Brian Heimerdinger

Raiders To Overhaul Personnel Department

When the draft wraps up in any given year, a rash of pink slips are handed out to scouts around the league, who suddenly find themselves without work after helping make the draft a reality. But in addition to the usual scouting spring cleaning, the Raiders plan to make dramatic changes to the upper levels of their personnel department, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News

Per Marvez, Oakland is expected to add at least one new personnel executive to the front office, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets that Ed Marynowitz and Brian Heimerdinger are potential candidates for the job. Marvez also hears that player personnel director Joey Clinkscales could be on his way out. Clinkscales, who previously worked as Vice President of College Scouting for the Jets and who has been a GM candidate twice in his career, has been with the Raiders since 2012, but Marvez suggests that he might be headed to the Browns‘ front office.

Clinkscales joined the Raiders in 2012, and his longstanding relationship with Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie may have made the team a good fit for both men. But head coach Jon Gruden, who rejoined the silver-and-black this offseason, apparently wants to shake things up a bit throughout the department, which is not an uncommon development when a new head coach or GM comes on board.

Gruden now has final say on roster decisions, usurping a bit of McKenzie’s power, but McKenzie and Gruden both say that they are working well together. McKenzie said, “I got a feel for coach Gruden. We like the same type of players.”

A Raiders spokesman decline comment as to whether major changes are forthcoming.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie To Lose Power In Organization?

The ripple effect of Jon Gruden‘s arrival will be felt throughout the Raiders organization. The question is – will it affect the scope of GM Reggie McKenzie‘s power? We have some conflicting word on that front. Reggie McKenzie

The Raiders will keep Reggie McKenzie as GM but will be hiring an EVP of Football Operations to oversee personnel, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. He adds that the team could also hire a young executive. It’s possible that the young exec in question is Brian Heimerdinger, who Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link) recently suggested as a Gruden target. Heimerdinger remains under contract with the Jets, so the Raiders will have to work something out with Gang Green if they want to bring him on board.

Not everyone is convinced that McKenzie’s role will be reduced. Jim Trotter of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears that McKenzie turned down an opportunity to interview with the Packers, a possible indication that he’ll still maintain some control over the 53-man roster in Oakland.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Landry, Jets

Jarvis Landry is entering his contract year, but he says he wants to stay with the Dolphins for the long haul. At the same time, he confirmed that he is setting a deadline for the two sides to agree to an extension.

I want to focus,” Landry said Monday (via Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel). “I believe that Miami is where I want to be. Miami is the place I call home. I want to be able to give my all mentally, physically and emotionally this season. “Once the season starts I just want to put all that behind me and win the Super Bowl.”

Right now, Landry is slated to play out the 2017 season for less than $894K. There has been some speculation about his agent seeking an average annual salary of $11MM or more, but it’s hard to gauge next year’s wide receivers market from this far out. On one hand, this offseason’s top available receivers – including Kenny Stills – did not get as much cash as expected. On the other hand, the projected cap increase for 2018 coupled with the insane amounts of rollover money out there could result in a lucrative market for Landry and others. A deal bringing Landry into the top 10-12 at the position might not be such an outlandish ask.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • According to the Jets‘ website, Brian Heimerdinger has been promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel (h/t Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, on Twitter). The 31-year-old is viewed as a rising star in football circles and could be a future GM to watch.
  • It cannot be debated that Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks is the best player to join the AFC East this offseason, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. It’s hard to argue – Cooks cost the Pats a first-round pick, but he is among the league’s very best wide receivers and gives Tom Brady the kind of threat at WR that he has not had since Randy Moss. Cooks won’t turn 24 until September and he also has a sweetheart of a contract. This year, he’ll make just $1.56MM. In 2018, the Pats have him on his one-year, $8.459MM fifth-year option.

Coach/Exec Notes: Washington, Jets, Raiders

Former Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will be joining one of New York’s division rivals, having accepted a job as Washington‘s defensive backs coach, reports Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (via Twitter). The 49ers also had an offer out to Fewell, and one other suitor may have been in the mix, but staying close to his family in New York was a major factor in the coach’s decision, tweets Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington.

Here are a few more Tuesday afternoon items on coaches and front office execs around the league:

  • Reports have suggested for some time that Rams scout Brian Heimerdinger would be joining the Jets‘ front office, and the team has now announced the hiring in a press release. According to the club, Heimerdinger will serve as the director of player personnel under new GM Mike Maccagnan, who previously worked with him in Houston.
  • The Raiders formally announced four new additions to their coaching staff, with three of the names – Bobby Johnson (TE coach), Rob Moore (WR coach), and Bernie Parmalee (RB coach) – having been previously reported. The new name on the list is Tracy Smith, who will be the club’s assistant special teams coach.
  • Asked at Media Day in Arizona if he’d like another shot at becoming a head coach, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said he’d “love to do it again” in the right situation, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link).
  • Joel Corry of CBSSports.com takes a look at the seven teams that made head coaching changes this offseason and attempts to predict how the new coaches could affect those clubs’ plans in free agency.

