Hear me out.
Don’t go running down to the comments section before you read the article.
I get it; you read the headline and said to yourself, “Here’s a stupid idea.”
At first glance, I would agree with you, but follow along here.
First of all, this decision is based on the idea that Ryan Poles will have a rookie quarterback with the team in 2024. If you are convinced that Justin Fields will be the team’s quarterback next season, then the premise of this article doesn’t hold.
But if you agree with the growing crowd, which now appears to be the majority of fans and media, that Fields will not be in Chicago and a rookie quarterback will be, keep reading.
For the second part of this article, you have to take into account the reporting of Brad Biggs who said in a recent column that he believes Matt Eberflus is on a 4-year deal, not the traditional 5-year deal that most head coaches receive these days.
So if you believe Biggs and you believe a rookie quarterback will be here, then you agree with me but you don’t just know it yet, Matt Eberflus should receive an extension as soon as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to tack three or four years onto his deal, just one. Give Matt Eberflus a one-year extension and do it this year. Now let’s explain why.
Eberflus will be entering the third year of a four-year contract this year. Teams almost never want to allow their coaches to finish the final year of their contract so the time to talk extension would be with one year remaining on his deal after the 2024 season.
That makes Eberflus’ 2024 season a win-now season with a rookie quarterback.
The last time the Chicago Bears did that to a head coach, they told Matt Nagy he needed to win in 2021 with rookie Justin Fields. It didn’t work. Nagy was fired, and this was the first step the Bears took towards ruining Fields’ development.
Doing this again in 2024 would be a mistake, so do something small. Give Eberflus a one-year extension. That commits to him in 2024 and 2025 and allows you to make an evaluation on him after the 2025 season when you’ve had two years with your rookie quarterback.
Don’t get me wrong, the expectations in 2024 should be to make the playoffs, even with a rookie quarterback. But if the rookie looks solid and the Bears go 8-9, that’s not the time you want to make an evaluation on Eberflus and if you are forced to, you don’t want to decide if he should receive a multiyear extension after a questionable year, and you don’t want to blow it up on your rookie quarterback when he could be headed in the right direction.
The other thing it allows you to do is show that Eberflus is on solid ground while the Bears look to bring in a new offensive coordinator. The coach will know coming in that he’s virtually guaranteed two years with the team and with the rookie quarterback, which will increase the attractiveness of the offensive coordinator position.
If Ryan Poles has faith in Matt Eberflus, he should have no concerns that, after adding more to the roster, the team will have significant regression in 2024.
Do not put Eberflus in the same impossible position you put Nagy in: win now with a rookie QB. It will only help perpetuate the same cycle of failure that continues to plague the Bears.
I disagreed with the decision to retain Eberflus, but now that the decision has been made, the Bears need to do the smart thing and tack on a 5th year to Eberflus’ contract to allow the next quarterback of the Bears to enter a stable situation.
It sounds like nonsense, but when you take a step back and examine the situation, it’s far from nonsense, it is indeed quite sensible.