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Potential GMs Chris Ballard, Ryan Pace visit Bears

CHICAGO -- Another pair of prospective general managers interviewed with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday: Kansas City Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard, and New Orleans Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace.

Ballard, considered to be a strong candidate to eventually land the Bears' job, arrived in Kansas City in 2012 after a successful 12-year stint in Chicago, beginning as a highly-respected college area scout, before moving over to head the Bears' pro personnel department in 2012.

Ballard is also a former college coach.

Pace was promoted to the Saints' director player personnel in 2013, a position that called for Pace to assist New Orleans Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis in overseeing the Saints' pro and college scouting departments.

Pace joined the Saints in 2001 after playing college football at Eastern Illinois University. He worked as the Saints' director of pro personnel from 2007-2012.

Both Ballard and Pace declined opportunities to interview for the New York Jets' vacant general manager job. Ballard also turned down a chance to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles, who are searching for a person to run the player personnel department in accordance to the wishes of head coach Chip Kelly.

The Bears are expected to hire a general manager by the end of the week, and turn the organization's entire focus towards finding a new head coach to replace recently fired Marc Trestman.