9:53am: Armstrong has taken to Twitter to deny having contact with the Bears about this position: “I have the utmost respect for the Chicago Bears organization, the McCaskey family and Ted Phillips,” he said. “However, any assertion that I have engaged in conversations with them about joining the club in any capacity is simply not true.”
9:12am: Major changes could be afoot in the Windy City. Bears head coach Matt Nagy is almost certainly going to be axed at season’s end, GM Ryan Pace‘s hold on his position seems tenuous as well, and as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, Chicago is mulling an overhaul of its entire power structure.
La Canfora says that team ownership has discussed a top management position with Trace Armstrong, a longtime NFL player and a prolific coaching agent who also represents broadcasting talent and current NFL execs. Such a position would see Armstrong at the top of the football operations department, with the head coach and GM reporting directly to him.
One of Armstrong’s top clients is Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, who has led the Buckeyes to a 33-4 record since taking charge of the program in 2019. Day, 42, has served as the QB coach for the Eagles and 49ers and has also been connected to the Titans’ OC job and the Jaguars’ head coaching post in recent years. Armstrong believes that Day can be a winning head coach in the NFL, and it would be sorely tempting to reunite him with Justin Fields, his former OSU pupil.
While it would of course be difficult to leave his agent practice, Armstrong is serious about this position, and he is held in high esteem by the McCaskey family and team president Ted Phillips. The Bears selected Armstrong in the first round of the 1989 draft, and he spent the first six years of his pro career in Chicago. He racked up 42 sacks in that time, and he ended his career with 106 sacks, including a 2000 Pro Bowl campaign with the Dolphins that saw him pile up 16.5 QB takedowns. From 1996 through the end of his playing career in 2003, Armstrong worked as the NFLPA president.
Another prominent client of Armstrong’s is Raiders director of pro scouting Dwayne Joseph, who may join the Bears’ front office if this scenario materializes. Joseph, who served as a Chicago staffer from 1998-03 and again from 2012-15, was recently named as a top minority candidate for a GM job.
This is all still in the preliminary stages, of course, but a shake-up like this one might not be the worst idea for a franchise that has qualified for the playoffs just three times since its Super Bowl XLI loss to the Colts at the end of the 2006 season and that has been stuck in neutral for awhile.