Trace Armstrong Denies Bears Rumors Linking Him and Ohio State's Ryan Day to Chicago

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 12, 2021

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Trace Armstrong #93 of the Chicago Bears reacts after a play against the New York Jets during an NFL football game September 25, 1994 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Armstrong played for the Bears from 1989-94. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Coaching agent Trace Armstrong refuted a report about his interest and contact with the team regarding a management role with the Chicago Bears.

Armstrong, who spent six seasons in Chicago as a player, said Sunday he has "the utmost respect" for the Bears but that rumors of his conversations with the franchise are untrue:

T Armstrong @TArmstrong93

I have the utmost respect for the Chicago Bears organization, the McCaskey family and Ted Phillips. However, any assertion that I have engaged in conversations with them about joining the club in any capacity is simply not true.

CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported Armstrong "is very interested in the potential of helping steward his former franchise into better days." According to La Canfora, the former defensive end is also "a huge proponent of Ohio State coach Ryan Day."

The report laid out how Armstrong would run the Bears' football operations with a general manager working under him. Team president Ted Phillips sits atop that pyramid right now.

La Canfora reported Armstrong "deeply believes" Day can become a successful coach in the NFL, thus making him a likely candidate in any coaching search.

Coaching salaries at the top programs in college football are soaring through the roof.

Spotrac @spotrac

Recently reported CFB Coach Contracts<br><br>Lincoln Riley (USC): 10 yrs, $110M<br>Brian Kelly (LSU): 10 yrs, $100M<br>Mel Tucker (MSU): 10 yrs, $95M<br>James Franklin (PSU): 10 yrs, $85M<br>Mario Cristobal (UM): 10 yrs, $80M<br>Billy Napier (UF): 7 yrs, $51.8M<br>Lane Kiffin (MISS): 4 yrs, $30M

Ohio State signed Day to a three-year extension in February 2020, but the $7.6 million he'll begin making in 2022 now qualifies as a below-market salary. Considering he has a 33-4 record with two Big Ten titles on his resume, the Buckeyes would presumably be willing to rework his deal again.

But the opportunity to leave year-round recruiting behind might be tantalizing for Day.

In the event he would consider NFL coaching jobs, the Bears are an obvious landing spot because he'd get to reunite with former OSU star Justin Fields. His ability to develop young passers would also fit well with an organization that has been desperate for a true franchise QB.

Whether Day moves on from Ohio State or not, a coaching change feels inevitable in Chicago. The Bears are third in the NFC North at 4-8 and on track to miss the playoffs for the second time in three years.

In the event Nagy is fired, general manager Ryan Pace could be on shaky ground, too if ownership wants to wipe the slate clean and start over.