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, Justin Fields
Chicago Bears (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Just how safe is Ryan Pace with the Chicago Bears right now?

Alright, we discussed the positive moves that Ryan Pace has made over his six and half seasons, and we discussed where Pace has gone wrong. As we see the seventh season under his tenure unwinding with what looks to be another lost year outside of the hopeful development of Justin Fields, it’s hard to see how he could return in 2022.

The only chance I think Pace has at saving his job is the fact that he still has the ability to make franchise-changing moves such as trading up from 20th overall to 11th with the Giants to grab a quarterback prospect with the type of potential that Justin Fields possesses. Could this move alone give Pace another season? Well, it’s the only thing I could see saving his job, but other signs make me think otherwise.

If the Chicago Bears fail to make the playoffs again this season, I honestly believe both Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy will be out of jobs. The NFL trade deadline was an awakening moment in my opinion. When Ryan Pace traded for Jakeem Grant at the beginning of October, the team was sitting at 2-2 and coming off a 24-14 win over the Detroit Lions. However, now the team is 3-5 and trending downward.

Ted Phillips and George McCaskey may seem stupid, but they are not as blind as we think they are. It would not surprise me that at the time, Pace’s job was safer than it is today. This is why he was able to make a trade for Grant, while not being able to make a single move at the trade deadline. Once the Chicago Bears started losing, I believe that the organization decided to not allow Pace to make any additional moves.

Many believe that Pace thinks this team is a winning team (because he’s basically said so) and moves to sell off players would ruin that. However, at this point, I believe that he knows the team is better off with the likes of Allen Robinson, Akiem Hicks, etc. and trading them would decrease the chances of this team winning football games — which also increases the chances he’s let go at the end of the year.

Another sign that I think Ryan Pace might be on the outs is the fact that certain players were not given contract extensions. Allen Robinson does not fall into this category, but players like Bilal Nichols and James Daniels do. Both are young and have proven themselves as valuable assets. Both will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season without a contract extension.

Although there is still plenty of time for an extension to happen, Pace typically makes these decisions a week or two before or into the NFL season. The fact that we are heading into Week 9 and neither saw an extension tells me once again that Ryan Pace is not as safe as others might believe.

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Although I do believe Pace could be back in 2022, it is my belief that he is not safe at all right now. It’s highly likely that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are shown the door at the end of the season unless a miracle happens and the Chicago Bears essentially run the table during the back half of the season.