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GM Ryan Pace: ‘Way too long’ since Bears had consistent QB play

GM Ryan Pace made a first-round trade Thursday that's still generating controversy. (AP)

After making the biggest deal of his life last week, Bears general manager Ryan Pace went about selling it to the public Monday, appearing on national and local radio shows to explain his trade of four draft picks to move up one spot and draft Mitch Trubisky.

“You’re never going to be great in this league if you don’t have this position right, so that was a commitment for us this offseason: to improve that position,” he said on ESPN Radio’s ‘‘Mike & Mike.’’ “And, quite honestly, it’s been way too long since this franchise has been in that position: to get good, consistent play from the quarterback.”

Some criticized Pace’s moves Thursday. He drafted a quarterback after paying Mike Glennon $16 million to start this year and gave up a third-round pick, a fourth-rounder and a 2018 third-rounder to move up.

Not even the 49ers — who made the trade with Pace — were sure what he was up to.

According to The MMQB, which was embedded with the 49ers, GM John Lynch thought the Bears were trading up to draft Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. When chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe suggested they’d take Trubisky, Lynch replied: “Then why did they get Glennon?”

Pace defended his move-up trade by saying he assumed teams were in contact with the 49ers because they’d made the same calls to the Bears to move up.

Pace said he and coach John Fox were in lockstep about the pick — “I always have his back, he has my back, we’re arm-in-arm,” he told ESPN — despite a national report saying otherwise.

As for his relationship with Glennon, Pace reiterated to WSCR-AM (670) what Fox said Saturday: Players are typically angered when a team drafts someone who plays their position.

Howard visits Bears

The Bears didn’t draft a defensive end, but they might end up getting a starter after all.

Former Chiefs defensive lineman Jaye Howard visited Monday, a source confirmed. One year removed from being a hot free agent, Howard, 28, would be an intriguing option alongside Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks.

The 6-3, 301-pounder played in eight games last year, starting five, before finishing the season on injured reserve with a hip-flexor injury. The Chiefs cut him April 22.

Long improving

Guard Kyle Long has gained 45 pounds in less than three months as he continues to rehab from surgery on his right ankle and a bad reaction to medication.

Long tweeted that he’s up to 310 pounds from 265 in mid-February and wants to settle in around 325. He’s far away from on-field work, though, and has just begun running on an underwater treadmill.

This and that

The Bears waived cornerbacks Jacoby Glenn, who started three games and had an interception in 2016, and De’Vante Bausby, who played four games.

They also cut running backs Bralon Addison and David Cobb, wide receiver Dres Anderson and tight end Justin Perillo.

◆ Center/guard Taylor Boggs signed with the Bears.

He played for them from 2013 to ’14 before leaving for Detroit, where he played for new Bears offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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