Browns Rumors

2022 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

Along with the head coaches being fired, a few NFL teams are looking for new general managers. The Bears, Raiders and Vikings are in the market for new GMs, while the Steelers are soon to follow. Listed below are the GM candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status.

If and when other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-24-22 (10:35pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Updated 2022 NFL Draft Order

The Divisional Round has come to end, and after each game was decided on the final play, the season has come to a bitter end for another four teams. That brings the total number of squads locked into their first round draft position to 28. Interestingly, the Rams and 49ers are still standing after they each parted ways with top draft picks this past offseason. San Francisco’s first choice is currently slated to be 61st overall, while the Rams aren’t projected to be on the board until the 101st pick. For Los Angeles in particular, the decision is certainly paying off so far.

For non-playoff teams, the draft order is determined by the inverted 2021 standings, plus a series of tiebreakers, starting with strength of schedule. For playoff teams, the order is determined by their postseason outcome and regular season record.

Here is the updated order after this weekend’s results:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-14
  2. Detroit Lions: 3-13-1
  3. Houston Texans: 4-13
  4. New York Jets: 4-13
  5. New York Giants: 4-13
  6. Carolina Panthers: 5-12
  7. New York Giants(via Bears)
  8. Atlanta Falcons: 7-10
  9. Denver Broncos: 7-10
  10. New York Jets (via Seahawks)
  11. Washington Football Team: 7-10
  12. Minnesota Vikings: 8-9
  13. Cleveland Browns: 8-9
  14. Baltimore Ravens: 8-9
  15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
  16. Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
  17. Los Angeles Chargers: 9-8
  18. New Orleans Saints: 9-8
  19. Philadelphia Eagles: 9-8
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers: 9-7-1
  21. New England Patriots: 10-7
  22. Las Vegas Raiders: 10-7
  23. Arizona Cardinals: 11-6
  24. Dallas Cowboys: 12-5
  25. Buffalo Bills: 11-6
  26. Tennessee Titans: 12-5
  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 13-4
  28. Green Bay Packers: 13-4
  29. Cincinnati Bengals: 10-7*
  30. Miami Dolphins (via 49ers)
  31. Detroit Lions (via Rams)
  32. Kansas City Chiefs: 12-5*

* = Remaining playoff teams

Coaching Notes: Panthers, Browns, Chargers

Scottie Montgomery got a second interview with the Panthers. The Colts RBs coach spent today speaking with the organization, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). Montgomery previously met with the organization virtually.

Montgomery may now be best known for being Jonathan Taylor‘s position coach — a position that recently involved HBO screen time. The second-year back rocketed to an All-Pro perch in 2021, winning the rushing title by nearly 600 yards. Montgomery also has prior NFL experience, having coached an acclaimed group of Steelers wide receivers — Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders among them — from 2010-12.

The Panthers interviewed seven coaches for the job previous held by Joe Brady. Montgomery is in a group that includes Jay Gruden, Ben McAdoo, Luke Getsy, Tim Kelly, Mike Groh, and Klint Kubiak.

More coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Browns defensive line coach Chris Kiffin is leaving the organization. Per Bruce Feldman of TheAthletic.com (and passed along by Myles Simmons of ProFootballTalk.com), Kiffin is heading to Ole Miss to be the team’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Chris Kiffin is the younger brother of Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. The younger Kiffin spent the past two seasons in Cleveland.
  • The Chargers recently fired special teams coordinator Derius Swinton II, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). After spending the 2020 season as the Cardinals assistant ST coach, Swinton got the head gig in Los Angeles in 2021. The team has already started looking for a replacement, as they’ve interviewed Giants special teams coach Thomas McGaughey (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com).
  • McGaughey also got an interview for the Panther ST coach vacancy, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Carolina is also interviewing former Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and former Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon (via Schefter on Twitter). Last week, the Panthers fired three assistant coaches, including special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn.

Latest On Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield underwent successful surgery today on his torn labrum, the Browns announced. The QB is expected to make a full recovery in four to six months.

