With Washington having been eliminated, the franchise has moved to its GM interview process. The team has requested a meeting with 49ers VP of player personnel Martin Mayhew, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets.
Mayhew played with Washington in the 1980s and ’90s and rose to a GM position in 2008, taking over the Lions after Matt Millen‘s dismissal. Mayhew held that job until 2015, when the Lions fired him. Mayhew has been with the 49ers since 2017 but was on the radar for the Washington GM job.
Washington has gone without a GM since hiring Ron Rivera a little more than a year ago. But Mayhew joined the likes of ex-Panthers GM Marty Hurney and ex-Texans GM Rick Smith as WFT candidates with GM experience. Smith was on Washington’s radar last year.
Titans VP of player personnel Ryan Cowden also received an interview summons from Washington, according to J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. Cowden also resided on Washington’s GM radar in a search that is now taking shape. Cowden has been with the Titans since 2016. While Cowden has spent the past several years in Tennessee, he worked with Rivera in Carolina as the Panthers’ assistant college scouting director. Both Cowden and Mayhew broke into the personnel ranks around the same time; Cowden became an NFL scout in 2000 and Mayhew joined the Lions as an exec in 2001.
Mayhew was with the Lions throughout Millen’s disastrous tenure, but after taking the GM reins amid the franchise’s 0-16 season, the ex-NFL cornerback helped elevate them back to respectability. Mayhew hired Jim Schwartz and drafted Matthew Stafford in 2009, and Detroit made the playoffs in 2011 and 2014 — coming close to a first-round win in Dallas during the ’14 season. The Lions were also in the 2016 playoffs behind Mayhew hire Jim Caldwell, though the since-fired Bob Quinn was running the team by that point.