A name that was originally tossed around half-heartedly in the Chicago Bears’ potential search for a GM next year just got a bit more serious. With multiple NFL insiders noting that current Bears general manager Ryan Pace is likely on his way out the door at season’s end, it seems as though the search for a new GM is about to hit the Windy City. Enter Theo Epstein.
Epstein’s resumé is solely baseball-oriented up to this point, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. When he stepped down from his executive role with the Cubs late last month, many wondered what Epstein would do next, and now, someone who knows him well — former Cubs and current Angels manager Joe Madden — was asked about the possibility of Epstein heading into the football realm next, and his answer left that door wide open — particularly when it comes to the Bears.
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Epstein Has Won 3 MLB World Championships in 18 Years
Epstein was hired by the Boston Red Sox at the age of 28 in 2002. He was the youngest GM in Major League Baseball history at the time, and the success that followed is undeniable.
In 2004, the Red Sox ended their 86-year drought, winning their first World Series championship since 1918. The Sox added another World Series ring in 2007, and Epstein then headed to Chicago, where he became President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs. After a three-year rebuild from the bottom up, Epstein helped the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years.
“Honestly, whatever he wants to do,” Maddon said Friday when he was asked what the future could hold for Epstein, per The Chicago Tribune. “Whether it’s something within the baseball industry, whether he wants to be something in politics, if he wants to get into private sector, businesswise, there’s isn’t anything he can’t do.”
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Madden Says Epstein is ‘Ready for a Super Bowl’
“He’s brilliant,” Maddon added, in reference to Epstein. “He’s so well thought out. I really was so lucky that he chose me at that time. We developed a really good friendship.”
That’s high praise coming from someone who worked closely and directly with Epstein for years. Madden was then asked if he thought Epstein would consider taking over a front-office role in Chicago with the Bears, and his answer has the minds of Chicago sports fans spinning.
“I never even thought about that, quite frankly,” Madden replied. “But I do mean what I said. He could literally do anything he wants as long as the marriage is there, the matches made with whatever the organization may be. And if he’s motivated to want to do it, he’ll kill it … His attention to detail, his ability to process and think things all the way through are incredibly different … He won three World Series. Yeah, he’s ready for a Super Bowl.”
After not winning the Lombardi Trophy since their storybook 1985 season, the Bears and their fans are ready for one, too. Epstein hasn’t expressed interest in trying to turn things around for the Bears, but Madden’s comments about him being ready for a Super Bowl seem to suggest he would be open to it.
His history in Chicago coupled with his winning ways make Epstein one of the most intriguing names being tossed around in Chicago’s potential GM search, regardless. There are several other GM candidates with a far superior football acumen that could — and should — receive the Bears’ attention first. But the possibility of Epstein rebuilding the Bears from the bottom up as the team’s President and CEO is an intriguing one, particularly if he would hire the right football mind to be his GM.