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GM Decision will Define Bears' Future

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Bears still need a GM. This is the kind of decision that can lead to rings (Kevin Colbert) or ruin (Matt Millen).

    So far, the team is considering Chiefs director of college scouting Phil Emery, Patriots director of pro personnel Jason Licht, Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye and Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross.

    Whoever the Bears pick needs not only an eye for talent, but the ability to wheel and deal. The best GMs know when their players have peaked and ship them off for draft picks or unexploited talent.

    The Bears are probably more than two years away from contention. A savvy GM could unload some aging talent on the defense to stockpile draft picks. Will Lance Briggs or Brian Urlacher still be able to contribute two years down the road? Or could we trade them to a hapless team for a boatload of picks.

    The gold standard of that move is the Herschel Walker trade, when the Dallas Cowboys sent a tremendously popular player packing. In return the Vikings gave up a total of six picks over the succeeding years. Those picks turned into the base of a dynasty.

    Most GMs are smart enough not to fall for something like that, but the Bears need to step back before they can step forward. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte seem like good building blocks for the future. The rest of the team? Expendable ... as long as their loss results in greater gain down the road.

    It's easy to be sentimental, but Bears fans would forgive the loss of a star if it resulted in a title. It's time to build for the future, not patch a sinking ship.

    And is it too much to ask for someone who can spot a wide receiver worth keeping?