(670 The Score) Pressed extensively about the length of the contracts of general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy on Wednesday, the Bears put up a brick wall.
Chairman George McCaskey, president Ted Phillips and Pace himself dodged the question, with the team claiming it wasn’t a pertinent topic for an organization that’s coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons and has found its front office under great scrutiny.
“The contracts really aren’t part of this discussion,” Phillips said. “Ryan and Matt both know that when improvement is show, they’ll take care of themselves. I’d like to leave that at that comment.”
You can’t tell us when they’re signed through?
“It’s not really pertinent to what we’re talking about here today in my opinion,” Phillips responded on a Zoom call that was addressing the future of the Bears organization.
On Jan. 1, 2018, the Bears announced Pace had received a three-year extension that ran through 2021. What’s unclear is whether he has quietly received an extension since. That’s been a rumor in NFL circles, as another one-year extension would put Pace on the same contractual timeline as Nagy, who joined the Bears in January 2018 on a five-year deal that ran through 2022. The Bears did confirm Wednesday that neither Pace nor Nagy has received an extension in recent days.
Beyond that, the Bears refused to confirm the current contract lengths of Pace or Nagy. When it was pointed out that the length of an executive’s contract could be a driving force in the decisions he makes – in how he balances the short-term and long-term health of a franchise – the Bears still demurred, claiming that was unimportant.
“I respect the question and totally get why you’re asking it, but it’s no different than player contracts,” Pace said when asked directly how long his contract lasted. “For us, honestly, the entire focus – and you got to believe me when I say this – the whole focus is on getting this team and doing what’s best for it. It’s not about our contracts. It’s about what’s best for the team, and if you just keep it that simple – talking about contracts, to me, that’s selfish way to look at things. To me, it’s about what’s best for our football team and simply that’s all that matters.
“That’s just a non-factor in anything we’re doing.”
The Bears are 42-54 in Pace’s six seasons leading their football operations. They’ve made the playoffs twice in that stretch but lost in the wild-card round each time. Nagy is 28-20 in his three seasons in Chicago, with the same 0-2 mark in the playoffs.