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Bears Targeting Eagles Exec Ian Cunningham

Philadelphia's co-director of player personnel is in the mix to be the assistant GM in Chicago

New Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles is set to interview Eagles' personnel director Ian Cunningham to be his right-hand man in the Windy City.

It's the second consecutive year that Cunningham, who many around the NFL regard as a potential future GM, will be auditioning to become the No. 2 in a personnel department after Carolina interviewed the University of Virginia product last year.

Inside the Birds' Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan were the first to report Chicago's interest in Cunningham.

In a press conference following the 2020 season, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie specifically mentioned Cunningham as a future GM.

Cunningham split the director of player personnel role with the Eagles in 2021 with Brandon Brown, another executive with a rising reputation in league circles and who had a GM interview with Minnesota earlier this month before the Vikings tabbed Cherry Hill native Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to lead their football operations earlier this week.

Cunningham and Brown are essentially the Eagles' top personnel execs under the department chief Andy Weidl.

As far as the work Cunningham oversees the team’s college scouting staff with crossover work on the pro side while Brown manages the pro personnel staff with crossover work on the college side.

At the top of the flow chart, of course, is GM Howie Roseman followed by VP of Football Operations Catherine Raiche, who also interviewed with the Vikings before Adofo-Mensah was hired. Veteran personnel exec Tom Donohoe and former Jacksonville GM Dave Caldwell are also important members on the personnel side.

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In theory, if the Eagles want to stay with the same setup and if Cunningham does leave the next in line would be senior director of college scouting Anthony Patch.

Cunningham has been with the Eagles since the 2017 Super Bowl season, first serving as the director of college scouting. He was promoted to assistant director of player personnel in 2019 and co-director of player personnel before the 2021 season.

Before that, Cunningham spent 2008-2016 with the Baltimore Ravens, first as a player personnel assistant and then as an area scout. The Ravens are the same organization where Weidl and former Eagles' personnel chief Joe Douglas, now the GM of the New York Jets, essentially earned their stripes.

Cunningham, a former offensive lineman at Virginia, and Poles, an ex-O-Lineman at Boston College, have never worked together but forged a relationship when both were scouts.

Chicago hired Poles on Tuesday and then quickly hired former Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as its head coach on Thursday.

Eberflus has targeted Eagles' passing game coordinator and Nick Sirianni consigliere Kevin Patullo as his potential offensive coordinator.

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.