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Ryan Poles May Have Found Bears’ New Contract Negotiator

Chicago Sports News

Ryan Poles hasn’t moved with any kind of speed in overhauling the Chicago Bears front office. Until recently, his only move was prying Ian Cunningham away from the Philadelphia Eagles to become the Chicago Bears’ new assistant GM. A big get, according to most experts. Other moves may have to wait until May, when free agency and the draft have concluded. There was one problem, though.

The Bears don’t have anybody to handle salary cap duties and contract negotiations. A job that was held by Cliff Stein under Jerry Angelo and then Joey Laine under Ryan Pace. Laine was dismissed earlier this month, leaving the Director of Football Administration position vacant. After some debates on who Poles might seek to fill it, an answer finally arrived. The Bears have reached an agreement with Matt Feinstein, former Director of Labor Operations for the NFL league office.

We have hired Matt Feinstein as our director of football administration.

— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) February 24, 2022

If people aren’t sure what that means, here is a quick explanation.

Feinstein served in the NFL Management Council, which represented the league in negotiations with the NFL Players Association regarding everything from player working conditions to salary, benefits, practice rules, etc. It is a position meant to analyze league finances and the salary cap. That should offer a clear indication of what Feinstein’s job will be. He is the new contract guy. The one Ryan Poles will look to when the team sets about negotiating new deals with both in-house free agents and unrestricted free agents next month.

A Michigan graduate in 2006, this will mark the first time Feinstein has worked with an actual NFL team rather than just the league office. A significant change of scenery for him. He has seven years of experience in handling football finances. This includes the recent meetings for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and players union. So he is no stranger to tough negotiations—an intriguing addition.

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