Jimmy Raye III

AFC Notes: Pats, Broncos, Texans, Bills

In an interview Wednesday with Charlie Rose of CBS, Gisele Bundchen, wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, said that the five-time Super Bowl winner “had a concussion last year” and “has concussions” that they don’t talk about (Twitter link). If Brady actually has dealt with head injuries and the Patriots have been aware of them, they could face discipline from the NFL. After all, the Pats have never listed Brady’s alleged concussions on the injury report. For its part, the league issued a statement Wednesday (via Doug Kyed of NESN) indicating that it’s now looking into the matter, saying: “There are no records that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms. Today we have been in contact with the NFLPA and will work together to gather more information from the club’s medical staff and Mr. Brady. The health and safety of our players is our foremost priority and we want to ensure that all our players have and continue to receive the best care possible.”

More from the AFC:

  • Running back Jamaal Charles, one of the Broncos’ highest-profile pickups this offseason, only has a 50-50 shot to make their roster, opines Mike Klis of 9News. While the 30-year-old Charles averaged a whopping 5.5 yards per carry with AFC West rival Kansas City from 2008-16, knee injuries limited him to a combined eight games over the past two seasons. Combining Charles’ recent health issues with, as Klis notes, his low-money contract and the presences of fellow runners C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and rookie De’Angelo Henderson, Charles might not play a down for Denver.
  • As expected, the Texans have added ex-Colts executive Jimmy Raye III to their front office. Raye will serve as the Texans’ vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com was among those to report. He’s replacing Brian Gaine, who left Houston for Buffalo earlier this week. Additionally, the club has tabbed Rob Kisiel as its director of pro personnel and Mike Martin as its assistant director of college scouting.
  • The Bills, continuing to reshuffle their front office, have announced the hiring of Lake Dawson as their assistant director of college scouting. Formerly with the Titans and Browns, Dawson joins Gaine, Joe Schoen and Malik Boyd as additions the Bills have made to their front office since naming Brandon Beane their general manager last week. Dawson was a wide receiver with the Chiefs from 1994-97.

Texans Expected To Hire Jimmy Raye III

The Texans will likely hire former Colts executive Jimmy Raye III to replace Brian Gaine as director of player personnel, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link).Texans Helmet (Vertical)

Raye, who had worked with Indianapolis since 2013, served as the Colts’ interim general manager following the firing of Ryan Grigson and preceding the hiring of Chris Ballard. While he was at one point considered the favorite for the GM position, Raye was forced out of a job after Ballard was added. Raye was a candidate for the 49ers’ general manager gig in 2017, and in the running for the Titans’ top job in 2016.

Replacing Gaine could be a tall task, as Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reported yesterday that Gaine was an integral part of Houston’s front office. Gaine reportedly served as a liaison between the Texans’ management and coaching staff, a critical role in an organization where decision-makers haven’t always “been on the same page.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: 49ers, Cowboys, Colts, Dobbs

Of all the quarterbacks in this year’s draft, Iowa’s C.J. Beathard was the only one 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan had interest in selecting, details Peter King of The MMQB. Shanahan ultimately got his man toward the end of the third round, pick No. 104, after the 49ers sent the 109th and 219th choices to Minnesota to trade up. “We’d all sleep a little better if we got him instead of waiting ’til tomorrow,” CEO Jed York told other members of the 49ers’ draft room before they moved up for Beathard. Shanahan compares Beathard to a former pupil, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, noting that Beathard “processes the game so well” and is “tough as sh–.”

