Olin Kreutz played center for the Bears for 13 seasons and went to six Pro Bowls, and he has a message for team ownership if they want to change the franchise’s fortunes: Stop being cheapskates.
Kreutz said the Bears need to be willing to spend the money to bring in good people, and they currently aren’t. Kreutz cited his own example of being offered $15 an hour (which is currently the minimum wage in Chicago) to work with the team’s offensive linemen.
“The last time they offered me a job they offered me $15 an hour,” Kreutz said on 670 The Score. “That’s the way they do business. Those are the things that have to change.”
Kreutz said that in 2018, then-Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand wanted Kreutz to work with the offensive linemen, but the financial portion of the offer was insulting.
“Harry wanted me to come in and help with the offensive line development, help coach the offensive line,” he said. “They offered me $15 an hour to come in there as an independent contractor.”
Kreutz indicated that the Bears made a similarly lowball offer to Donovan Raiola, who did accept a job with the team but left this season to become the offensive line coach at Nebraska for a guaranteed salary of $325,000 a year.
If the Bears keep lowballing assistant coaches, then the Bears are going to keep having assistant coaches leave in the middle of the season to take college jobs. Kreutz is right that if the Bears keep doing business that way, they’re going to keep struggling to build a winning franchise.