Bears sign assistant GM Ian Cunningham to contract extension

The Chicago Bears have locked down assistant general manager Ian Cunningham to a contract extension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Cunningham joined the Bears in 2022, where he’s worked closely with general manager Ryan Poles. A new position — assistant GM — was created just for Cunningham, and he’s played a huge role in team moves over the past couple of years and getting this roster to the place it is now.

Before Cunningham joined Chicago, he spent four years in Philadelphia, where he served a number of roles with the Eagles. He started as director of college scouting (2017), moved up to assistant director of player personnel (2019) and finally was promoted to director of player personnel (2021).

According to Schefter, Cunningham is expected to be one of the top GM candidates in the next hiring cycle. He’s interviewed for — and even passed on — some openings over the past two years.

“I am blessed out of my socks to have him by my side that is not a yes man,” Poles said of Cunningham Tuesday during their pre-draft press conference. “We would not be where we are today without Ian being an incredible partner.”

If Cunningham joins another organization as GM, the Bears would receive compensation as part of the Rooney Rule. If a team loses a minority executive or coach to another team, that team would receive a third-round compensatory pick for the next two years.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire