Bears inform GM Angelo he will not return next season

The Chicago Bears fired longtime general manager Jerry Angelo on Tuesday, but coach Lovie Smith isn't going anywhere.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora first reported the move to fire Angelo, citing team and league sources. Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz and quarterbacks coach Shane Day also will not return.

Bears president Ted Phillips will lead and conduct the search for the team's next general manager, a process he said will start immediately. Phillips has one main condition for the best candidate.

"The one restriction that will be placed on any candidate is that Lovie Smith is our head coach in 2012," Phillips said during a news conference.

Phillips made it clear that Angelo, whose contract runs through the 2013 season, didn't offer his resignation. Angelo joined the Bears as GM before the start of the 2001 season and helped construct a roster that made a Super Bowl appearance following the 2006 season.

"It's my decision, and it has the support of ownership," Phillips said.

Phillips declined to comment on Bill Polian, who was fired Monday as vice chairman of the Indianapolis Colts. Phillips insisted the move by the Colts had no bearing on his decision, which was made before Polian was fired. A league source told La Canfora that Polian isn't ready to retire.

The Bears will keep the same structure in place. Smith will report to the new GM, who will report to Phillips. Angelo is still under contract, but Phillips said money won't be a factor in the GM search.

"We're going to find the right guy and do what it takes," he said.

Phillips said he had candidates in mind but is "not anywhere close" to creating a list. League sources told La Canfora that Green Bay Packers executive Reggie McKenzie is a possibility, as are young executives such as Atlanta's Les Snead and Arizona's Steve Keim.

Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta, who is believed will succeed Ozzie Newsome as general manager in Baltimore, could be enticed to bolt for one of the many front-office vacancies around the league, including Chicago's, sources told NFL Network's Albert Breer.

"It's a great opportunity for someone, and I don't see anyone not wanting it," Phillips said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.