The Chicago Bears have fired longtime general manager Jerry Angelo, according to team and league sources.
The Bears staff received an internal e-mail from team management announcing the move Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. Angelo’s contract ran by way of the finish of the 2013 season, the newspaper reported. According to the Bears’ official internet site, “Lovie Smith will stay as head coach and will continue to evaluate his coaching staff.”
Bill Polian, who was fired Monday as vice chairman of the Colts, could emerge as a candidate to replace Angelo. According to a league source, Polian is not ready to retire.
Ten games into the 2011 campaign, Chicago sat at 7-3 and was viewed as a chief threat to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC. Then quarterback Jay Cutler was sidelined for the rest of the season with a broken thumb as the Bears spiraled to an 8-8 finish behind shoddy quarterback play from backups Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown.
Angelo joined the Bears as GM prior to the start off of the 2001 season and helped construct a team that produced its first Super Bowl appearance (following the 2006 season) considering that the team’s 1985 championship.
The Bears job will be very coveted. In addition to Polian, expect to hear the names of rising young executives such as Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens), Les Snead (Atlanta Falcons) and Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals) connected to the vacancy. Bears coach Lovie Smith is close with Packers executive Reggie McKenzie, an additional possibility, according to league sources, although Smith’s function and sway in the process in unknown at this point.
One more name, Tim Ruskell, who is close with Angelo, was brought to Chicago a few years back right after becoming let go in Seattle, but the expectation of other GMs is that Chicago would open up the method and run a thorough search of candidates from around the league.
Adhere to Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.
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