George McCaskey spotted picking up Ryan Poles at airport


George McCaskey wasn’t exactly incognito as he picked up Ryan Poles from Terminal 1 at O’Hare Monday night. 

Wearing his classic Chicago Bears letterman jacket and a Bears mask over his face, McCaskey was seen walking with the Chiefs’ executive director of player personnel in a video captured and posted on Twitter by local real estate agent Eric Bohn.

The sign McCaskey is holding in the video says “Canandaigua,” which is the name of Poles’ hometown in New York. 

For all of McCaskey’s faults, the personal pickup at the airport is a nice touch, although it still differs greatly from the Broncos’ hiring team greeting Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on the tarmac Monday as he got off a private jet. 

Regardless, Tuesday is a very important day at Halas Hall that could chart the organization’s path for years to come. As the Bears transition into their second phase of general manager interviews, Poles is probably considered the favorite. The 36-year-old has worked his way up through the Kansas City Chiefs’ organization over the last 13 years, working with numerous bosses like Scott Pioli, John Dorsey and Brett Veach. He was the Chiefs director of college scouting when the Chiefs moved up in the draft to select Patrick Mahomes.

Poles not only has impressed the Bears, but he also reached the final round of interviews with the Giants and is scheduled to meet with the Vikings for a second time in Minnesota on Wednesday. That’s where things could get interesting. There is a belief in league circles that the Vikings would prefer to hire Poles over Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, but Poles has insisted on meeting with the Bears again. It’s possible Poles prefers the Bears job because of the presence of Justin Fields on the roster. The Vikings still have Kirk Cousins unless the new GM wants to start over at quarterback. 

If that’s the case, Tuesday’s in-person interview at Halas Hall could end up deciding this thing. If it goes well, will the Bears even let Poles get on a plane to Minneapolis? If they don’t, that will be extra gut punch to the Vikings, who also coveted Fields in last year’s draft, but missed out when the Bears leapfrogged them in a trade with the Giants.

On the other hand, the Bears have been very meticulous with this process, so they still might want to meet with the other finalists, which reportedly include Monti Ossenfort from the Titans, Eliot Wolf from the Patriots, and potentially Morocco Brown from the Colts too. 

We’ll know more if McCaskey is seen dropping Poles back off at O’Hare later today.

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