2:21pm: The Bears have officially announced the hiring of Fox and will introduce him to the media at a press conference on Monday.
1:37pm: It’s a four-year contract for Fox, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, who confirms (via Twitter) that it’s a “done deal.”
1:21pm: Fox and the Bears have officially reached an agreement to make him the team’s new head coach, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
9:48am: The Bears are in negotiations with John Fox to to replace Marc Trestman as their new head coach, according to Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, and Field Yates of ESPN.com, who report (via Twitter) that a deal is close, albeit not done yet. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) reported yesterday that the Bears were expected to hire the former Broncos head coach. If a deal is finalized today, it would come just five days after Fox coached his final game with the Broncos, and four days after he and the team agreed to part ways.
According to Schefter (via Twitter), a deal between Fox and the Bears is “all but done,” with the two sides are expected to make things official soon. Fox would then be paired with Jay Cutler for the 2015 season, with the coach’s expected to be a positive influence as the veteran quarterback attempts to bounce back from a poor 2014 campaign, says Cole.
Although the Bears were one of the first teams to make a change once the regular season ended, the team’s coaching search didn’t ramp up right away, since Chicago let go of general manager Phil Emery along with Trestman. Most of the Bears’ head coaching interviews didn’t take place until after new GM Ryan Pace was on board, which allowed them to be well-positioned when Fox became available, since they weren’t far along with any other candidates. In addition to Fox, Chicago also interviewed Teryl Austin, Todd Bowles, Adam Gase, Doug Marrone, and Dan Quinn, according to our tracker.
Fox, who was linked to the Bears job almost immediately following his departure from Denver, spent four seasons coaching the Broncos, leading the team to an impressive 46-18 regular season record. His Broncos squads made the playoffs in all four seasons, but only had one extended postseason run, a year ago, when the team won the AFC before getting blown out by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Fox’s stint in Denver improved his overall regular season record as a head coach to 119-89 (.572), which also includes his nine seasons with the Panthers.
With Fox poised to take over the Bears’ head coaching job, his next step will be putting together his staff, and recent reports have indicated that his top choices may be Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and Dennis Allen as defensive coordinator. The team wouldn’t have to receive permission to speak to either of those coaches, since Shanahan and the Browns parted ways earlier this month, while Allen was let go by the Raiders earlier in the season.
Assuming the Bears finalize an agreement with Fox today, it would make Chicago the fifth team to reach an agreement with a new head coach this week, coming on the heels of hirings by the Bills (Rex Ryan), Jets (Bowles), Raiders (Jack Del Rio), and 49ers (Jim Tomsula). Only the Broncos and Falcons remain in the market for a head coach, with Gase, Quinn, Austin, and Gary Kubiak among the potential candidates still in play.
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