Jan 26, 2022 - Sports

Bears hire Ryan Poles as new GM

Football player
Ryan Poles takes his team headshot in 2008. He's now the GM of the Chicago Bears. Photo: Getty Images

The Bears have hired Ryan Poles as their new general manager, according to several sources.

Why it matters: The Bears fired Ryan Pace after seven seasons and will now rely on Poles to hire a new head coach and manage an aging roster with a young quarterback.

  • Chicago Twitter was buzzing yesterday morning when video surfaced of Bears president George McCaskey walking with Poles at O'Hare Airport.
  • Before Poles could get on a flight to interview with the Minnesota Vikings, the Bears reportedly hired him.

Background: The 36-year-old Poles was most recently the executive director of player personnel for the Kansas City Chiefs, where he worked for 13 years in several different front office positions.

  • Fun fact: Poles was part of the team that moved up to draft Patrick Mahomes.
  • Not so fun fact: This, after the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky ahead of Mahomes.
  • Another fun fact: Poles actually played for the Bears in 2008. He was an undrafted offensive lineman who didn't make the team.

The intrigue: Poles was part of a front office that brought a Super Bowl to Kansas City. The organization is preparing for its fourth-straight AFC Championship game this week.

  • He worked for three different GMs, a rarity in NFL front offices, and was promoted by current Chiefs GM Brett Veach.
  • Notable draft picks during his time in Kansas City: Travis Kelce (3rd round), Chris Jones (2nd), Tyreek Hill (5th), and Creed Humphrey (2nd). Oh yeah, and that quarterback in the State Farm commercials.

What's next: Head coach candidate Jim Caldwell was also at Halas Hall yesterday, per ESPN.

💭 Justin's thought bubble: I ask two things of the front-office leader: Do you have experience rebuilding a franchise and do you talk to the media? The last GM didn't do either. Also, maybe Poles can lure Kelce or Hill to Chicago from Kansas City? 😉

Editor's note: This story has removed incorrect information about the Bears giving the Chiefs future draft picks to hire Poles. The NFL, not the Bears, will give those compensatory picks to the Chiefs.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Chicago stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more