Dave Gettleman

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.

East Notes: Giants, Love, Cowboys

Holding a top-six pick for the third straight year, the Giants have been linked to either Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons or a tackle. The Giants are immersed in thorough examination of Simmons, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noting the team is determining how he would fit in its scheme. Simmons saw action all over the formation for the Tigers but is viewed as either a linebacker or safety in the NFL. Some teams view Simmons as a safety. It is unclear where the Giants place him, though Joe Judge comes from a Patriots organization that valued versatility among defenders.

Regardless, rival GMs expect Dave Gettleman to select a tackle at No. 4 overall. Gettleman’s offensive line overhaul has not accomplished what he’d hoped, and a first-round pick could be slotted at right tackle before taking over for 2021 cap-casualty candidate Nate Solder on the left side. The Giants have been connected to Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs at multiple junctures this offseason.

Here is the latest from the East divisions:

  • Gettleman has taken his share of heat since becoming Giants GM in December 2017. He has, however, made some philosophical changes since taking over. He admitted to have miscalculated the Giants’ ability to be competitive in his first season as GM, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. From October 2018 to March 2019, Gettleman traded big-ticket free agent additions Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon while also dealing Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Apple. In addition to accepting this is a rebuild, Gettleman is now OK with negotiating contracts in-season, Schwartz adds.
  • Were the Lions to trade out of the No. 3 slot or pass on Jeffrey Okudah, the Giants may still pass on the Ohio State cornerback. Given the Giants’ 2019 first-round selection of Deandre Baker and their recent James Bradberry deal, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY would expect them to avoid picking a corner fourth overall.
  • A bold Dolphins strategy would be passing on a quarterback at No. 5 and preparing a Jordan Love move later in the first round. Other teams are convinced the Dolphins are intrigued by the Utah State prospect — whom Miami secured a visit with before the NFL shut down that process — but doubt they will gamble to that degree, La Canfora notes. The Dolphins’ actions over the past year and change have been centered around landing their franchise quarterback in this draft. Although they hold the Nos. 18 and 26 picks, it would be a risk to let Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert go in hopes of landing Love later.
  • The NFL’s decisions on Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith are not expected to come until after the draft, but the Cowboys may have some different plans for them under DC Mike Nolan than they would have under Rod Marinelli. Instead of using their edge defenders as pure 4-3 defensive ends, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said (via USA Today’s Jori Epstein) he could envision Smith and Gregory as hybrid-type players who rush from linebacker positions as well as defensive end slots. Gregory has only played defensive end as a pro, while Smith has mostly worked as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Giants Will “Seriously Entertain” Trading No. 4 Pick

The Giants own the No. 4 overall pick, but it’s not a given that they’ll stay there. In a virtual presser with reporters on Friday, GM Dave Gettleman said that a trade is a real possibility. 

[RELATED: Giants Reportedly “Love” Wirfs]

It’s something I would very seriously entertain,” said Gettleman (via the team website).

Gettleman’s track record shows that he’s not one to trade back from top picks. But, this year, his stockpile is looking pretty thin. After the No. 4 and No. 36 picks, the Giants next choice doesn’t come until No. 99, a compensatory pick near the back of the third round.

There’s also a pretty compelling case for staying put. The Giants have taken an active interest in this year’s top offensive linemen and they might be in position to take any one they want. If the draft starts with the Bengals taking Joe Burrow at No. 1, the Redskins grabbing Chase Young at No. 2, and the Lions (or perhaps another team) taking a non-OL at No. 3, the Giants would have Jedrick Wills Jr., Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, and Andrew Thomas in front of them. Other teams – like the Jets – would love to be in that position.

Versatility certainly doesn’t hurt,” said the GM when asked about what he’s looking for in a tackle. “But, it’s a thick group. There are tackles throughout the draft…we call it our vertical. There’s a lot of talent there. Is it helpful if a guy played both [left and right tackle]? Absolutely. Is it fatal if he’s only played one? Certainly not.”

If it’s versatility he’s after, Gettleman might be drawn to Wirfs, a promising talent out of Iowa with the potential to feature at four different spots. Then again, he could be tempted to trade down from No. 4, giving him an opportunity to fill needs including linebacker, defensive end, and safety.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ FA, Draft Plans

The Giants are in dire need of a top-flight pass rusher, but we’ve been hearing for weeks that no such players — with the possible exception of Jadeveon Clowney — are likely to hit the open market. The Giants are reportedly interested in Clowney, and Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv believes the club will make a run at him, but they will be facing stiff competition for his services.

