Now it gets tricky
The 2018 season is now firmly in the rearview mirror. The Bears had a wildly successful season but it ended in disappointment by the one position that Pace has never figured out- kicker. Is Eddy Pineiro the answer? There’s still too much time before week one of this season to know, but one thing is certain, the Bears can’t let kicker doom them for another season. Windows to compete are too precious.
The Bears window to compete is firmly open. Yes, Pace needs to focus on improving the roster the best he can and put them in position to win a Super Bowl, but Pace also has to prove he has another skill set and that’s roster maintenance.
Every offseason, Pace’s job has been to improve the roster and build it into a contender, but this 2019 offseason has been about trying to keep the roster together as much as possible. Pace has done that with early extensions like the one he gave Eddie Goldman, but there are still tough decisions that have to be made about a talented roster and this offseason, those decisions were letting Bryce Callahan and Adrian Amos walk via free agency.
Those moves may have been unpopular, but the Bears are at a point where they can’t keep everyone. Pace now needs to make the decision as to what players to pay and what players to let leave via free agency. At the same time, he needs to continue to draft well at positions of need so that the roster can continually have talented subs that are ready to start in case of a) injury or b) if/when that player leaves via free agency.
It’s too early to tell how Pace will do in this process. His first offseason is questionable. Is Buster Skrine a better answer than Callahan? Ha Ha Clinton-Dix seems like a good mix at safety to replace Amos, but they also don’t have another safety that appears to be a starting caliber player assuming HCD leaves after this season.
Obviously, how Pace manages this roster moving forward will be critical to this team fielding a contender each and every year.