The Washington Post
Top Bears executive will retire after 2022
Ted Phillips helped the Chicago Bears thrive away from the field as president and CEO of the founding NFL franchise.
They didn’t have as much success between the lines, helping make him a sore spot for frustrated fans.
On Friday, Phillips announced his plans to retire at the end of the season after 40 years with the franchise, ushering in a new era for the Bears that could include a sparkling new suburban stadium.
“Every day has been a true pleasure and being surrounded by so many talented and wonderful people has made my job richly rewarding on many levels,” he said in a statement. “I will always bleed blue and orange and forever be proud to be a part of the Chicago Bears family.”
Team matriarch Virginia Mccaskey, the daughter of George Halas, said in a rare public statement that the Bears were “very blessed” to have Phillips.
“Anything that he was ever asked to take care of, he came through and did it very well,” she said.
The Bears said a search for his replacement is underway, and a successor will be hired “in the coming months.”
Phillips, an accountant by trade, joined the Bears as the team’s controller in 1983 and spent four years in that position before moving up the organization’s ladder. In February 1999, he became the franchise’s fourth president — and the first outside the Halas-mccaskey family tree, after founder George Halas, George Halas Jr. and Michael McCaskey.
Phillips has had a hand in hiring four general managers, including Ryan Poles this year, since taking over as president. He also oversaw several renovations to the team’s suburban headquarters and played a key role in negotiating the oft-criticized renovation of Soldier Field in 2002.
Most recently, his focus has been on purchasing a 326-acre tract of land in suburban Arlington Heights, Ill., where a new stadium and entertainment complex could be built.
The franchise has thrived financially during Phillips’s time as president, with Forbes estimating its value at $5.8 billion — fifth highest in the league. But the Bears haven’t experienced the sort of success they would like on the field. Though the 2006 team reached the Super Bowl, Chicago has just six playoff appearances and three postseason victories since Phillips became president.
Phillips’s input in hiring general managers and coaches has been a source of frustration for Bears fans, given his non-football background and the team’s struggles on the field.
The organization also has not really divided the business and football operations into separate branches. Until recently, the general manager reported to Phillips rather than Mccaskey.
The Bears tweaked their chain of command after last season, when they fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy. Mccaskey announced at the time the new general manager would report directly to him, though Phillips was still involved in the search. He also said Phillips would focus on the purchase of the land in Arlington Heights.
● TITANS: Tennessee placed Pro Bowl linebacker Harold Landry III on injured reserve.
The Titans did not cite a reason for Landry going on IR, but a person with direct knowledge of the injury confirmed previous reports that Landry tore an ACL in practice Wednesday. The person spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Titans have not commented on the nature of Landry’s injury.
Landry was coming off the best year of his career with 12 sacks, earning his first Pro Bowl nod. The 41st overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Boston College was rewarded with a five-year extension worth up to $87.5 million with $52.5 million guaranteed.
● CARDINALS: Free safety Jalen Thompson signed a threeyear contract extension with Arizona worth up to $40 million, the team announced.
Thompson, 24, was the only player selected in the 2019 supplemental draft. He has played in 37 games with 25 starts over three seasons. Last year, he led the Cardinals with 121 tackles while intercepting three passes and breaking up four more.