Though Big Blue has upwards of $70MM in cap space, Vacchiano says the team is not going to break the bank for a second-tier option like Kyle Van Noy or Dante Fowler. And with Ohio State standout Chase Young almost certain to be off the board by the time the Giants are on the clock with the No. 4 overall selection in this year’s draft, adding an immediate-impact edge rusher from the college ranks will also be difficult.

GM Dave Gettleman recently noted that improving a club’s secondary can have a trickle-down effect on its pass rush, and sources expect Gettleman to prioritize cornerbacks in free agency, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. The Cowboys’ Byron Jones and the Broncos’ Chris Harris are the two top CBs on the market, and Dunleavy believes New York will at least make a pitch to Jones. We recently heard that the Panthers’ James Bradberry‘s price tag may be too rich for the Giants, though Bradberry is not as accomplished as Harris or Jones.

But even if the Giants land a coveted defender or two in free agency, they could still make defense a priority in the draft. They have been linked to Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, and league sources are telling Matt Miller of Bleacher Report that the club is likely to take Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons. Simmons is listed as a linebacker, but his versatility — which includes plenty of pass rush ability — is perhaps his best asset.

If the Giants don’t love their options with the No. 4 pick, they could trade back and perhaps land one of this year’s top left tackle prospects. But Gettleman has never traded down in his seven drafts as GM, and Vacchiano writes in a separate piece that Gettleman will not drop down too far, if he drops down at all. The Giants could be a trade partner for a club looking for a QB, but those teams aren’t picking too far behind New York, so Gettleman will still be able to land an elite player if he chooses to sell the No. 4 selection.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants More Open To Trading Down?

As he enters his eighth season as a GM, Dave Gettleman has a strange streak going. Neither the Panthers nor Giants have traded down during a draft. But with the Giants possessing several big needs after a third straight woeful season, their third-year GM appears more open to the prospect of moving down to collect additional assets.

While no discussions have taken place yet, Gettleman sounds amenable to trading down, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. The arrival of longtime Patriots assistant Joe Judge and an organizational desire to shift philosophies have contributed to the team’s newfound interest in potentially moving back in Round 1, Vacchiano adds.

After the Giants’ 2016 playoff season — the franchise’s lone postseason berth since Super Bowl XLVI — they have gone 12-36. Save for maybe defensive line, the team has needs at every defensive position while also lacking a young talent at either offensive tackle spot.

Judge observed Bill Belichick execute trade-down maneuvers annually, and Vacchiano adds the Giants’ new HC will have supporters in the building to move back from the team’s No. 4 overall slot. This marks the third straight year the Giants have held a top-six pick. The franchise has not traded down in the first round since the Ernie Accorsi regime, when the team slid down seven spots in 2006 and selected Matthias Kiwanuka.

Another reason the Giants will consider moving down: quarterback-seeking teams’ interest in Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, sources informed Vacchiano. The Dolphins have let it be known they are committed to taking a quarterback, and they have been linked to moving up from their No. 5 spot to do so. The Lions also do not appear in the quarterback market, so they could put their No. 3 pick for sale as well. The Chargers pick at No. 6; they are moving on from Philip Rivers. At No. 7, the Panthers may be leaning in that direction with Cam Newton. The Giants figure to have options if they decide to sell their top choice.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Josh McDaniels’ Plans

Josh McDaniels will honor each of his interview requests in this hiring period. In addition to meeting with the Browns, the Patriots offensive coordinator will sit down with the Giants and Panthers this week.

Prior to the Pats’ playoff loss to the Titans on Saturday night, those interviews were expected to take place Friday, January 10, in Foxborough, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). But now that New England has been bounced from the postseason, the three interested clubs will get to hear from McDaniels starting on Monday, January 6, as Michael Lombardi of The Athletic tweets. The Panthers, though, will meet with McDaniels on January 10 as planned, given that they are busy with other interviews (via David Newton of ESPN.com).

Veteran NFL reporter Ed Werder also believes the Cowboys, who have not been formally connected to McDaniels just yet, to have interest in him (Twitter link).

While the Browns met with McDaniels back in 2014, the Giants have also interviewed him previously. They did so two years ago for a job that went to the recently fired Pat Shurmur.

