Former Bears GM Ryan Pace is reportedly moving up the football ladder again. According to Jonathan Jones, the Falcons are elevating Pace to director of player personnel.
This is Pace’s second stint as a director of player personnel. He held the same role with the Saints from 2013-2014, right before the Bears hired him to be general manager in 2015. After the Bears fired Pace in 2022, he signed on with the Falcons as a senior personnel executive. Pace will still report to Falcons GM Terry Fontenot, just as he did in his previous capacity.
Pace followed another former Bears GM, Phil Emery, to Atlanta. Emery started as a Falcons scout in 2016, then was named a senior personnel executive, like Pace. Emery retired earlier this year.
The Falcons clearly trusted Pace’s insight in the front office, since they signed many of the same players that Pace brought to Chicago over his tenure. Abdullah Anderson, Damiere Byrd, Germain Ifedi, Nick Kwiatkoski, Elijah Wilkinson and Damien Williams all joined the Falcons in 2022, and all had played for the Bears sometime during Pace’s time as GM.
Pace is widely known for making splash trades and big free agent signings. Some of them worked out, like the Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks deals. Others flopped, like the move to trade up for Mitchell Trubisky or the decision to offer Tarik Cohen a hefty contract extension. Pace is also the GM who traded up to draft Justin Fields back in 2021.
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