Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

Yesterday, when we examined the list of the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, I observed that more than half of the league’s current coaches have only been in their positions since 2012, meaning they have two seasons or less under their belts with their respective teams. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there has still been plenty of turnover in front offices around the league in recent years.

Although only three teams hired new GMs in 2014, seven did so in 2013, meaning nearly a third of the NFL’s general managers have no more than one season in the books with their current clubs.

Still, on the other end of the spectrum, a handful of general managers have become mainstays with their respective clubs. Among coaches, only New England’s Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003, whereas six GMs fit that bill. Two of those six – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, Saints, and Ravens have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

You can find the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured general managers below, along with the date they took over the job. In some instances, an executive served as the head of football operations before officially being named as the general manager, so in those cases, we’ve tried to indicate the date on which he became his team’s top football exec. A few names in the group are accompanied by footnotes at the bottom of the page to further clarify their roles.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens): November 22, 2002
  7. Ted Thompson (Green Bay Packers): January 14, 2005
  8. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  9. Rick Smith (Houston Texans): June 5, 2006
  10. Jerry Reese (New York Giants): January 15, 2007
  11. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  12. Martin Mayhew (Detroit Lions): December 29, 2008
  13. Bruce Allen (Washington Redskins): December 17, 2009
  14. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  15. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  16. Trent Baalke (San Francisco 49ers): May 20, 2010[7]
  17. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[8]
  18. Reggie McKenzie (Oakland Raiders): January 5, 2012
  19. Ryan Grigson (Indianapolis Colts): January 11, 2012
  20. Ruston Webster (Tennessee Titans): January 18, 2012
  21. Phil Emery (Chicago Bears): January 29, 2012
  22. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  23. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  24. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  25. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  26. Dave Gettleman (Carolina Panthers): January 10, 2013
  27. John Dorsey (Kansas City Chiefs): January 13, 2013
  28. John Idzik (New York Jets): January 18, 2013
  29. Doug Whaley (Buffalo Bills): May 16, 2013
  30. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  31. Dennis Hickey (Miami Dolphins): January 27, 2014
  32. Ray Farmer (Cleveland Browns): February 11, 2014

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Baalke held the role of the team’s VP of player personnel until he received the GM title in 2011.
  8. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.