Glenn Cook

2022 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

Along with the head coaches being fired, a few NFL teams are looking for new general managers. 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 1-27-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Bears Request To Interview Chargers’ Wooden

Do not be surprised if you start getting calls from Chicago because the Bears are searching far and wide to fill their vacant general manager position and they are interviewing EVERYBODY! The newest candidate to add to the list is Chargers’ director of player personnel, JoJo Wooden, according to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Wooden has been with the Chargers since 2013 overseeing the pro and college scouting department for the Chargers. He got his start with the Jets in 1997 and spent 10 seasons working his way up from pro personnel assistant to the assistant director, player personnel, a position he held for six more years.

What makes Wooden an interesting candidate for the Bears’ job is the connections he has to the search committee. Bears Senior Writer Larry Mayer reported a couple days ago that Bill Polian, who has spent time as a general manager for the Bills, Panthers, and, most notably, the Colts, will be a resource to the Bears as they go through the process of hiring a new head coach and general manager. Wooden is known as a key lieutenant for the Chargers’ current general manager Tom Telesco, and Telesco worked under Polian during Polian’s entire tenure in Indianapolis.

To date, the Bears have already interviewed the Browns’ Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Glenn Cook and their own assistant director of player personnel, Champ Kelly. They’ve also requested interviews with the Colts’ Morocco Brown and Ed Dodds, the 49ers’ Ran Carthon, the Saints’ Jeff Ireland, the Steelers’ Omar Khan, the Giants’ Joe Schoen, and the Patriots’ Eliot Wolf. Texans’ former general manager Rick Smith has also been identified as a candidate.

Vikings Begin GM Interview Requests

Likely set to hire an outside GM for the first time in over a decade, the Vikings have taken a bit more time to send out their interview requests. But they sent out their first summons Wednesday night.

Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook received a Vikes interview request, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets. Cook has landed on the radar of both the NFC North’s GM-seeking franchises, having interviewed for the Bears’ GM gig Wednesday.

In addition to Cook, the Vikings sent out requests to speak with Patriots senior consultant Eliot Wolf and fellow Browns staffer Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Those two are also on Chicago’s interview list.

Previously in the Packers organization, Cook joined the Browns in 2016. Cook started in the scouting department and rose to the level of assistant pro scouting director, before climbing to his current post in 2020. The Browns were not exactly a sought-after organization for executive talent when Cook arrived, but they have seen multiple execs receive interview requests during this cycle. Both Minnesota’s other two early interview hopefuls worked in Cleveland, where longtime Vikings assistant Kevin Stefanski landed.

Prior to stays in Cleveland and New England, Wolf enjoyed a lengthy Green Bay tenure. The son of Hall of Fame GM Ron Wolf, Eliot has been in the GM mix for a few years now. Yet to rise to a GM role, Wolf interviewed for the Packer job that went to Brian Gutekunst. He also was in the mix for the Colts’ GM post in 2017. The Browns’ vice president of football operations, Adofo-Mensah spent time with the 49ers before joining the Browns in 2020. He interviewed for the Panthers’ GM position last year.

The Vikings are seeking to replace Rick Spielman, who had been with the organization since 2006. In addition to the three requests sent out, Colts VP of player personnel Ed Dodds and Chiefs director of football administration Brandt Tillis are potential candidates, ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin tweets.

Bears Request Interviews With Three Execs For GM Gig

In addition to head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears also decided to fire GM Ryan Pace today, and the organization is initially eyeing three names to lead their front office. Per Albert Breer of TheMMQB (via Twitter), the Bears requested interviews with Browns VP of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and VP of player personnel Glenn Cook. Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Bears also requested an interview with Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown.

[RELATED: Bears Fire HC Matt Nagy, GM Ryan Pace]

Adofo-Mensah started his NFL career as director of football research with the 49ers before getting hired into his current role in Cleveland. While the Stanford product hasn’t been in Cleveland all that long, he’s already turned into a popular GM candidate, with the executive getting an interview for the Panthers GM opening last offseason.

Cook was previously in the Packers organization before joining the Browns in 2016. After initially starting in the scouting department, Cook eventually got promoted to VP of player personnel.

Brown had a seven-year stint as the Bears assistant director of pro personnel, so he’s already got plenty of familiarity with ownership. He’s served as a top executive in Indy for the past five years, with Brown earning credit for his draft evaluation. He interviewed for the Falcons GM gig last offseason.

Browns Exec: COVID-19 May Impact Spending

Throughout the offseason, the pandemic has held up contract signings for this year’s rookies as well as extensions. As the uncertainty continues, vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook admits that the Browns’ plans have “somewhat” changed their approach (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com).

[RELATED: Clowney’s Best Multi-Year Offer Came From Browns]

All of that goes into play when we’re talking about any of these moves that we’re looking to make, whether it’s extensions, signing free agents, possibly trades or even going into 2021 and 2022,” Cook said. “It does somewhat change what our overall plan is and we actually initially did have some conversations around that just in terms of team planning — not specific to Myles [Garrett] — and just what that looks like given what COVID was saying in February, March or going into the next year. Yes, you do think about that with all the moves we make and all the decisions that may come into play now and into the season.”

The Browns’ intention to keep Garrett for the long haul hasn’t changed, but it sounds like the Browns’ may think long and hard about the payout structure for all of their forthcoming deals. Meanwhile, they’ve got nearly $40MM in cap space to work with this year. A truly conservative approach could see Cleveland hold on to some of those dollars and roll them into 2021, when things will hopefully be more stable.

Meanwhile, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap (Twitter link) estimates that only a handful of teams prepared for a labor stoppage this year and wonders how many owners are instructing their GMs to halt spending, rather than planning proactively.

Browns Announce Front Office Moves

New Browns GM Andrew Berry announced a series of additions, promotions, and title changes on his player personnel staff today.

The entire list can be found here, courtesy of the team’s official website. Some of the moves, like the hiring of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as vice president of football operations and the addition of former Colts GM Ryan Grigson, have been reported previously.

Grigson, though, finally has a formal title: senior football advisor. He and Berry have a long-standing professional relationship, but Berry said his familiarity with Grigson is not the reason he was brought on board. “[Grigson] is here because I think he is very good,” Berry said. “He has a very established track record as a personnel evaluator from his time in St. Louis at the time, Philly and then obviously, Indianapolis. General Manager experience, rebuilt the Colts into a winner very quickly, Executive of the Year. And that is something that is valuable to me.”

Adofo-Mensah, who spent seven years with the 49ers, will be a part of all roster and strategy decisions and will also assist Berry with day-to-day operations (he is essentially the assistant GM). “I think [Adofo-Mensah] brings a nice blend of both an insider and an outsider perspective to football,” Berry said. “He is humble, high integrity, a continuous learner, true growth mindset and he has fantastic interpersonal and people skills … I think he is really a perfect fit to add to the mix.”

Meanwhile, former assistant director of scouting Glenn Cook, who has been with the Browns since 2016, has been promoted to vice president of player personnel. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the player personnel department, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, Cook will also be in charge of college and pro scouting. He will be assisted by Dan Saganey, the new director of player personnel.

Of course, there are also a number of new-age, analtyics positions. Nate Sterken will serve as the new lead data scientist, Andrew Jackson is the data architect, and Ken Kovash is the vice president of player personnel process and development. Berry has been lauded for the work he has done in his first few months on the job, and his roster looks like one that could compete for a playoff spot in 2020. Today’s moves are another step towards his putting his stamp on the organization.