ASK THE RE­PORTER BRAD BIGGS

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - TOP OF THE SECOND -

What is the fu­ture of the fran­chise if the Bears fin­ish 7-9 or worse? The re­main­ing sched­ule is bru­tal, save for the Lions and Giants. @stevemco

I don’t know if I would de­scribe it as bru­tal, but it was easy to see be­fore the sea­son that the sec­ond half of the slate likely would be more chal­leng­ing than the first. The prob­lem is the Bears are sit­ting at 3-4 in­stead of some­thing like 5-2. If they con­tinue to play mid­dle-of-theroad foot­ball and fin­ish .500 or just be­low, as you sug­gest, they will head into the off­sea­son with de­ci­sions to make and soul search­ing to do. While many have asked whether there will be an up­heaval at Halas Hall, I be­lieve that is highly un­likely. The team is com­ing off a 12-4 sea­son, which many have for­got­ten. That is pre­cisely why folks are so up in arms about the team’s strug­gles — be­cause ex­pec­ta­tions for 2019 were sky-high. Gen­eral man­ager Ryan Pace is signed through the 2021 sea­son. Coach Matt Nagy is signed through 2022. So bar­ring un­fore­seen tur­moil, I find it hard to be­lieve the Bears will fire a GM they have signed for two more sea­sons and even less likely they will fire a coach who is signed for three more years. Both were hon­ored for their work last sea­son. I be­lieve the fu­ture of the fran­chise, cer­tainly in terms of the 2020 sea­son, rests in the hands of Pace and Nagy.

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