Champ Kelly

Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends GM Candidates

The Fritz Pollard Alliance has released its annual list of minority candidates for general manager vacancies. Much like the latest batch of recommended coaching hires, the suggested GM list is more than twice as long as last year’s. 

[RELATED: Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends Head Coaching Candidates]

Here’s the full rundown, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link):

  • Ray Agnew (Rams)
  • Joey Clinkscales (Raiders)
  • Quentin Harris (Cardinals)
  • Alonzo Highsmith (Browns)
  • Brad Holmes (Rams)
  • Champ Kelly (Bears)
  • Martin Mayhew (49ers, ex-Lions GM)
  • Will McClay (Cowboys)
  • Jimmy Raye III (Lions)
  • Jerry Reese (ex-Giants GM)
  • Doug Whaley (ex-Bills GM)
  • Doug Williams (Redskins)

 

Clinkscales, Highsmith, McClay, and Williams were all featured on last year’s list, but none of those executives landed GM jobs. The only executive from the last round of recommendations who did not carry over to this year was Ray Farmer, the former Browns GM who is currently serving as a senior consultant with the Rams.

Of the dozen suggested executives on this list, only three sat for GM interviews in the last cycle: Mayhew (Panthers), Raye (Texans), and Whaley (Packers). McClay was asked to interview for the Texans opening, but declined the opportunity and instead signed a two-year extension to stay with the Cowboys. McClay may garner consideration again this time around, but he might not be interested in leaving Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: OBJ, Elliott, Seahawks, Bears

We learned earlier this week that the Giants weren’t prioritizing a contract extension with star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., and that could be because the Pro Bowler is seeking a record-breaking deal. The 24-year-old said on Thursday that he was aiming to become the league’s highest-paid receiver, and he elaborated on those remarks on Friday.

“That’s what you want to do, you want to change the game,’’ Beckham told Paul Schwartz of The New York Post. “This is not just for Odell Beckham, this is for everybody in the league, people who deserve it.

“You sit there and you watch the NBA, it’s crazy. Being realistic, it’s crazy what they’re getting. And there’s people in the NFL who deserve that, I want to do, if I can, be on the forefront for it and help push the league, the game that way, because I feel like the fans deserve it, I feel like we go through a lot, we put ourselves through a lot. They just deserve it. It’s not for me.’’

As our own Connor Byrne noted earlier this week, the top-paid honor usually belongs to quarterbacks, with Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr currently holding the distinction. Steelers wideout Antonio Brown‘s $17MM annual salary is the highest value at his position. Beckham is set to play the upcoming season on a $1.8MM salary, although the organization did pick up his $8.5MM fifth-year option for 2018.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Although Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said an NFL decision on running back Ezekiel Elliott could be handed down “imminently,” no announcement is expected today nor this weekend, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The league is reportedly wrapping up its investigation into domestic violence allegations against Elliott, and while Jones claimed his own review of the evidence indicated Elliott had done nothing wrong, a short suspension is still expected. If Elliott is banned, Dallas will turn to a cadre of Darren McFaddenAlfred Morris, and the newly-signed Ronnie Hillman in the backfield.
  • Former offensive lineman Lemuel Jeanpierre will be joining the Seahawks coaching staff as an offensive assistant, according to Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com. The 2011 undrafted free agent out of South Carolina spent six seasons in Seattle, appearing in 63 games (11 starts). The 30-year-old also appeared in nine postseason games, and he earned a ring after the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII.
  • The Bears have promoted former Pro Scouting Direction Champ Kelly to Assistant Director of Player Personnel, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). According to the reporter, the Dolphins tried to “lure away” Kelly this past offseason, but Chicago clearly had bigger plans for the executive. The former United Indoor Football general manager has been with the Bears organization since 2015, and he previously spent time as the Broncos’ Assistant Director of Pro Personnel.
  • Biggs passes along (on Twitter) that the Bears have also promoted several other members of their scouting team. Chris White is now one of the team’s pro scouts, while Scott Hamel and Brendan Rehor have been promoted to area scout and combine scout, respectively.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.