Reports within the hour have the Chicago Bears hiring former New Orleans Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace as their new general manager today.
Pace interviewed with the Bears Wednesday along with perceived front-runner for the job Chris Ballard, a former Bears scout who now remains as director of player personnel for the Kansas City Chiefs. Both men aimed to replace Phil Emery, who was fired along with head coach Marc Trestman on Dec. 29.
Pace, 37, is a Texas native and former football player at Eastern Illinois, who spent the last 14 years in the Saints organization as a scout and executive.
Saints general manager told the New Orleans Times-Picayune Wednesday that Pace is ready for a general manager’s job and Saints coach Sean Payton is quoted by the paper as saying that Pace is “a big part of what we do.”
The new general manager may be able to act fast on hiring a new coach. Coordinators Dan Quinn (Seahawks) and Adam Gase (Broncos) have already been interviewed and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has reportedly been interviewed today.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Pace will be officially introduced as Bears GM at 11 a.m. Friday in a press conference at Halas Hall.
Bears hire Ryan Pace as general manager (Tribune)
Ryan Pace, Saints’ player personnel director, interviews for Chicago Bears GM job (Times-Picayune)
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