nightmare that is Patrick Mahomes. It began in 2018, Mahomes' first season as a full-time starter, when it became obvious that he was a special player who should've been the Bears' pick at No. 2 overall in the 2017 draft. Instead, Ryan Pace chose Mitch Trubisky, who's entering a 2020 training camp battle with Nick Foles for the team's starting job.
Mahomes won the league's MVP award in 2018 and led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory last season, and on Monday, he became the richest athlete in American sports. Kansas City signed him to a ridiculous 10-year extension that could pay him over $500 million by the time the deal is done.
Meanwhile, the Bears declined Trubisky's fifth-year option this offseason, making the 2020 campaign potentially his last in Chicago.
But what if Trubisky has a really good year? That should be good news, right?
And it's all because of Mahomes.
If Trubisky plays like a quality starter in 2020, the Bears will be forced to pay him a lucrative new contract that, if we're being honest, he doesn't deserve. Even if they choose to buy an extra year by using the franchise tag, Mahomes' new deal will jack up the cost of that contract too. Regardless of the strategy, the Bears will be taking a big gamble on a player who needs more than one good year in 2020 to feel confident about paying.
And let's say Trubisky flops and it's Foles who excels in the Bears' offense. His contract will be directly impacted by Mahomes as well. Remember: The Bears gave Foles the ability to opt-out of the final two years of his deal if he plays well. If Mahomes' big payday happened next year instead of Monday, maybe Chicago could've retained Foles on a more team-friendly contract. That's no longer the case.
So here we are. It's been hard enough trying to recover from the 2017 draft and the what-ifs that followed. It's bad enough that Mahomes has become the NFL's darling and the best quarterback on the planet. But an entirely new layer of the Mahomes curse is coming; he's going to make the Bears pay (again) for passing on him.
Pat Mahomes made 500 million dollars today. It is an unfathomable amount of money unless you're Patrick Mahomes, who's very seriously fathoming it on whatever fancy yacht he's hopefully on right now. (This, to me, is the only conceivable way to properly celebrate earning the largest contract in major league sports history?)
And, as far too many Bears fans non-ironically pointed out today, Ryan Pace saved the McCaskeys $500 million today as well. Never hurts to be in the black right?! Just for the sake of this exercise, let's imagine Ryan Pace *wants* to spend $500 million this week. After giving the first 200 to Jimmy Graham (sorry, I'm sorry), where does that leave Pace? Here's what 500 million could get the Bears:
- Three and a half Khalil Mack contracts, all at once
- 17 Mitch Trubisky contracts, whatever that entails
- 20 Nick Foles contracts, this exercise is a huge bummer
- 5 more renovations of Halas Hall, there can never be enough sand pits
- The Athletic, I can already see the Why I'm Joining headline now
- His own NHL team
- 69 million Soldier Field hot dogs
- 4 months rent in Gold Coast
- 5% of all $2 bills currently in circulation
- 6% of the team that employs him
Want to guess what, as of Monday afternoon, $500 million can't buy him?!