More from around the game:

  • Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick is “miffed” that he was the subject of trade rumors during the draft, reports Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). Nevertheless, Scandrick, who was on hand Monday for the second phase of Cowboys workouts, is “being professional,” Hill adds.
  • Rookie general manager Chris Ballard‘s restructuring of the Colts’ scouting department has led to the ouster of Jimmy Raye III. The Colts parted with Raye, their former vice president of football operations, on Monday, tweets Albert Breer of The MMQB. The two sides split on “amicable” terms, per Breer. At one point this past winter, Raye looked like the favorite to succeed the fired Ryan Grigson as the Colts’ GM. Now, he’ll presumably look to catch on with another team’s front office.
  • The belief is that the Seahawks and Vikings had interest in Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs on the third day of the draft, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Dobbs ended up with the Steelers in the fourth round, pick No. 135. The Seahawks used their fourth-rounder, No. 111, on Colorado safety Tedric Thompson. Minnesota selected Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon 120th.
  • Chattanooga defensive end Keionta Davis is a “name to watch” as the undrafted free agent process continues, notes Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Senior Bowl invitee was a third- to fifth-round possibility before a bulging disc scared teams away on draft weekend. Davis’ specialist expects his neck to heal, though, according to Rapoport.

GM/Staff Notes: 49ers, Colts, Saints, Broncos

The 49ers’ shocking general manager choice, John Lynch, will face a “steep” learning curve as a front office neophyte, ex-Lions GM Matt Millen told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. As was the case with Millen, whom Detroit hired in 2001, Lynch is coming from the broadcasting booth to take the helm of a franchise. It didn’t go well for Millen, under whom Detroit went 31-84 before it fired him in 2008. “You need to be schooled,” said Millen. “You need to be mentored. You need to have somebody you can go to. That’s not easy.” Lynch could have a less difficult time breaking into his new job than Millen, notes Branch, who points out that soon-to-be 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is likely to have 53-man roster control. Assistant GM Tom Gamble will also be around to help Lynch make the transition.

More on the NFL’s front offices and coaching staffs:

  • Newly minted Colts GM Chris Ballard received a five-year contract, according to Mike Chappell of FOX59. Colts vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III was among the candidates Ballard beat out for the role, and owner Jim Irsay revealed Raye nearly got the job, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. Irsay assured Raye, who will remain in the Colts’ Ballard-led front office, that someone else will give him a shot as a GM if the Colts orchestrate a turnaround (all Twitter links here).
  • While Ballard reportedly isn’t committed to going forward with Chuck Pagano beyond the 2017 season, he spoke glowingly of the five-year head coaching veteran Monday. “There were no other options. Chuck Pagano is a great coach,” said Ballard (Twitter link via Holder). Upon Ballard’s hiring, Pagano stated Sunday that he’s “extremely excited” to work with the rookie GM (via the Colts’ Twitter account).
  • The Saints have hired Mike Nolan to coach their linebackers, his previous employer, SiriusXM NFL Radio, announced (on Twitter). Nolan coached the Chargers’ linebackers in 2015 and has been a defensive coordinator with seven teams, though he’s best known for an 18-37 run as San Francisco’s head coach from 2005-08.
  • Broncos head coach Vance Joseph has added “assistant head coach” to running backs coach Eric Studesville‘s title, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. Studesville drew interest from the Jets earlier this month in their search for an offensive coordinator, but he elected to stay in Denver, where he has coached RBs since 2010.

Extra Points: Colts, Bills, Hightower, Beasley

Broncos quarterbacks struggled during the 2016 campaign, leading some to wonder if the team could pursue a veteran option this offseason. That thought has apparently crossed receiver Emmanuel Sanders‘ mind, as the wideout said he’d certainly benefit if the squad acquired Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

“I believe I would benefit,” Sanders said (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com). “But one thing about it is: I’m always gonna take it back and I’m just gonna put it on John Elway. In John Elway I trust. If he does bring him over, I think Tony Romo will fit good in [Mike] McCoy’s system. It’s a no-huddle, up-tempo offense. I think that it’s gonna be similar to the Cowboys. I think he has Demaryius Thomas and some receiver No. 10 on the other side. I feel like we will win ballgames with Tony Romo or potentially a championship. At the same time, Paxton Lynch played in a spread offense at Memphis and he can be successful. I think Trevor can be successful. We’ll see what we do. I can’t sit up here and say ‘Bring Tony Romo!’ because I also have two other quarterbacks that are playing really well too.”

