The Chicago Bears announced Thursday that they have reached an agreement with Ryan Pace to become the team's new general manager.
Pace comes to Chicago after spending 14 seasons in the front office of the Saints, where he had a deep background in player personnel. He served as the director of player personnel in his final two seasons with New Orleans.
Pace is just the sixth general manager in team history. He replaces Phil Emery, who was fired one day after the Bears concluded a disappointing 5-11 season. Chicago missed the postseason in all three seasons Emery was in charge.
With Pace on board, the search for a replacement at head coach continues. The Bears interviewed Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase last Saturday and talked with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn last Friday. Chicago has additionally scheduled an interview with Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and is expected to interview Mike Shanahan.
A major early decision for Pace will be how to move forward with quarterback Jay Cutler, whose huge contract extension signed last year was a key contributing factor in the GM job opening up in the first place.