[RELATED: Browns Plan To Keep Baker Mayfield]

“We’ll check that box off to get this fixed, and now it’s onto the road to recovery,” Mayfield said in an Instagram post. “It’s not going to be an easy one, but it’s going to be one that I remember, and it’s going to be a special one. I’ll keep you guys updated. Thank you so much. This is not the end of my story. It’s going to be one of those things where I look back and remember one of those challenges and adversity that I’ll try to take advantage of, and it’ll make me a better person.”

The four-to-six-month timeline means Mayfield could be good to go at any point between May and July, but fortunately for Mayfield, the torn labrum was in his non-throwing shoulder. As a result, the team expects the 26-year-old to begin throwing in April, and he’s expected to participate in the offseason program on a limited basis. He’s expected to be fully recovered by the time training camp starts.

2021 wasn’t a banner year for Mayfield (17 touchdowns vs. 13 interceptions), but he was clearly hampered by his injured shoulder. The Browns still haven’t inked the former first-overall pick to a contract extension, leading some to question his future in Cleveland. However, a recent report indicated that the Browns are planning to have Mayfield under center when they open the 2022 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/19/22

We’ll keep track of Wednesday’s reserve/futures deals here:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

  • CB Lamar Jackson

Cleveland Browns

  • RB John Kelly Jr.

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Browns’ DT Malik McDowell Arrested For Public Exposure, Assault

There has been troubling news regarding Browns defensive tackle Malik McDowellThe 25-year old has been arrested in Florida, as first reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Unfortunately, it is not the first time he has had run-ins with the law. 

McDowell’s arrest stems from an incident on Monday in Deerfield Beach. As Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes, he “has been accused of exposing himself in public, resisting arrest with violence, and battery on a law enforcement officer”. The police report indicates that the latter accusation consisted of a “violent attack” that left the affected deputy “dazed”.

Originally drafted in the second round in 2017 by the Seahawks, McDowell didn’t play at all in his rookie season due to an ATV accident. In December of that same year, he was arrested for disorderly conduct after an incident in an Atlanta nightclub. That wasn’t the end of his legal troubles, however. In November of 2019, McDowell was sentenced to 11 months in prison, along with three years’ probation, after pleading guilty to three charges including DUI and a fight with police officers. That also earned him a two-game NFL suspension, and helped keep him out of the league without having played up to that point. Florio notes that he is still on probation in his native Michigan, which could further complicate this latest incident.

This past May, the Browns signed McDowell to a one year contract. In 15 games, he recorded 33 total tackles, five QB hits and three sacks. While his play demonstrated his potential as an interior disruptor, and likely would have earned him another deal in Cleveland, this news may very well end his NFL career once and for all.

In an official team statement, a spokesperson said, “We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information. We understand the severity of this matter and our thoughts are for the well-being of all involved. We will have no further comment at this time“.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Updated 2022 NFL Draft Order

With the Wild Card round complete, another six positions in the 2022 NFL Draft have been confirmed.

One of the most interesting developments relates to the Philadelphia Eagles. After losing on Sunday, their own first round pick has been locked in at No. 19, having already known they would also own the 15th and 16th selections. What the team does with that much draft capital will be one of the most interesting storylines of the draft.

For non-playoff teams, the draft order is determined by the inverted 2021 standings, plus a series of tiebreakers, starting with strength of schedule. For playoff teams, the order is determined by their postseason outcome and regular season record.