Coach/Front Office Notes: Texans, Broncos, Jets

It’s already been a busy day in the coaching rumor mill. The Jets hired Pepper Johnson as their defensive line coach, the Falcons were granted permission to interview Raheem Morris, and the Bears added former Broncos coach Bo Hardegree. Let’s check out a couple more coaching and front office notes, including more moves by the Jets:

  • The Texans have hired Paul Pasqualoni as their defensive line coach, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The former Dolphins and Cowboys defensive coordinator spent 2014 as the Bears d-line coach.
  • The man that Pasqualoni will be replacing, Bill Kollar, was recently hired as the Broncos new defensive line coach. One of his former players, J.J. Watt, supports his former coach’s new gig. “He’s always going to shoot you straight,” Watt told Mike Klis of The Denver Post. “He’s going to coach you hard and tell you like it is. Kubiak, Kollar, everybody, yeah, you guys (in Denver) have got a great staff.”
  • The Raiders will interview Bills wide receivers coach Rob Moore on Sunday, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. If everything goes well, the 46-year-old will get the job, sources tell Caplan.
  • The Jets will hire former Bears scout Rex Hogan as their college scouting director, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network. It was thought that recently hired Brian Heimerdinger would take over the role, but Breer notes that the former Rams executive will instead be taking over a “prominent front office role.”

Extra Points: Broncos, Titans, 49ers, Bears

The Texans have released defensive line coach Bill Kollar from his contract in order for him to join ex-Houston coach Gary Kubiak and the Broncos, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link). Kollar had been the Texans’ DL coach since 2009. He has family in the Denver area, and he credited Bill O’Brien for being gracious enough to let him leave. Per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Kollar is “considered an elite coach by his peers.” Here’s more from around the league…

  • Linebacker Derrick Morgan told SiriusXM NFL Radio that the Titans want to re-sign him, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. The impending free agent has never lived up to his first-round billing, having posted just 23.5 sacks in five seasons as a pro.
  • The Eagles let executive Tom Gamble go earlier this year as part of a reported power struggle, but it appears that he’ll land on his feet. Per John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link), Gamble has discussed taking a role with the 49ers, and is expected to accept it. Gamble previously worked in San Francisco’s front office from 2005-13.
  • The Bears have found a new tight ends coach, hiring former Saints offensive assistant Frank Smith, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Former Saints executive Ryan Pace, now the general manager in Chicago, may have had some familiarity with Smith.
  • New Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has hired a new front office member, bringing in Rams scout Brian Heimerdinger to serve in a front office role, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Heimerdinger could be installed as the new college scouting director or be given a new title, but he won’t be replacing anyone already on staff, per Cimini.
  • The hiring of Adam Gase as offensive coordinator could be good news for Jay Cutler‘s future with the Bears, according to Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report (Twitter links). Per Pompei, Gase’s system has similarities to that of Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, who is known to get the most out of his quarterbacks.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Broncos, Wallace, Jets

Addressing reporters at Jack Del Rio‘s introductory press conference today, Raiders owner Mark Davis announced that CFO Marc Badain had been named team president, and indicated that Del Rio “has all the resources he needs” to go out and hire assistant coaches (Twitter links via Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer). And it appears that Del Rio has taken advantage of those resources to land his first offensive assistant — Michael Silver of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that the Raiders will hire Falcons assistant Mike Tice to coach their offensive line. The Falcons had previously been reluctant to grant Tice permission to speak to the Raiders, but were convinced to change their stance after Tice pleaded his case, tweets Silver. Oakland is also expected to formally contact Marc Trestman soon about the team’s offensive coordinator position, says Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter).

Here’s more from across the AFC, as the week winds down and we look forward to championship weekend:

  • The Broncos have concluded their head coaching interview with Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph, the club announced today (via Twitter). Having now adhered to the Rooney Rule, Denver is free to hire Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak if this Sunday’s meeting between the two sides goes well. With Teryl Austin and Doug Marrone having canceled their interviews, Kubiak is the only candidate currently scheduled to meet with the team.
  • Speaking today to reporters, including Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link), Dolphins owner Stephen Ross indicated that he doesn’t think “anyone really knows” whether wide receiver Mike Wallace will be back with the team for the 2015 season. Wallace will count for $12.1MM against the cap in 2015, a significant figure, though not as high as 2014’s $17.25MM cap hit.
  • With the status of players like Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas uncertain heading into the offseason, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton recognizes that he may not be the Broncos‘ No. 1 priority among free-agents-to-be, but he has “made it clear” that he wants to remain with the team, as he tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • New Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has started making changes to the team’s front office, parting ways with senior director of college scouting Terry Bradway and director of college scouting Jeff Bauer, the team announced in a press release. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter), personnel executive Rod Graves isn’t expected to return either. Mehta reports (via Twitter) that Maccagnan would like to hire Rams scout Brian Heimerdinger – whom he worked with in Houston – to the Jets’ front office. The new GM is also set to hire former Jaguars GM Gene Smith, as had been previously reported, tweets Mehta.
  • The Jets would like to talk to former Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo about the same position in New York, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
  • Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel, who is still a year away from becoming eligible for a contract extension, has changed agent, signing with Eugene Parker of Relativity Sports, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal.