Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham has been a hot commodity this offseason, and it’s seemed inevitable that he’ll find a GM gig elsewhere in the near future.
But it won’t be this offseason.
While Cunningham garnered interest from both the Cardinals and Titans — the lone GM vacancies — both teams opted to go in a different direction.
Arizona hired Monti Ossenfort, who interviewed with Chicago last offseason, as their new GM. Meanwhile, Tennessee just hired Ran Carthon as their new GM, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Cunningham was one of three finalists for the Titans GM job.
Cunningham was hired as Chicago’s first assistant GM, where he’s served as GM Ryan Poles’ righthand man. The two have scouted together and, even for a brief stint, lived together. For now, the Bears keep their front office in tact for another year.
While Cunningham didn’t get his opportunity this time around, it’s good news for the Bears in what’s shaping up to be an important offseason. Chicago has the first overall pick and is expected to have $118 million in salary cap space.
Cunningham will likely be in demand during the next GM cycle, which would work in the Bears’ favor. If Cunningham is hired next year, Chicago would earn two third-round compensatory pick as part of the NFL’s expanded Rooney Rule, which aims to incentivize teams to develop minority coaches and executives.