Here is the updated order after this weekend’s results:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-14
  2. Detroit Lions: 3-13-1
  3. Houston Texans: 4-13
  4. New York Jets: 4-13
  5. New York Giants: 4-13
  6. Carolina Panthers: 5-12
  7. New York Giants(via Bears)
  8. Atlanta Falcons: 7-10
  9. Denver Broncos: 7-10
  10. New York Jets (via Seahawks)
  11. Washington Football Team: 7-10
  12. Minnesota Vikings: 8-9
  13. Cleveland Browns: 8-9
  14. Baltimore Ravens: 8-9
  15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
  16. Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
  17. Los Angeles Chargers: 9-8
  18. New Orleans Saints: 9-8
  19. Philadelphia Eagles: 9-8
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers: 9-7-1
  21. New England Patriots: 10-7
  22. Las Vegas Raiders: 10-7
  23. Arizona Cardinals: 11-6
  24. Dallas Cowboys: 12-5
  25. Cincinnati Bengals: 10-7*
  26. Miami Dolphins (via 49ers)
  27. Buffalo Bills: 11-6*
  28. Detroit Lions (via Rams)
  29. Kansas City Chiefs: 12-5*
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 13-4*
  31. Tennessee Titans: 12-5*
  32. Green Bay Packers: 13-4*

* = Remaining playoff teams

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/13/22

Today’s updates for the reserve/COVID-19 and practice squad/COVID-19 lists:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

Coaching Notes: Broncos, Fangio, Jags, Lions

Ten candidates have emerged in the Broncos‘ coaching search. Despite the team going back-to-back with defensive coaches, Dan Quinn is believed to be one of the early frontrunners, per ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler (ESPN+ link). Despite being fired early in the 2020 season, the ex-Falcons HC has become a hot name in the 2022 interview cycle. The interest in Quinn puts him in position to be picky, as the current Cowboys DC has raised his stock after turning around the NFC East champions’ defense this season. He has yet to interview for the Broncos job yet. Quinn and Denver GM George Paton worked together in Miami under Nick Saban from 2005-06. Quinn, 51, was the Dolphins’ defensive line coach in those seasons. The Broncos have also done extensive work on Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett, Fowler adds. Both Hackett and Green Bay QBs coach Luke Getsy are on Denver’s HC interview list.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • Bill O’Brien interestingly finds himself in the mix for NFL jobs on two tiers, with the Panthers eyeing him as an offensive coordinator and the Jaguars are set to interview him for their head coach job. O’Brien’s ignominious Texans exit notwithstanding, he has become a candidate to watch for the Jacksonville job, Fowler notes. O’Brien just finished his first season as Alabama’s OC.
  • Should O’Brien land the Jags gig, Vic Fangio will be a DC target, per Fowler. Given Fangio’s history of DC success, and the Broncos sporting an above-average unit during his tenure despite major injuries to Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, the recently fired coach will likely have a few options. The Jags are prepared to be patient this time around, with Sports Talk 790’s Aaron Wilson noting this process could last for an additional two weeks (Twitter link). Second interviews are expected here. The Jaguars being thorough should not surprise, given their rash decision to hire Urban Meyer last January.
  • The Lions are considering hiring their next OC from within. After parting ways with one-and-done Anthony Lynn, Detroit is examining tight ends coach Ben Johnson for that role, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes. Dan Campbell took over play-calling duties from Lynn midseason, but Johnson’s responsibilities expanded as well. Johnson joined the Lions as a quality control coach in 2019. GM Brad Holmes is also leaving the door open to Campbell remaining the team’s play-caller.
  • Seahawks assistant head coach Clint Hurtt is on the University of Miami’s radar, with Fowler tweeting the Hurricanes are eyeing him for their defensive coordinator job. A Miami alum, Hurtt has spent the past five years as Pete Carroll’s defensive line coach.
  • Joe Judge‘s Giants staff will likely splinter soon. One of Big Blue’s position coaches, D-line coach Sean Spencer, will land on his feet. Duke is hiring Spencer to be a co-defensive coordinator, USA Today’s Josina Anderson tweets. Spencer was set to leave regardless of Judge’s status. Spencer’s pre-Giants coaching resume unfolded entirely at the college level. The 51-year-old assistant spent six years at Penn State prior to his short Giants stay under Judge.
  • Second-year Browns assistant Jeremy Garrett is expected to leave Cleveland and become the Liberty D-line coach, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman tweets.