New Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles is expected to target Philadelphia Eagles director of player personnel Ian Cunningham for a “high-ranking front office position,” according to a report from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan. The report notes that Poles and Cunningham have a close relationship.
Cunningham seems to be fairly well-respected around the league. The Carolina Panthers interviewed him for their assistant general manager opening last offseason. In a press conference following the 2020 season, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie indicated he believes Cunningham will be a future GM.
The Eagles added Cunningham to their front office in 2017, coming off the nine years he spent with the Baltimore Ravens. Cunningham began as a director of college scouting with the Eagles before being promoted to assistant director of player personnel in 2019. He was promoted again last offseason with the Eagles dropping “assistant” from his title.
As one of the Eagles’ two directors of player personnel, Cunningham oversees the team’s college scouting staff with crossover work on the pro player personnel side. Fellow Eagles director of player personnel Brandon Brown, who interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings’ general manager opening but did not get the job, oversees the team’s pro personnel staff with crossover work on the college side.
Assuming his contract isn’t up, the Eagles can block the Bears from hiring Cunningham if they desire. But they might not want to do that to him if he’s up for a big-time promotion as Poles’ right-hand man. We’ll see. Cunningham is one of Philly’s top scouting staff members behind vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl. [CORRECTION: Teams CANNOT block candidates interviewing for a job that would include assistant GM responsibilities. One would think the Bears are interested in Cunningham for such a role.]
Cunningham might not be the only member of the Eagles organization headed to the Windy City. It was reported earlier today that passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo could be headed to Chi-Town.