Chicago Bears: How safe is Ryan Pace heading into 2022?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Ryan Pace
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Has Ryan Pace done enough to remain the GM of the Chicago Bears?

As we sit here today, Ryan Pace has done plenty of positive things for the Chicago Bears. I know, I know…no one wants to hear this. Most fans seem to hate Pace — maybe even more than Matt Nagy. The thing is, if it were me and I was forced to keep one or the other, I’d be keeping Pace over Nagy. That said, I do think it’s time for both to go.

However, has Pace done enough good while running the show to see at least another year to try and prove he deserves to be around long-term? The turnover of this roster has not been for naught. We tend to have a recency bias when it comes to most things and football is not any different. Let’s take a look back at what the roster looked like when Ryan Pace took over in 2015.

Jay Cutler was the starting quarterback. The offense actually had some solid weapons with Matt Forte at running back and Alshon Jeffrey at wide receiver. However, it should be pointed out that Forte was 30 years old and clearly on the decline. Jeffrey also was no longer the receiver he was when playing opposite Brandon Marshall.

On defense, the best players were Eddie Goldman as a rookie, Kyle Fuller in year two and Adrian Amos as a rookie. Other names include Pernell McPhee, Shea McClellin, Tracy Porter and Antrel Rolle. This roster was aging and full of guys who were on their decline. A roster turnover had to take place, and that’s what Pace started to do.

It should be noted that Eddie Goldman is still thriving for the Bears while Adrian Amos is playing well for Green Bay. In 2016, Pace drafted Leonard Floyd, Jordan Howard and Cody Whitehair. Floyd has played well ever since being drafted and has been even better now that he’s with the Los Angeles Rams. Cody Whitehair is still a staple on the Bears offensive line and Jordan Howard is still floating around the league.

2017 is when things took a turn for the worse, but let’s focus on the good here for now, shall we?

It’s hard not to call Mitch Trubisky a bust at this point. I am a proponent of Trubisky, but he did not live up to the expectations of the second-overall pick — especially one who was traded up for. Adam Shaheen was an awful draft pick in the second round, but at least Ryan Pace was able to lock in Eddie Jackson.

To not keep rambling, let’s quickly touch on the other good things Pace has done. He made the historic trade for Khalil Mack in 2018. He brought in free agents like Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, and Allen Robinson. He has drafted Roquan Smith, David Montgomery, Jaylon Johnson and Darnell Mooney. Now, he was given a second chance at trying to land a franchise quarterback when he traded up for Justin Fields.

The turnover of this roster from where it was to what it became in 2018 was no small feat. This team has yet to win a playoff game, but it has also never had a losing season under Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace — although things are not looking good right now. Is this going to be enough to cover up the bad and convince the organization to retain him beyond this season? Let’s take a look at the bad now.