GM Notes: Colbert, Patriots, Panthers, Rhule, Bears, Pace

We brought you a new batch of coaching notes earlier, and now we’ve got a new collection of front office bullets to pass along as the Browns and Steelers wrap up wild card weekend:

  • Let’s start with the Steelers, who could be in danger of losing their GM this offseason. We heard last week that the Lions were going to pursue Kevin Colbert, and Jason La Canfora tweets their interest in making that happen is still “very real.” While La Canfora’s sources don’t think Colbert would actually make the jump, he says the Lions “continue to gather info and strategize on how to possibly lure him.” Colbert, in the midst of his 21st season in Pittsburgh, has also flirted with retirement recently. Perhaps a first-round exit at the hands of the Browns could convince him to jump ship?
  • The Patriots just lost one key exec when Nick Caserio got hired by the Texans, and fortunately for them it doesn’t look like they’ll lose another. Dave Ziegler has pulled himself out of contention for the Broncos’ GM job, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Rapsheet writes that the “organization has committed to Ziegler’s future, and Ziegler has committed to” New England, so it sounds like the Pats gave him an extension and/or raise to stay.
  • There was another big withdrawal on Sunday, as Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds removed himself from the Panthers’ search, Stephen Holder of The Athletic tweets. He had interviewed for the job last week. Dodds declined an interview request from the Browns back in January, so he appears to be waiting for the right opportunity to leave Indy.
  • Meanwhile as the Panthers’ search chugs along, they’ll take a look at a couple of internal candidates. Carolina will interview Director of Player Negotiations & Salary Cap Manager Samir Suleiman and Director of Player Personnel Pat Stewart for their GM vacancy (Twitter link via Joe Person of The Athletic). The Panthers are conducting an exhaustive search, so it’s possible these are just courtesy interviews.
  • One last note on the Panthers for now. No matter who they hire, it looks like it may be Matt Rhule who’s in charge at the end of the day. “Rhule will essentially be running the show in Carolina,” after they replace the fired Marty Hurney, a source told Mike Florio of That’s not all that surprising after owner David Tepper paid him a fortune to lure him from Baylor and Rhule earned strong marks for his first season with the Panthers, getting a bare-bones roster to fight hard and play a bunch of close games against good teams. Florio writes that whoever gets the gig “surely won’t get the job without Rhule’s agreement.” Rhule seems like a strong coach, but obviously these kind of arrangements can get dangerous, as we’ve seen with the Texans and Bill O’Brien.
  • Matt Nagy is going to be back with the Bears in 2021, but GM Ryan Pace’s future apparently isn’t entirely secure. Chicago could target Chiefs exec Mike Borgonzi this offseason, multiple sources told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. As Biggs points out, it would make sense for them to bring in someone familiar with Nagy if they’re going to change GMs but not coaches. Nagy, of course, coached in Kansas City under Andy Reid for a while. The Bears’ blowout loss to the Saints today certainly isn’t working in Pace’s favor, and the drafting of Mitchell Trubisky second overall never worked out. This will be an interesting situation to monitor this week.
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14 comments on “GM Notes: Colbert, Patriots, Panthers, Rhule, Bears, Pace

  1. mucha237

    I have been saying for years that Colbert has hindered the Steelers future with how he structures the contracts.

  2. clemente3000

    Maybe he could take Tomlin with him. They were in prepared tonight. Looking ahead and getting their bits handed to them.

    • gozurman1

      Preparation was not the problem. Another bad Pouncey snap to put them down 7-0 on the first play of the game when they held the ball was not a preparation problem. Ben thowing 4 picks was not a preparation problem. smh……

  3. I’m not sure why any decent candidate would want the Panthers GM job. Doesn’t seem like you’d have a lot of power to make any moves.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The job doesn’t offer much power to make moves but if Rhule is in charge and running the show, you can’t be made the “fall guy” if things go badly. That’s a nice safety net to have.

    • maximumvelocity

      Because there are only 32 positions, and 2/3 will not be available this season. Ask Russ Grimm what happens when you turn down such opportunities.

    • Ak185

      I get the same feeling. My own own gut feeling, but Tepper’s statements seem to support it.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Shouldn’t be too difficult. You just ask the Pirates brass what they would do…and then do the exact opposite.

  4. rondon

    I hope McCaskey has the stones to at least dump Pace. I think Nagy should go as well. The offensive game plan against the Saints was high school level as was the performance.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Probably too late in the cycle to dump Pace unless they are content to take a GM candidate that everyone else rejected. They might prefer Pederson over Nagy if the Eagles make him available.

      • rondon

        There are rumors about the Chiefs President maybe being a possibility. And yes, with Pederson getting fired, I’d dump Nagy in a second for him. Pederson is a badass who got sideways with the owner.

  5. leprechaun

    The Bears need to start from scratch and blow it up. However with Nagy having two years left I don’t see them eating that contract. Expect Pace and Pagano to get canned and Nagy gets a one year prove it deal with the new GM.
    Now Borgonzi might be potentially a good GM but his familiarity with Nagy concerns me , he might be hesitant next year to fire him if the Bears do play well again.

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