McDaniels, however, may have a clearer path to the Cleveland or Carolina jobs. Skepticism exists on the New York front. Some around the league have doubted the 43-year-old assistant is as interested in the Giants as they are in him, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, who adds that Dave Gettleman‘s role may pose a problem for McDaniels. Gettleman being in place as Big Blue’s GM would not necessarily be a deal-breaker, but McDaniels’ potential demand for more say in personnel matters does not appear to be what Giants ownership prefers.

Despite McDaniels’ previous run with personnel power going poorly (with the Broncos in 2009-10, the Browns will likely be willing to give the Ohio native such a role. They plan to hire a coach before adding a GM, and McDaniels is believed to be the frontrunner for the Cleveland position. The Panthers have GM Marty Hurney in place, but with the two-stint Carolina executive being hired before David Tepper bought the team, that situation is fluid. Gettleman has said he would cede some power if it would help the Giants, Vacchiano adds the team is not likely to offer its next coach such an opportunity.

McDaniels will want a personnel staffer he trusts to accompany him to New York, per Vacchiano. But John Mara said whomever the Giants hire will not determine Gettleman’s role, so a McDaniels-Nick Caserio partnership in New York seems unlikely to commence. Regardless, McDaniels’ stock has returned to where it was before he spurned the Colts in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman On Not Wanting To Fire Pat Shurmur, Coaching Search

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has caught a lot of flak from both the media and fans, but he is surviving for at least one more year. The team fired head coach Pat Shurmur after the season, but announced they’d be retaining Gettleman for 2020. With his job safe for the time being Gettleman made a couple of appearances on ESPN Radio and WFAN in New York and made some interesting comments, via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post.

Perhaps most notably, Gettleman admitted that he didn’t want to fire Shurmur, the first coach he hired, and that the order came directly from ownership. “Came from above,” he said of the decision. There were reports that co-owner Steve Tisch was pushing for Shurmur’s firing, and his view ultimately won out with controlling owner John Mara. Many questioned the decision to bring back Eli Manning for 2019 and pay his hefty salary if they were going to bench him after only two games, but Gettleman insisted ownership played no role in making that call.

Gettleman was previously the GM in Carolina, where he worked with recently hired Redskins coach Ron Rivera. Gettleman revealed that New York would’ve been interested in a reunion, but they didn’t have the chance because they waited until after the season to fire Shurmur, whereas Washington had a head start. “Before we could turn around,” Gettleman said, “the [Redskins] deal was done.”

The front office head also revealed that it was Shurmur who originally identified and brought quarterback Daniel Jones to his attention. Gettleman then fell in love with the signal-caller from Duke, and ended up taking him sixth overall. Gettleman said on both radio programs that he would be willing to give up some of his power on personnel decisions to a new head coach depending on the candidate. With ownership calling the shots, he might not have a choice.

New York has been busy, already scheduling a slate of interviews, which you can keep track of via our head coaching search tracker. Below are a list of names we’ve heard about as of right now:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Fire HC Pat Shurmur, Will Retain GM Dave Gettleman

The Giants have fired head coach Pat Shurmur, according to multiple sources, including Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Shurmur went 9-23 in his two seasons as Big Blue’s sideline general.

Meanwhile, the club will retain GM Dave Gettleman, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). A report from ESPN yesterday indicated that this was the expected outcome, but it could have a bearing on the team’s head coaching search. Several sources, like Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (via Twitter), believe Baylor head coach Matt Rhule will be New York’s top choice to replace Shurmur, but a candidate like Rhule could require authority over personnel matters before agreeing to accept a head coaching position and leaving his current comfortable post.

In any event, the writing was on the wall for Shurmur. There was some thought that he could be retained for a third year in order to maintain continuity for QB Daniel Jones, but his play-calling and decision-making were repeatedly called into question during his brief tenure with the Giants, and we heard earlier this month that organizational support for him was dimming. He was by no means gifted with a playoff-worthy roster, but it’s difficult to fault the Giants for the move.

However, New York will now be seeking its fourth head coach in four years, and with their QB of the future apparently in tow, the club needs to get this hire right. Announcing that Gettleman will be back before the HC search can truly commence seems to be an odd way of doing business, but the job is attractive enough that the Giants may still be able to land the candidate of their choice. Indeed, Rhule and Gettleman worked together on the 2012 Giants and do have a relationship.

In a statement, co-owner John Mara said:

“Dave Gettleman is our general manager in 2020 and hopefully for many years after that. We believe he is the right person to lead us going forward. Dave has a long record of success. We think he’s capable of putting a great team together and he’s going to get that opportunity. To the extent we need to make changes in personnel or the way we do things, we’re going to discuss that.”

