On Chicago Bears' draft, ownership

Wednesday marked the NFC North’s final pre-draft news conference, and in Chicago the festivities also included some context for a surprising ownership announcement. We’ll start with what I thought was the most critical statement of the day from Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo and then move on to the pending ascension of George McCaskey.

(So no one feels jilted, here are links to our take of the news conferences in Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota.)

After several weeks of discussion, someone finally put the question to Angelo: Would you really consider robbing the 2011 (or 2012) draft to move up this week? My corporate cousin Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com passed along Angelo’s response. It’s pretty definitive:

“We're out of that business,” Angelo said. “I don't want to get cute and keep borrowing in the future with picks, because the one thing you know, it's very difficult to guarantee the present. Unless something happens that we really haven't created a scenario for, I doubt that we would do that."

As I’ve written many times this month, you’re a fool to believe everything you hear during draft time. So I’m not ruling out the possibility that the Bears move higher than their current spot at No. 75 overall. But as a franchise, I don’t think the Bears can afford to give up another first- or second-round pick to do it. If I had to guess, I’d say any upward movement on Friday will be minor.

Meanwhile, the Bears laid out a relatively benign explanation for why George McCaskey will replace older brother Michael as the team’s chairman of the board. Family matriarch Virginia McCaskey is 87, Michael McCaskey is 66 and it was time to start the process of an orderly transition. The family has no plan to sell the team and instead wanted to give George McCaskey a full year to get situated before officially taking over.

“The Halas/McCaskey family intends to be running the Bears well into the future,” Michael McCaskey said, according to the team’s website, “so you need to have a good succession plan and a good way to carry it out. This will give George a transition year and leave the Bears in position to do what we’ve always tried to do, which is to pursue championships.”