May 16, 2022


Bears News

Analyzing the Bears finalists for general manager

At least 3 candidates will conduct 2nd interviews with the Bears

Eliot Wolf, who spent the first 14 years of his NFL front office career with the Green Bay Packers and is currently a consultant for the New England Patriots, is reportedly a finalist for the Bears general manager position.

After two weeks of initial interviews with at least a dozen candidates, the Bears are beginning second interviews with their finalists for the general manager position.

They have narrowed their list down to at least three candidates that they want to bring in for second interviews, but it’s possible there could be one or two more added to that list.

The three known finalists, per a report from the NFL Network, are Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles and New England Patriots front office consultant Eliot Wolf.

Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown, who just interviewed Monday, could also be brought back for a second interview, according to the NFL Network.

This is a monumental week at Halas Hall. The Bears’ five-person search committee, led by team chairman George McCaskey, has a crucial decision to make in the coming days. These second interviews, and the team’s decision, will shape the future of the organization for years to come.

Here’s what to know about each of their known finalists for general manager.

Monti Ossenfort

Current position: Tennessee Titans director of player personnel

GM experience: None

Front office experience: 20 years

Career experience: Ossenfort, 43, also interviewed with the Giants and Vikings during this hiring cycle. He has been the Titans’ director of player personnel for two seasons. Prior to that, he spent 14 seasons with the New England Patriots in various roles. He was the director of college scouting during the final six of those seasons. His background is in scouting, particularly college scouting. That was his focus in New England.

Ossenfort began working in the NFL as a training camp intern for the Vikings in 2001. Later, he was an intern with the Texans pro personnel department in 2002 and a personnel assistant with the Patriots in 2003. He spent the next two seasons in the Texans’ scouting department before moving back to the Patriots in 2006 and remaining with them through the 2019 season.

Personal notes: Ossenfort grew up in Luverne, Minnesota, and played quarterback at Division III University of Minnesota-Morris. He and his wife, Shannon, have three daughters.

Ryan Poles

Current position: Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel

GM experience: None

Front office experience: 13 years

Career experience: Poles, 36, has spent one season in his current role as executive director of player personnel in Kansas City. He oversees college scouting across the country and assists with pro scouting. He also prepares the team for free agency, the draft and oversees the team’s out-of-town area scouts. He was a finalist for the Giants general manager position last week. New York elected to go with Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen instead.

Poles began his front office career with the Chiefs in 2009 as the team’s player personnel assistant. He spent the following three years as a college scouting administrator before becoming the college scouting director in 2013. He ascended to director of college scouting in 2017, the same year the Chiefs drafted quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and was promoted again to assistant director of player personnel in 2018. He held that role until he earned his current role in 2021.

Personal notes: Poles grew up in Canandaigua, New York, and played offensive tackle at Boston College from 2003-07, protecting current Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. He briefly signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bears in 2008. Poles and his wife, Katie, have two children.

Eliot Wolf

Current position: New England Patriots front office consultant

GM experience: None

Front office experience: 18 years

Career experience: Wolf, 39, spent the first 14 years of his NFL front office career with the Green Bay Packers. He began in 2004 as a pro personnel assistant. He became assistant director of pro personnel in 2008, assistant director of player personnel in 2011, director of pro personnel in 2012, director of player personnel in 2015 and director of football operations in 2016.

When Packers GM Ted Thompson stepped aside after the 2017 season, the team promoted Brian Gutekunst to GM over Wolf, which may have prompted him to seek a promotion elsewhere. After 14 years, Wolf left the Packers to become the Cleveland Browns assistant general manager for two seasons in 2018 and 2019. He left Cleveland after the 2019 season, when the Browns fired general manager John Dorsey. Wolf spent the next two seasons as a consultant with the New England Patriots.

Personal: Wolf’s father, Ron Wolf, was the Packers’ general manager from 1991-2000. Eliot Wolf developed a passion for scouting at age 10, joining his father for film sessions at Lambeau Field. He later attended the University of Miami, studying English and volunteering for the Hurricanes football recruiting department under head coach Larry Coker.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.