During his introductory press conference, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said Trevor Siemian and Lynch would compete for the starting quarterback gig.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL as we wrap up this Monday evening…

  • Colts owner Jim Irsay will be hiring the team’s new general manager on his own, reports Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Since Irsay won’t be relying on other team officials, Florio believes Irsay will lean towards promoting executive Jimmy Raye III. The writer cites the owner’s familiarity with Raye, as well as the executive’s supposed willingness to stick with head coach Chuck Pagano.
  • The Bills have hired Chiefs assistant head coach/wide receivers coach David Culley as their new quarterbacks coach, reports Alex Marvez of The Sporting News (via Twitter). Culley spent more than a decade with the Eagles before joining Andy Reid and the Chiefs in 2013. We heard earlier tonight that the Chiefs had hired former Eagles wide receivers coach Greg Lewis for the same position.
  • Browns linebacker Jamie Collins received a four-year, $50MM extension earlier today. CBSSports.com’s Joel Corry believes the contract should serve as a “floor” for Collins former teammate, Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower (Twitter link). Corry notes that the Patriots will have a tough time convincing Hightower’s agent that the linebacker deserves less than the player they traded away.
  • Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley was close to being traded or cut during training camp, reports Gil Brandt of NFL.com (via Twitter). The fear of being let go apparently motivated the former first-rounder, as Beasley finished the season with 39 tackles, 15.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles.

Jimmy Raye III Favorite For Colts’ GM Job

Jimmy Raye III, who is acting as the Colts’ interim GM in the wake of Ryan Grigson‘s dismissal, is the favorite to become the team’s full-time GM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Rapoport adds that, if head coach Chuck Pagano has a vote in the matter–and it’s not clear that he does, given his apparently tenuous grasp on his own position–Raye would get that vote.

Jim Irsay (Vertical)

We learned last night that the Colts’ GM job is viewed as one of the premier posts in the NFL, and that it would attract the eye of multiple rival executives. And that makes sense, given that Indianapolis has a star quarterback already signed to a long-term deal, an owner who, for all his eccentricities, does exhibit patience with his hires, and the potential opportunity to hire a new head coach at the end of the 2017 season. But despite the attractiveness of the position, the Colts may already have their man in Raye, who interviewed for the 49ers’ GM job but did not make the list of finalists.

Raye, who participated in all of two games in his NFL playing career (as a wide receiver for the Rams in 1991), certainly paid his dues over the following two-plus decades. He served as the Chiefs’ offensive quality control coach in 1995 before working in the Chargers’ organization from 1996-2012, first as a scout, then as director of college scouting, then as director of player personnel. He joined the Colts in 2013 as the club’s vice president of football operations, and he served in that capacity until yesterday, when he became the interim GM.

Raye is the son of Jimmy Raye II, who worked as a coach and offensive coordinator for a number of teams from 1977-2013.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Colts’ Decision-Making Structure

The Colts will conduct an expansive GM search, owner Jim Irsay said Saturday (via Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, on Twitter) and one that will include internal candidate Jimmy Raye III. The team will interview Raye, the Colts’ VP of football operations, for the position, and Raye will serve as interim general manager in the meantime.

Raye and Chuck Pagano will travel to the Senior Bowl to head up the team’s presence there. Pagano will stay on as the Colts’ coach in 2017, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This comes after Irsay fired GM Ryan Grigson, whose hire led to Pagano’s in 2012.

I hope Chuck can be our coach for many years to come. He is our coach,” Irsay said.

Another report surfaced just before Irsay’s press conference noting Peyton Manning has a high-level Colts executive job waiting for him if he wants it, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com writes. However, Irsay said today Manning is not in consideration for the GM job, Scheter tweets. The owner and his previous employee had conversations this offseason, however, and Breer tweets Manning would be considered for a role in the organization, per Irsay.

