Report: Kevin Warren is a 'final candidate' for Bears president

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Report: Kevin Warren an option for Bears president originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Kevin Warren, current Big Ten commissioner and former Lions and Vikings executive, is a "final candidate" for the CEO/President of the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN.

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Warren recorded a plethora of experience in the NFL from 1997-2019 as an agent and a high-ranking executive with the Rams, Lions and Vikings. He spent 15 seasons with the Vikings, the last five as the chief operating officer (COO) of the organization.

He left the NFL to become the first African American commissioner of a power five conference, overtaking the Big Ten's commissioner position in June of 2019.

Since the beginning of his tenure, he received some backlash for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic within the conference. However, he helped expand the conference into a 16-team powerhouse stretching from New Jersey to Los Angeles.

Warren also helped conduct one of the largest, most expansive media deals in college sports history. The $7 billion media deal includes FOX, CBS, NBC and the Big Ten network to cover all sports for the conference.

MORE: Big Ten announces media rights deal with NBC

During his time in the NFL, Warren helped the Vikings construct U.S. Bank stadium, which is a major appeal to the Bears – according to the report – because of their current desire to build a stadium on a 326-acre property in Arlington Heights.

According to the report, the Bears' search for a new president has been ongoing since the summer, and has included recent in-person interviews. The Bears have narrowed down their search to top candidates, including Warren, and are expected to decide in the coming weeks.

The next CEO/President of the Bears would succeed Ted Phillips, who announced his pending retirement for after the season. He spent 39 years (23 as president) with the Bears organization before announcing his stepping down before the season.

“We have not set a timeline for announcing Ted Phillip’s successor," the Bears said in a statement. "Our search team has cast a wide net, spoke to many outstanding candidates and looks forward to introducing our next President and CEO at the process’s conclusion.”

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