Bill Kuharich

East Rumors: Redskins, Elliott, Cutler

Redskins safety Su’a Cravens is expected to report to the team Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of Cravens, of course, informed the club several weeks ago that he intended to retire only to reverse his decision almost immediately. Cravens has been in contact with head coach Jay Gruden, and the two have discussed football and life issues. As Rapoport suggests, the fact that Cravens is reporting does not necessarily mean that he will suit up right away, given that he is battling an injury and, as his recent history suggests, may be at a crossroads in his young life. Nonetheless, it is a positive step for one of the more promising defensive talents in the league.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • The Redskins reshuffled their front office in June, but per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the team considered adding another executive during training camp. Washington reportedly brought in James “Shack” Harris, Charles Bailey, Bill Kuharich, and Ron Hill to watch practice and meet with other staffers, but the team ultimately decided to stand pat and does not plan to make any other additions at this time.
  • Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has never been arrested or charged with a crime, but since June 2014, Elliott’s name has appeared in at least four investigations concerning assault, battery, domestic violence, and disorderly conduct, as Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News writes. The entire piece is well worth a read, and it suggests a troubling pattern of behavior that Elliott will need to correct in order to live up to his sky-high potential.
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald says Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler has impressed the team with his demeanor and work ethic, and if he plays well this season, Salguero writes that Miami would consider re-signing him and trading Ryan Tannehill, thereby creating a great deal of cap room and netting an early draft choice in the process. We are a long way from that happening, of course, but if Cutler somehow becomes a modern-day Jim Plunkett, Tannehill could be on a different sideline in 2018.
  • We recently learned that the Dolphins were interested in trading for Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that Miami went hard after the star DB, making attempts to land him both back early in the free-agency signing period and as recently as last month.
  • Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower was riding a stationary bike after he left the team’s Week 1 contest with a right knee injury, leading to optimism that he might be ready for Week 2. However, Mike Reiss of reports that Hightower sought a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews last week, which Hightower did not deny. Problems with his right knee forced Hightower to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and given that New England’s defense clearly needs him, this is a situation worth monitoring.

Browns Fire Bill Kuharich, Morocco Brown

After parting ways with general manager Ray Farmer, the Browns have also let go of two front office executives he hired in 2014, reports Dianna Marie Russini of (via Twitter). Russini reports that Cleveland has fired Bill Kuharich and Morocco Brown.

Kuharich and Brown had been key members of the Browns’ player personnel department, with Kuharich serving as the executive chief of staff, while Brown held the title of VP player personnel. Kuharich, who interviewed last winter for the Jets’ general manager job, took over as the Browns’ GM on an interim basis in the fall when Farmer served his four-game suspension.

As for Brown, when Cleveland hired the former Washington director of pro personnel in May 2014, the move was lauded, with Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link) suggesting that Brown was on track to run a team someday. We’ll see where he lands now that he’s out of the picture for the Browns.

When the Browns’ officially hire a new general manager, it looks like that GM could be tasked with adding new personnel execs of his own.

AFC Notes: McCoy, Mathis, Browns

After releasing longtime backfield weapon Fred Jackson earlier this week, the Bills could find themselves without his replacement, LeSean McCoy, for their Week 1 matchup with Indianapolis on Sept. 13. McCoy, the Bills’ big-ticket offseason acquisition, has been dealing with a hamstring injury since last month and was noncommittal about his status for the opener when asked by reporters Friday.

“We’ll wait and see,” he said, according to “Only thing I can do is control what I can control, and that’s just working hard and getting treatment and getting ready to go get out there.”

Bills head coach Rex Ryan stated he’s “optimistic” McCoy will be ready for Week 1. If McCoy can’t go, Ryan isn’t ready to name a starter for the Indy game.

“I’m not gonna get into those type of scenarios, the what-ifs and all that type of stuff. I know one thing: This football team will be ready. Period,” he said.

More from the AFC:

  • Buffalo’s Week 1 opponent, the Colts, could have pass rusher Robert Mathis back for the opener, according to head coach Chuck Pagano. “There’s a possibility,” Pagano said, per Mike Wells of “We’ll just evaluate how the week goes. Rob is doing great. He’s making great progress.” Mathis, who had an NFL-high 19.5 sacks in 2013, sat out all of last season after tearing his Achilles.
  • Browns general manager Ray Farmer is suspended four weeks for violating league rules prohibiting certain uses of electronic devices during games last year. Thus, executive chief of staff Bill Kuharich will oversee their player personnel department until Farmer returns, reports Andrew Gribble of the team’s website.
  • The Titans’ starting offensive line is in place, writes Jim Wyatt of “Pretty much, it’s set,” said head coach Ken Whisenhunt. From left tackle to right tackle, they’ll go with Taylor Lewan, Byron Bell, Brian Schwenke, Chance Warmack and Jeremiah Poutasi.
  • The Raiders are receiving interest from teams regarding receiver Seth Roberts, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Roberts, who signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama last year, was second in receiving yards (243) during the preseason.

