The Chicago Bears released kicker Connor Barth Monday. They elected to sign free-agent Cairo Santos, who was released by the Chiefs in September. The decision came following a botched 46-yard field-goal attempt that would have tied Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Connor Barth may have been a problem, but he isn’t the issue with the struggling Bears. The real issues the Bears face is their own management. It’s hard to forget that Connor Barth only came to Chicago after the controversial departure of long-time Bears’ kicker Robbie Gould.

Barring a miracle, the Bears will certainly have another losing season under John Fox. However, is ryan pace part of the problem?

The history of the John Fox/Ryan Pace era

When the Chicago Bears hired Ryan Pace it was obvious they were looking for a long-term manager. Two years into his tenure, he is still the youngster general manager in the NFL. The team was at a crossroads. Lovie Smith had served as head coach for eight years and had taken the Bears to the super bowl in the 2006/2007 season. He was replaced in 2013 by Marc Trestman. Trestman lasted two seasons with the Bears but was let go prior to the 2015 season due to a poor team performance.

Ryan Pace faced an immediate challenge in his new position.

Jay Cutler was in the second year of a seven-year contract. He needed to find a coach that could put together a management team that could make Cutler and the Bears a consistent force in the NFL. No one can blame Ryan Pace and the Bears for believing John Fox was right for the job. He proved twice he could take losing teams and make them super bowl contenders.

Now it seems that John Fox’s days as the Bears’ head coach are numbered. He currently has the worst winning percentage of any Bears’ coach in the history of the team. It was easy to blame the team’s shortcomings on Cutler, but he is Miami’s problem now and the team hasn’t gotten any better.

The release of Robbie Gould

Bears’ fans first became uneasy about the Bears’ management with the release of kicker Robbie Gould.

Gould had become a staple on the Bears. He played 10 seasons with the Bears and was a consistently reliable kicker throughout his time with the Bears. His departure seemed to send shockwaves of disbelief throughout the Bears’ fan base.

His replacement was Connor Barth. The new kicker has plagued the once reliable team, most recently, completely shanking a field goal that would have taken Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions into overtime. Connor Barth was released Monday after only spending one full season with the Bears.

The release of Jay Cutler

Many fans were relieved when the Bears parted ways with Jay Cutler. In 2014 the Bears surprisingly re-signed Cutler to a seven-year deal despite his overall poor performance.

At the time, Ryan Pace was working for the New Orleans Saints. Still, it’s the events that transpired in the release of Jay Cutler that make Ryan Pace’s decisions questionable.

In March, Jay Cutler was offered a two-million-dollar buyout to leave the Bears. He accepted the offer and planned to retire. However, the Miami Dolphins contacted Cutler when Ryan Tannehill was injured before the season began. So, the Miami Dolphins got a quarterback, and the Bears got a two-million-dollar loss.

After the 2016 season, it was apparent that the Bears would part ways with Jay Cutler, but Ryan Pace failed to get anything out of the break-up. Even worse, part of the money they saved was spent on Mike Glennon.

The backup quarterback quickly showed a lack of leadership in the Bears’ offense. He was benched and rookie Mitch Trubisky was given the starting position by October.

The Mitch Trubisky draft pick

Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky continues to show development leading the Bears’ offense. Yet, he isn’t like Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. There is no doubt he was the best pick of quarterbacks in a draft class. But, Mitch Trubisky has not transitioned effortlessly from college to pro-football. So, it is surprising that Ryan Pace decided to bend over backward to draft the North Carolina quarterback.

The Bears traded two 2016 draft picks and their third-round pick in 2017 to the San Francisco 49ers to move up one spot and acquire Trubisky.

That is a lot to give away for a quarterback that only started one year in college. Still, only time will tell if Mitch Trubisky is worth the trade up. For now, with the Bears at (3-7), it doesn’t seem like it was worth it.

The final verdict

Ryan Pace has made some very questionable decisions in his time as general manager of the Chicago Bears. With the team facing another losing season, it seems almost inevitable that a shake-down in management is coming. Ryan Pace is like the wonder kid a company brings in to try to invigorate their success. In this case, it seems that the decisions are coming back to haunt the team in every which way. Connor Barth’s abrupt release is a sign that the pressure is on for Ryan Pace and John Fox. Ryan Pace may choose to fire John Fox as a last-ditch effort to save his own job. However, it’s only a matter of time before he finds himself on the chopping block.