The Chicago Bears have hired New Orleans Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace as their new general manager, the team announced Thursday.

Pace had been in New Orleans for the past 14 years and was director of player personnel for the last two seasons.

In recent years, Pace has been targeted by several teams as a potential GM candidate. The New York Jets recently requested to interview Pace, but he declined their offer. Last year, the Miami Dolphins sought to interview Pace during their GM search but the Saints refused to give him permission. Because Pace was in the final year of his contract, the Saints could not prevent him from interviewing with other teams this year.

Since Pace joined the franchise in 2001, the Saints have made five playoff appearances and won one Super Bowl.

Pace replaces Phil Emery, who was fired along with head coach Marc Trestman on Dec. 29.

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