Coach/GM Notes: Falcons, Bears, Jets, Eagles

According to our head coaching search tracker, there are eight candidates involved in the Falcons‘ hunt for Mike Smith‘s replacement, and if no new names are added to that list, the team’s first round of interviews should conclude tomorrow after a meeting with Todd Bowles. So it makes sense that Ian Rapoport of suggests today (via Twitter) that Atlanta intends to bring in its finalists for a second round of interviews. According to Rapoport, Rex Ryan will be among those finalists, though it’s not clear yet who will join him.

Here are a few more items from around the league related to coaches and front offices:


  • Todd Bowles and Frank Reich completed their interviews with the Jets today, according to Rich Cimini of (on Twitter). Bowles’ next visit will be with the Bears.
  • A Tuesday report indicated that the Bears would likely meet with Mike Shanahan about their head coaching position after hiring a new general manager, but despite Shanahan’s past success with Jay Cutler (and Brandon Marshall), he’s not currently on Chicago’s list of candidates, says Ed Werder of (via Twitter). We’ll have to see if anything changes on that front after the team makes its GM hire.
  • After sitting in on the Raiders‘ interview with Shanahan, John Madden is expected to be in attendance for Tony Sparano‘s meeting with the club as well, tweets Fallon Smith of
  • In the wake of Perry Fewell‘s dismissal, Dan Graziano of offers a few suggestions for the Giants to consider for their defensive coordinator job, including Bills defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, who Graziano thinks could be among New York’s top candidates.

Front office:

  • The Bears confirmed that they interviewed Chris Ballard and Ryan Pace for their GM vacancy, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • Jon Robinson‘s interview with the Jets will take place tomorrow, according to Rich Cimini of (on Twitter).
  • The Jets announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve lined up an interview with Buccaneers personnel executive Jon Robinson for their general manager position. The club also confirmed the candidates they’ve spoken to so far: Chris Grier (Dolphins), Trent Kirchner (Seahawks), Bill Kuharich (Browns), Mike Maccagnan (Texans), Rick Mueller (Eagles), and their own Rod Graves.
  • The Jaguars have granted pro director Chris Polian permission to interview with the Eagles for their GM job, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network (via Twitter).
  • The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works with the NFL on minority hiring issues, has filed a complaint with the league over Washington‘s general manager search, writes Mark Maske of the Washington Post. Washington spoke to Jets executive Rod Graves about the GM job, but didn’t run the request for permission by the league, and seemed to do it only as a formality while working out an agreement with Scot McCloughan, so as to abide by the Rooney Rule.
  • Meanwhile, the Dolphins appear to have evaded a Rooney Rule violation by changing the role of recently-hired Mike Tannenbaum, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains. The club has altered Tannenbaum’s and Dennis Hickey‘s duties since first announcing the hiring, so that Tannenbaum doesn’t qualify as a GM-type hire, meaning the club wouldn’t have needed to meet the Rooney Rule.

New Year’s Roundup: Jets, Coaches, Colston

The Jets are moving very quickly in their search for a new GM, tweets Brian Costello of the New York Post. The team interviewed Browns personnel executive Bill Kuharich in New Jersey this morning and is currently interviewing Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner. Citing a league source, Costello also tweets that New York plans to interview Texans director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan and Eagles director of pro personnel Rick Mueller on Sunday or Monday. Costello reiterates (via Twitter) that the Jets would like to hire a GM before making a decision on a new head coach, but they of course must stay active in the head coaching market lest they lose a top candidate to another club. According to another tweet from Costello, one of the most significant questions the Jets are asking GM candidates is what coaches they would like to work with.

As much of the country fixates on the Sugar Bowl, let’s take a look at a few other notes from around the league:

  • John Mullin of notes a couple of early patterns in the Bears‘ search for a new head coach and GM, pointing out that the early coaching candidates “have a preponderance of winning in their immediate pasts” and that the team is not concerned whether their new coach has more of an offensive or defensive pedigree.
  • Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun Times examines the most important early decisions the Bears‘ new GM must make, which include determinations on the respective futures of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall and how to handle the looming free agency of Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte, both of whom are entering the final year of their current contracts.
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that Washington, seeking to fill its newly-vacant defensive coordinator position, is setting up interviews with 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, 49ers DB coach Ed Donatell, and Chargers linebackers coach Joe Barry.
  • Andrew Kulp of looks at some of the Eagles‘ potential cap casualties, including James Casey, Trent Cole, and Cary Williams.
  • With a new mega-deal in his near future, Cowboys star wideout Dez Bryant is focused on Sunday’s playoff game against the Lions, not his next contract, writes Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today. Byrant said, “I’m just going to keep working. I can’t worry about the contract.”
  • Saints wide receiver Marques Colston knows his future in New Orleans is up in the air, and Mike Triplett of writes that, although Colston would like to stay with the only team he has ever known, he may be released or asked to take a pay cut with two years remaining on his current contract. If asked to take a reduction in pay, Colston said his relationship with Drew Brees and Sean Payton would play a role in his decision.
  • Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 tweets that the Buccaneers are expected to request an interview with Titans tight ends coach Mike Mularkey for their vacant offensive coordinator position.


