Assessing Ryan Poles’ first steps as Chicago Bears general manager

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A regime change at Halas Hall prompts another small-scale evaluation of the Chicago Bears’ new general manager. Ryan Poles’ first moves sent shock waves through the organization. First, he traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers for second- and sixth-round draft picks. The Poles continued to gut the defense releasing Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman. On the offensive side of the ball, Tarik Cohen was released on medical grounds.

Surprisingly, many fans were okay with seeing these big names go. For those still skeptical of the Poles’ early roster decisions, let’s put them into context. When reviewing the full Bears roster, Mack, Trevathan, Goldman and Cohen made up just 3% of the team’s total snaps last year.

Looking ahead to the 2022 season, there should be minimal change in on-field performance due to these moves. Regarding the salary cap, the departures widen the options of the Poles. Mack previously wore the biggest hit, Goldman the fifth, Cohen the eighth and Trevathan the ninth. That was a lot of money tied up in three percent of the Bears’ playing time.

Still, Ryan Poles hasn’t indicated whether the Chicago Bears will undergo a true rebuild or opt to retool in free agency. NFL free agency officially opens March 16 at 12:00 a.m. CT, but negotiations can begin March 14 at noon. With these key dates fast approaching, Bears fans should soon have a better understanding of where the organization is headed.

RELATED: 3 Free Agents Chicago Bears Can Target To Replace Khalil Mack

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