LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears have agreed to a new three-year deal with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Bears interviewed Fangio, 59, for their head coach position last week, but general manager Ryan Pace ultimately tabbed former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy to succeed John Fox, who Pace fired at the end of the regular season.
Still, the Bears and Nagy were eager to retain Fangio; their highly respected and veteran defensive coordinator who inherited one of the NFL’s worst defenses in 2015 and coached the unit back to respectability over the last three seasons.
The Bears defense finished in the top-10 in points allowed (9th), total yards (10th) and passing yards (7th) in 2017. Chicago ranked 11th in rushing defense.
“We all are aware of that situation and that’s a very important hire for me,” Nagy said during his introductory news conference. “There are a lot of things that go into that decision, and Vic and I have talked, we understand that. We understand the situation, but that’s something we’re going to attack here after we get going here with today. We’re going to attack that full steam ahead and were going to make a clear decision about what’s best for Vic and what’s best for this organization.”
Fangio had been in discussions with Bears the last few days about a possible return, even though Fangio was free to negotiate with other clubs beginning on Tuesday.
Fangio was believed to have been a candidate for the Green Bay Packers‘ defensive coordinator position, but the Packers hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine on Wednesday; a day after the Los Angeles Chargers announced they had reached an agreement to retain their defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley.
Fangio has coached a total of 31 years in the NFL, with additional stops in Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis, Carolina and New Orleans.
The Bears officially announced the hiring of offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor earlier on Friday.