Bears hire John Fox, agree to four-year deal

The Chicago Bears agreed with John Fox to fill their head-coaching vacancy, the team announced on Friday afternoon.

The agreement is a four-year deal, FOX Sports 1 NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported. 

Fox spent the past four years as the Broncos head coach (46-18, .719), guiding them to four consecutive playoff berths and a Super Bowl appearance. But after Denver was stunned by the Indianapolis Colts last weekend in their divisional playoff game at home, the team and Fox mutually agreed to part ways.

Fox was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers from 2002-10 (73-71, .507), helping them reach the Super Bowl during the 2003 season.

Fox becomes the 15th head coach in franchise history and will be introduced to the media on Monday morning at Halas Hall. 

The Bears hired first-year general manager Ryan Pace last week and he led a furious search for a new head coach. Pace, who was the director of personnel with the Saints, has obvious ties to Sean Payton, who is a big supporter of Fox. 

While Fox consistently built Super Bowl contenders during his time in Denver, VP of football operations John Elway decided it was time to part ways. 

The Bears had a thorough search, interviewing former Bills coach Doug Marrone, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. 

What’s next for Fox is he must assemble his staff. While Jack Del Rio was hired in Oakland earlier this week, the two AFC West teams could be dueling for assistant coaches. 

The Bears are expected to try to interview Mike Mularkey as offensive coordinator, a source told FOX Sports 1’s NFL insider Mike Garafolo. 

Fox’s number one priority is figuring out the future of quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler, who signed a seven-year, $127 million deal last offseason, had a woeful season in which he led the league in turnovers. Naturally, Marc Trestman and the entire front office were relieved of their duties. 

Another challenge is rebuilding a defense that finished in the basement in nearly every major defensive category. 

With a roster full of talent, Fox must develop the talent to have them reach their full potential.