(CBS) The Bears have requested permission to interview five individuals for their vacant general manager job, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The candidates are Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard, Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta, Texans director of pro personnel Brian Gaine and Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace, Schefter reported.
Ballard is a familiar name around these parts, as he spent 11 seasons with the Bears previously — as an area scout from 2001-’11 and as the director of pro scouting in 2012 before moving on to Kansas City. He had a hand in the Bears drafting Pro Bowlers Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Charles Tillman, Tommie Harris and Nathan Vasher.
Dawson, 42, has worked for eight seasons in Tennessee, “managing day-to-day football operations and overseeing the pro personnel and college scouting departments,” according to the Tennessean. Dawson interviewed for GM jobs with the Dolphins and Buccaneers last offseason.
DeCosta is one of the hottest names around, as he’s worked under the respected Ozzie Newsome and helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl title after the 2012 season. The Jets also have asked permission to interview DeCosta, who is viewed by many as the GM-in-waiting when Newsome decides to retire someday.
Gaine is a Bill Parcells protege, having worked under Pacells with the Jets, Cowboys and Dolphins. He’s been in Houston for one season after previously working for six years in Miami.
Pace was the Saints’ director of pro scouting for six years before becoming director of player personnel in 2013. He attended Eastern Illinois University, where he played from 1995-’99.
It’s not yet known if the Bears’ requests to interview each candidate have been granted. Bears chairman George McCaskey said that ideally, the team would hire a GM before a coach, but management won’t stall on a preferred coaching candidate just because a GM isn’t in place.
In the coaching search, the Bears have requested permission to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, per reports. Chicago has also expressed interest in Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.