Latest On Jets, Bears GM Searches

Of the five teams hunting for new head coaches, two have an even more daunting task ahead of them, as the Bears and Jets are also on the lookout for new general managers to head their football operations departments. The Jets have tasked two consultants, Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf, with identifying potential candidates, while the Bears hired former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi as an advisor for their search.

Heading into today, we’d heard Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner and Vikings assistant GM George Paton linked to the Jets’ opening, while things had been relatively quiet on the Bears’ front so far. More rumors and rumblings on both positions are starting to surface though, so let’s round up the latest updates:

  • The Jets intend to interview their current senior director of football administration Rod Graves for their GM opening, a source tells Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Mehta, confirming the report, tweets that it’s a “courtesy” on the Jets’ part.
  • Costello adds (via Twitter) that the Jets have also asked the Browns permission to interview personnel executive Bill Kuharich.

Earlier updates:

  • The Jets are interested in interviewing Texans director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan for their GM vacancy, tweets Brian Costello of the New York Post. A source confirms to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link) that the Jets have indeed asked Houston for permission to speak to Maccagnan.
  • Mehta also reports (via Twitter) that the Jets have requested permission to interview Eagles director of pro personnel Rick Mueller. Mueller has previously worked for the Jaguars and Saints as well.
  • The Jets are expected to make a strong push for Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). However, as Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links) points out, DeCosta is contractually designated as Baltimore’s GM-in-waiting behind Ozzie Newsome — he’s a strong GM candidate for rival clubs, but is in a good situation with the Ravens and is “highly valued” by the organization. For now, the Jets have asked for permission to interview him, tweets Mehta.
  • Four interview targets have emerged for the Bears‘ general manager opening, according to Rapoport, who lists the following candidate (via Twitter): Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard, Giants VP of player evaluation Marc Ross, Titans VP of player personnel Lake Dawson, and Ravens director of pro personnel Vince Newsome.

North Rumors: McCarthy, Rice, Browns

Asked by Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link) about the possibility of extending head coach Mike McCarthy, Packers president Mark Murphy said it won’t happen until the team extends GM Ted Thompson. Murphy declined to comment when asked as a follow-up by Rapoport if Green Bay is working on a new deal for Thompson (Twitter link). Here’s more out of the AFC and NFC North..

  • Ravens running back Ray Rice will be allowed to enter a program to avoid prosecution in an alleged assault of his now-wife, writes Lynda Cohen of the Press of Atlantic City. The NFL will likely levy a suspension and/or significant fine.
  • The Browns have hired former Redskins director of pro personnel Morocco Brown, a league source tells Mary Kay Cabot of While the team has yet to announce Brown’s new title, he’ll most likely become an assistant general manager in Cleveland, per Cabot. Jason La Canfora of notes (via Twitter) that the hiring is a coup for Browns GM Ray Farmer, adding that Brown has been considered for past GM openings and is on track to run a team someday.
  • The Browns announced that Bill Kuharich has been promoted to executive chief of staff, tweets Adam Caplan of Kuharich had been a consultant for the Browns since February.
  • Minnesota has won the bid to host Super Bowl LII (2018), tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. It’s a big blow to Saints owner Tom Benson, who will turn 87 in July, tweets Jeff Duncan of The Times-PIiayune. Having SB LII in New Orleans would have been a part of his legacy.

North Notes: Browns, Suh, Porter, Bears

After announcing several front office moves earlier today, the Browns will add one more new executive, according to’s Adam Schefter. Schefter reports (via Twitter) that former Chiefs VP of player personnel Bill Kuharich will join the Browns to assist new GM Ray Farmer. Kuharich and Farmer worked together in Kansas City.

With a new group of decision-makers taking over football operations in Cleveland, several players’ futures could be affected. We have details on those possibilities, as well as updates on a few more AFC and NFC North teams, so let’s dive in….

  • The Browns have a much more realistic chance of re-signing star center Alex Mack, according to Ian Rapoport of, who says (via Twitter) that Mack appeared to be a sure thing to depart in free agency under the old regime. Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that receiver Greg Little was certain to be waived by the old regime, but may be retained for another season by the new decision-makers.
  • After Schefter reported that Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports would advise Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh in some capacity, fellow scribe Darren Rovell added that Roc Nation would represent Suh for both contract negotiations and marketing. We had heard back in January when Suh fired his previous agents that Jay-Z was expected to be involved in the 27-year-old’s new representation.
  • Longtime Steeler linebacker Joey Porter had been hired by his old team as a defensive assistant, and figures to work with the current group of linebackers in Pittsburgh, tweets Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest.
  • The Bears aren’t likely to use their own franchise tag this offseason, but they’ll be keeping an eye on which other teams around the league designate franchise players, since it could affect their free agent pursuits, writes John Mullin of