The statement also indicated that the team’s search for a new HC will be “extensive.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants To Retain GM Dave Gettleman?

Dec. 29: ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on ESPN’s Sunday Countdown that Gettleman is indeed likely to be back with the Giants in 2020 (h/t Giants Daily on Twitter).

Dec. 19: While it seems as though the Giants are increasingly likely to part with head coach Pat Shurmur this offseason, the status of GM Dave Gettleman is a bit murkier. Many have speculated that Gettleman, like Shumur, is on the hot seat, but Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv does not necessarily believe that’s the case.

One team source has told Vacchiano that there has been no indication at all that a GM change is forthcoming, and while that may not mean much in and of itself, everyone seems to agree that ownership does not want to make such a change. Co-owner John Mara has spoken in the past about the difficulties that come with a GM ouster, including massive internal overhaul and potential changing of philosophies. Because of that reality, the Giants have historically been patient with their GMs; as Vacchiano notes, from 1979 through 2017, the Giants had three general managers with an average tenure of 13 seasons.

Ownership understands that it can take years for a GM to build an organization in his image, and while a head coach cannot be expected to spin gold out of a roster of hay, it’s much easier to evaluate a coach over the short-term because one can at least see his approach, the discipline he instills in his team, and his game management. Vacchiano concedes that Gettleman has made some head-scratching moves, but he also believes that the former Panthers GM has not done anything to hamstring the Giants over the long-term.

Vacchiano writes, “[Gettleman] took over a team with salary cap issues, weighed down with bloated contracts given to overrated players, an aging quarterback, a crumbling offensive line, a locker room that had just revolted on its coach and showed an alarming lack of character and accountability in many corners, and was finishing off a 3-13 season — its fourth losing season in five years. And he not only found a franchise quarterback, he paired him with one of the most promising running backs to hit the NFL in years, and revamped the roster with a small army of first- and second-year players — 10 of which were in the starting lineup on Sunday afternoon.”

It’s unclear whether the Giants share Vacchiano’s views, but given the team’s track record, it would not be surprising to see Gettleman back with Big Blue in 2020. But considering Gettleman was in charge of the Shurmur hire, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the dynamics of the next head coaching search if Gettleman stays but Shurmur goes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Shurmur, Vander Esch, Eagles

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is clearly on the hot seat, and everything we have heard this year suggests that he could be fired at season’s end. And as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes, the sentiment for bringing Shurmur back for the 2020 season is dimming within the organization because there is simply no concrete reason to suggest that he should be retained. Previous reports indicated that Shurmur could keep his job simply for the sake of giving young QB Daniel Jones some continuity, but Schwartz says the cons of keeping Shurmur outweigh that potential pro.

Schwartz does not offer an update on Big Blue’s plans for GM Dave Gettleman, and the fact that the Giants have historically practiced patience with their GMs and knew that they were tasking Gettleman with a rebuilding job could mean that he is safe for 2020. But will the team trust him to hire another HC since the Shurmur hire has flopped, or will ownership just clean house and start afresh? All options are definitely on the table.

Let’s take a swing around the NFC East:

  • Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has not played since November 17 due to a neck injury, and while there has been some improvement, the 23-year-old is still not ready to practice, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The club is not ready to put Vander Esch on IR just yet, but it sounds like that could be a possibility.
  • The Eagles may have lost WR Alshon Jeffery for the season, and as Bo Wulf and Zach Berman of The Athletic write, Nelson Agholor‘s status remains up in the air. Agholor sat out the team’s Monday night win with a knee injury, so Philly may need to make more than one WR roster move. Old friend Jordan Matthews just signed with the 49ers, so Berman believes it’s more likely that the team will promote one or two of their taxi squad wideouts than sign a free agent. Wulf, though, names a few players on other practice squads that the Eagles could poach.
  • Speaking of Jeffery, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com says the Eagles have no choice but to release the veteran wideout if they cannot find a trade partner for him (which seems highly unlikely). Because the team guaranteed Jeffery’s 2020 salary earlier this year in order to create more cap room, cutting Jeffery will result in an enormous dead cap number of over $26MM in 2020. That seems like an impossible pill to swallow, even if the club were to designate him as a post-June 1 cut to spread out the dead cap money over two years, but Shorr-Parks believes the team will indeed cut Jeffery if he cannot be traded.