Dan Wiederer: Why Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles figures to be the busiest man at the NFL combine. Again.

Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

Here we are again. Back so soon. Heading back to the NFL scouting combine and inside a hectic hive of league activity, with Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles figuring to be the busiest bee of all.

Just two weeks after Poles’ former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, won their second consecutive Super Bowl and third in five seasons, the Bears return to Indianapolis this week, working through Poles’ master plan to one day lay claim to that confetti-littered stage.

Poles and his crew are well down the road of envisioning ideal strategies for this upcoming roster-building cycle. But the Bears are also aware of the fluidity of everything at this time of year and must devise contingency plans to help create sustainable success.

One thing is certain: The rest of the NFL’s eyes remain glued to Poles, especially this week. All parties are fascinated to interpret what his next moves will be, feel out his asking price for current QB1 Justin Fields and gauge how he feels about USC standout Caleb Williams and the rest of this quarterback draft class.

“The Bears are in a really good position,” one longtime NFL coach said. “I mean really good. Regardless of what they decide to do at quarterback, they’re at a meaningful stage of their building process with some truly valuable resources to really build.”

That sentiment is shared throughout league circles. The Bears are widely viewed as a team nearing a springboard after making meaningful improvement in 2023.


Don’t forget, they won their final five home games last season. They became more tenacious and opportunistic on defense. They have a growing core of offensive difference makers, with many around the league admiring the upward arcs of wide receiver DJ Moore, offensive tackle Darnell Wright and versatile tight end Cole Kmet.

On top of all that, the Bears are storming into this potentially landmark offseason financially equipped to attack free agency while also holding two top-10 draft picks — including No. 1.

If Poles plays his cards right, he can put a turbo boost into the franchise’s championship pursuit.

And if fans in Chicago can stop their QB bickering long enough to look around, they might see that the Bears seem to be accelerating up the on-ramp toward competitive relevance.


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