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The Chicago Bears interviewed Jeff Ireland for their GM vacancy. Here’s what to know about the New Orleans Saints assistant general manager.

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The Chicago Bears are set to interview Jeff Ireland for their GM vacancy. Here’s what to know about the New Orleans Saints assistant general manager.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 12 general manager and nine coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the process, we’re looking at each of the prospects.

Jeff Ireland interviewed for the general manager position Friday, the team announced..

Jeff Ireland

Title: New Orleans Saints assistant general manager – college personnel

Age: 51

Experience

Ireland join the Saints in 2015, effectively replacing Ryan Pace after he left New Orleans to become the Bears GM.

Ireland has been in the GM chair before, holding the title with the Miami Dolphins from 2008-13. He inherited a 1-15 team that made an immediate and remarkable turnaround with an 11-5 record and AFC East title.

Eight players Ireland acquired earned 14 Pro Bowl selections during his tenure. In the season between being in Miami and landing in New Orleans, he was a consultant for the Seattle Seahawks. He spent seven years (2001-07) with the Dallas Cowboys, beginning as a national scout and becoming a vice president of college and pro scouting.

Ireland was an area scout with the Kansas City Chiefs for four years, and from 1994-96 he was an area scout for National Football Scouting Combine.

Ireland was a kicker at Baylor from 1988 through 1991 and coached special teams at North Texas from 1992-93. Ireland got two GM interviews last year, meeting with the Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions.

You should know

Ireland was instrumental in some terrific drafts in New Orleans, including the 2017 class that helped propel the Saints to four straight seasons of 11 wins or more after three straight 7-9 finishes.

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore and running back Alvin Kamara swept rookie of the year honors, the first duo from the same team to pull off that feat since 1967. The class also included right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, pass rusher Trey Hendrickson, safety Marcus Williams and inside linebacker Alex Anzalone. It’s easily one of the best draft classes in the last 30 years.

Bears connection

Ireland was a ball boy for the Bears in the 1980s. His grandfather Jim Parmer was a legendary scout for the Bears, working for the team from 1973-92. Parmer is credited as the driving force behind the Bears drafting a lot of great players, including defensive lineman Dan Hampton and middle linebacker Mike Singletary.

What has been said

“Getting Jeff was huge for us,” Saints coach Sean Payton said during the 2017 season. “(Our draft process) was completely revamped. I think Jeff has done an outstanding job and how we look at players, all of that, was overhauled. And I think that the results are paying off, fortunately, for us.”

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State Fair reports 2021 operating loss, raises admission rates for 2022

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State Fair reports 2021 operating loss, raises admission rates for 2022

Although Minnesotans had to go without their beloved State Fair in 2020, it returned despite numerous pandemic-related obstacles in 2021 to become one of the best-attended North American events of the year, according to Fair officials.

In spite of the comeback, the Fair reported an operating loss of $1.3 million last year, general manager Jerry Hammer told the governing body of the Great Minnesota Get-Together on Sunday. When the Fair was canceled in 2020, the loss was $16.5 million, he said.

The Minnesota State Agricultural Society, which oversees the state’s end-of-summer ritual, held its the 163rd annual meeting in Bloomington over the weekend.

The 2022 State Fair will take place between Aug. 25 and Sept. 5. The new admission prices will be $17 for those 13-64 years old; people 5-12 and 65 and older will pay $15. Those under 4 are admitted for free. The increased price begins Feb. 1. Discount tickets will be on sale for $13 for all ages until Jan. 31 at mnstatefair.org/tickets.

Despite the operating loss, the 2021 Fair drew 1.3 million attendees, Hammer said, adding that pulling off the fair in 2021 amid the ongoing pandemic was “miraculous.”

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Baylor WR, 3-star OL commit to CU Buffs

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CU Buffs football early National Signing Day class of 2022

One of the top receivers for the Big 12 champs is coming to Boulder.

On Sunday, RJ Sneed II announced that he will play his final season of college football at Colorado after spending the previous five years at Baylor.

Also on Sunday, Van Wells, an offensive lineman from C.E. King High School in Houston, announced his verbal commitment to the Buffaloes after spending the weekend in Boulder on an official visit.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, Sneed helped Baylor go 12-2 and win the Big 12 championship game, as well as the Sugar Bowl this season. He was second for the Bears in catches (46) and receiving yards (573) and caught two touchdown passes.

During his career, Sneed has 133 catches for 1,564 yards and eight touchdowns. After playing minimally in 2017 and redshirting in 2018, Sneed finished third on the team in receptions (42) and yards (437) in 2019. In 2020, he led the Bears in receptions (39), receiving yards (497) and touchdowns (three) and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors.

A 2017 graduate of Cypress Ranch (Tex.) High School, Sneed was a three-star prospect who had 20 scholarship offers, including from Colorado. He had offers from 17 Power 5 schools, including Alabama, Mississippi, TCU, Arizona State, California, UCLA and Utah.

Sneed graduated from Baylor with a degree in health, kinesiology and leisure studies in August of 2020 and has been working on a master’s in sports pedagogy. He will have one season to play at CU.

With the Buffs, Sneed will provide production and veteran leadership to a group that has lost four players to the transfer portal this offseason: Chris Carpenter, Keith Miller, Brenden Rice and La’Vontae Shenault. Rice has not announced his destination, but Carpenter (UTSA), Miller (Texas A&M-Commerce) and Shenault (Alabama State) have committed to other schools.

Statistically, Rice was the Buffs’ top wide receiver this past season, but the Buffs are slated to return seniors Daniel Arias, Maurice Bell and Jaylon Jackson, junior Dimitri Stanley and sophomores Montana Lemonious-Craig, Chase Penry and Ty Robinson.

Also in the mix will be three incoming freshmen: Grant Page, Chase Sowell and Jordan Tyson.

A three-star prospect, Wells is rated by 247Sports.com as a top-75 interior lineman nationally in the 2022 class. He has 19 total scholarship offers, including from Air Force, Houston and Maryland.

Wells is the third lineman in CU’s class, joining tackles Carter Edwards and Travis Gray.

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WATCH: Tyrei Randall hits three-quarter-court OT buzzer beater to lift Metro State men’s basketball over Colorado Mesa

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WATCH: Tyrei Randall hits three-quarter-court OT buzzer beater to lift Metro State men’s basketball over Colorado Mesa

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