Kevin Warren aims to fix the “leaky ship” that is Halas Hall as part of a complete franchise overhaul
The Bears organization has needed a culture change for many decades now. Bears president and CEO Kevin Warren is working to instill a winning culture in the windy city. A big part of Warren’s rework of the Bears is focused on the executive branch. It has been reported that a large amount of information from the Bears front office has been leaked to the media. Warren is aiming to fill those holes by dismissing high-ranking executives he believes are leaking information.
Deputy editor of Windy City Gridiron Bill Zimmerman wrote an article going in-depth about why long-time employee Chris Stein was let go. Zimmerman uses the Stein situation to detail the attempts Kevin Warren is making to change the culture of the Bears, especially at the executive level.
Warren is hyper-focused on patching leaky holes in Halas Hall now because the 2024 NFL draft may be the most important in franchise history and one leak could ruin all leverage the Bears have. Here are some excerpts from Zimmerman’s article:
“Another source discussed that Warren felt that Halas Hall was a “leaky ship” and that too much information had been reaching the media before it should have been reported. While the source didn’t directly link any information leaking to Stein, he did say that Warren needed to “clear out the old Oak Trees” to help tighten up things at Halas.”
“Whatever information has leaked from Halas Hall to the media, a different source said he would be shocked if one of them was Stein, considering his legal background and how keeping client information under wraps is a critical aspect of a lawyer’s position within an organization. One source suggested that there may be other high-level executives within the organization that could be let go in the coming weeks.”
“The Bears are entering possibly the most important offseason in the history of the franchise and have several decisions to make, especially the one at quarterback, that will determine the future direction of the team. They certainly don’t want any potential leaks out of the building that could damage what they want to do and what they want to accomplish this offseason.”
What’s the big deal with supposed leaks?
Zimmerman then goes on to give an example of the type of situation the Bears are desperately trying to avoid.
“The Bears want to avoid the same issues the Chiefs faced in 2017. The Chiefs fired general manager John Dorsey in June of that year. There was a long-standing rumor that it was because Dorsey leaked information to the media of the Chiefs’ intention to trade up for Patrick Mahomes, which led to the Chiefs needing to give greater draft capital to make the move. That rumor was confirmed on Parkins and Spiegel a couple years ago by CBS Sports’ Boomer Esiason.”
That leak ended up not harming Kansas City in the long run, as they got their QB who has led the team to two Super Bowl wins. The Chiefs ended up with the best case scenario, things could have gone much worse.
It’s best not to leave things up to chance, so if Kevin Warren thinks there are leaks in the organization, letting those people go is absolutely the right thing to do.
Tightening up Halas Hall could also make the team more attractive for free agents and players looking to resign their contract. Being able to trust a franchise with your private information and plans is surely something players respect.
Tom Brady and now Jason Kelce have had their decisions to retire leaked by someone. the information was prematurely reported by the media against the respective players wishes. Both players were extremely unhappy with those events. Being able to trust the people in your building is essential to building a winning culture.
Why Kevin Warren’s clean up is a great sign for the Bears
None of the Bears other team presidents in recent memory have acted with as much authority and power as Warren has so far. His firing of 22-year employee Chris Stein shows that Kevin Warren has more say in executive decisions than previous presidents. Typically for the Bears, long time employees like Stein rarely get fired, his dismissal is proof of Warren’s executive power. He has been given leeway and he is taking advantage of it as much as he can.
The McCaskey’s seem to have delegated more of their power to Kevin Warren than they ever have. Which is fantastic if it’s true. The Bears have been stuck in a seemingly infinite time loop of repeating the same mistakes under the watch of the McCaskey’s. leading to decades of spinning the tires, getting no traction.
Kevin Warren has the chance to go down in history as a Chicago Bears legend. If he can succeed in transforming the Bears culture into one of winning, structure and honesty, he could become one of Chicago’s favorites. Cleaning up “leaks” regardless of who they are is an amazing start to a franchise rework. Now Warren just has to get the hires right.
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