Did NFL insider Jay Glazer help bring former Bears general manager Ryan Pace to Chicago back in 2015?
According to an August 29 report by Ben Standig of The Athletic, Pace would not have gotten the job as Bears GM without Glazer’s influence. Standig did not expound on that notion much, and he didn’t say exactly what role Glazer played in the hiring of Pace, but the idea of a league insider having a hand in getting a general manager hired is eyebrow-raising to say the least.
Standig spoke to 26 certified agents, and Glazer was among those named the most powerful individuals working; “behind the scenes” in the NFL.
“Mike McCarthy doesn’t get hired by the Cowboys without Jay Glazer. Ryan Pace doesn’t get hired by the Bears without Jay Glazer,” an NFL agent said, per Standig. “There’s a ton like this. He’s got pull with a lot of people.”
The 52-year-old Glazer, who currently serves as an analyst for “Fox NFL Sunday,” has been a league insider since 2004, breaking significant news stories, the most noteworthy of which was the “Deflategate” scandal in 2015. If Standig’s report is correct, it seems Glazer has a lot more pull than many realized.
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Glazer Has Been Endorsing Pace for Years
At the time Pace was hired by the Bears, Glazer tweeted the following: “Ryan Pace is a fantastic hire by the Bears. He’s been ready for years but always wanted to wait for his dream spot. Great move.”
Based on Glazer’s previous comments, it also appears he was a confident of sorts for Pace.
Here’s what Glazer wrote in an April 2020 mailbag for The Athletic when asked about former Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who was selected by Pace No. 2 overall in 2017:
“They are hoping that Trubisky comes out the other side and becomes a perennial Pro-Bowler. When they were drafting him, I remember Ryan Pace and I talking about ‘need.’ I said to him, ‘Well, your pick needs to be the need to not get fired.’ We laughed about it. After he picked Trubisky, he brought that back up again. That’s the thing with these quarterbacks, it’s such a 50/50 proposition. You gamble your reputation, your stake, on a guy hoping he’s going to be THE GUY that leads you into the next decade. If he’s not, it sets your franchise back.”
Trubisky, of course, never worked out in Chicago and Pace was fired as Bears GM after the 2021 regular season.
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Pace Left Chicago Amid a Sea of Criticism
In Pace’s seven years as the team’s general manager, the Bears went 48-65, with one winning season (2018, when the team went 12-4) and no playoff victories.
Not only did Pace face criticism from moving up to select Trubisky in the draft the way he did (he sent selections in the first (No. 3), third (No. 67) and fourth (No. 111) rounds in 2017 along with a 2018 third-round pick (No. 70), to move up just one spot to pick the QB), he also drew ire for hiring Matt Nagy, who failed to tailor his offense to suit Trubisky’s strengths.
Nagy was fired alongside Pace, and both have moved on to other jobs, with Pace currently serving as a senior personnel executive for the Atlanta Falcons, while Nagy is senior assistant and quarterbacks coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.