Regarding the Jon Gruden pursuit, Irsay denied he talked to the current ESPN analyst for the team’s HC position. Instead, the owner said the conversations with Gruden were to get feedback on the team, per Holder (on Twitter). Irsay also said he’s had discussions with former GM Bill Polian but added he will not have a role with the organization, Holder tweets.

Raye interviewed for the 49ers’ GM job but was not given finalist consideration. Irsay noted today he has a list of candidates in mind, but the assortment is fluid at this point, Holder tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Narrow General Manager Search

The 49ers have informed several candidates from their general manager search that they’re out of the running for the job, per a team announcement.

49ers Helmet (Featured)

“The 49ers pared down its list of general manager candidates (Wednesday) morning and thanked those who will not be included in the second round of interviews,” tweeted 49ers spokeman Bob Lange. “Upcoming interviews will be announced as they were in the first round.”

Specifically, the Niners will not invite Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane, Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, Colts vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III or ESPN analyst Louis Riddick back for second interviews, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).

Even before San Francisco eliminated those four from its GM mix, each seemingly had slim odds to land the role. Packers director of college scouting Brian Gutekunst emerged as the favorite earlier this week, and the Niners will also reportedly hold second meetings with Green Bay director of football operations Eliot Wolf and Vikings assistant GM George Paton next week. Those interviews will take place in Atlanta, where Kyle Shanahan coaches. The current Falcons offensive coordinator is the only candidate left for the 49ers’ head coaching position, and he’s set to help the team’s management pick a GM.

Along with Gutekunst, Wolf and Paton, Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is still in play, per Barrows. However, the 49ers have not yet requested another sitdown with him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching/FO Rumors: 1/8/17

We’ve already heard a few coaching and front office rumors today, including news on an extension for Andy Reid, the future of John Dorsey, and the Bills’ continued search for a new head coach. We will round up a few more rumors on that front right here. Revisit this post for updates throughout the day, and also check out our NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker.

  • In addition to Anthony Lynn, the Rams are also interviewing Doug Marrone for their vacant head coaching position today, according to Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com (via Twitter). Schrager tweets, however, that Marrone is still “very much in contention” for the Jaguars‘ head coaching job.
  • The 49ers will interview Seahawks co-directors of player personnel Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer for their vacant GM job next Monday, and they will interview Seattle’s assistant head coach Tom Cable for their vacant head coaching job next Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The 49ers are interviewing the Colts‘ vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III for their GM job today, as Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets.

Latest On 49ers’ GM Search

San Francisco’s head coaching vacancy is garnering the bulk of media attention, but the club also has an opening at general manager after dismissing Trent Baalke last Sunday. The 49ers already lined up interviews with a pair of GM candidates from the Packers, and they’ll also meet with ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Colts vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III and Vikings assistant GM George Paton, via reports from Adam Schefter of ESPN, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee and Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter links here).

49ers Helmet (Featured)

Riddick began his NFL career in 1991 as a safety with the Niners, but the ninth-round pick never played a game with the team. After his playing career ended in 2001 (with an XFL team, in fact), Riddick worked his way up the front offices in Washington and Philadelphia, topping out as the Eagles’ director of pro personnel from 2010-13. Speaking Monday on ESPN, Riddick raved about the appeal of the 49ers’ GM gig, notes Maiocco.

Like Riddick, Raye has a connection with the 49ers. His father, Jimmy Raye II, worked as San Francisco’s wide receivers coach in 1977 and then served as its offensive coordinator from 2009-10. The younger Raye, 48, has been in the Colts’ front office since 2013. His extensive duties in Indianapolis include overseeing the undrafted free agent process, according to the team’s website. Raye was on the Titans’ radar last year before they tabbed Jon Robinson as their GM.

Paton, who just finished his 10th season with the Vikings, previously held prominent positions with the Dolphins and Bears. Those same Bears (along with the Jets) wanted him as their GM prior to the 2015 campaign, but he refused interviews with each club. Paton also rejected proposed meetings with the Titans and Lions last winter, but it now seems he’s open to leaving Minnesota.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.