Jimmy Raye III

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.

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Latest On Raiders, Reggie McKenzie

On Monday afternoon, the Raiders released a statement to confirm the firing of longtime GM Reggie McKenzie.

We are grateful for everything Reggie has done for this organization as a player, executive and member of the Raider family,” the statement read. “The Raiders will immediately begin a search for a new front office executive.”

Curiously, the statement indicates that the Raiders will look “for a new front office executive,” which may mean that the club will not give anyone the title of GM for 2019.

Here’s the latest out of Oakland:

  • Those in the building say that Gruden actually liked McKenzie, even as Gruden picked apart the roster that he built, Albert Breer of The MMQB tweets. Things weren’t outwardly contentious between the two men, Breer hears, and he notes that McKenzie’s decision to set high asking prices for Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper actually paid off. Before each deal, there was speculation that McKenzie was looking to sandbag the efforts, but that does not appear to be the case in retrospect.
  • The Raiders may view executives such as Jimmy Raye III, Mark Dominik, and Chris Polian as candidates to become the new GM or chief of personnel, according to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). And, despite previous rumors linking Redskins exec Bruce Allen to the post, Pelissero hears that Allen is not “on the front burner” for the Raiders at this time.

Lions Hire Jimmy Raye III

The Lions added veteran NFL executive Jimmy Raye III as Senior Personnel Executive late last week, league sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Raye most recently served as the Texans’ assistant GM but was fired in April.

In his new role, Raye will work directly with GM Bob Quinn, Rapoport hears. Raye was “highly coveted” in league circles, so this is a solid get for Detroit as they build out the front office.

Raye climbed the ladder in Houston and become the team’s assistant GM when Brian Gaine left to join the Bills as their vice president of player personnel. When Gaine returned to Houston to take over for former GM Rick Smith, he cleaned house and fired five executives, including Raye.

Although Gaine was displaced in Houston, his experience was valued elsewhere in the league. Raye spent 17 years as a scout and executive with the Chargers, later served as vice president of player operations with the Colts, and has been a GM candidate for several clubs – including the Texans – in recent years.

Last year, the Lions missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Now under the guidance of a new head coach, they’ll look to get on the right track in 2018.

Texans Fire Jimmy Raye III, Other Scouting Personnel

The Texans just completed their first draft under new GM Brian Gaine, and now the team is shaking up its scouting department. Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the team has dismissed assistant GM Jimmy Raye III, director of college scouting Jon Carr, assistant director of college scouting Mike Martin, college scouting coordinator Matt Jansen, and college scout Seth Turner.

As Wilson observes, Martin was credited for uncovering UDFA gems like Arian Foster and A.J. Bouye, but the biggest name on that list is Raye, who actually replaced Gaine in Houston last season when Gaine went to Buffalo as the Bills’ vice president of player personnel. After 17 years as a scout and executive with the Chargers, Raye served as vice president of player operations with the Colts and has been a GM candidate for several clubs (including the Texans) in recent years.

All of the dismissed personnel were hired by former GM Rick Smith, and it is not unusual for an overhaul like this when a new general manager or head coach comes aboard. However, Carr and Martin had been with the team for over a decade, and both have a solid track record.

As of yet, there is no word on any potential replacements.

South Rumors: Panthers, Colts, Texans

Although the Panthers have two outside candidates set to interview for their GM post, they are expected to retain Marty Hurney, Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk notes. The Panthers do not plan to have a formal interview with its interim GM, who is in his second stint in this job, but “everyone in their building” knows Hurney will get the job over Jimmy Raye III and Lake Dawson. Both black, Raye and Dawson will satisfy the Rooney Rule requirement. However, Gantt notes that with the Panthers effectively knowing what they will do here, this represents another shortcoming of the rule — even if it’s not as transparent as the Raiders’ Jon Gruden hire. This franchise being up for sale, however, may not ensure optimal job security for Hurney. But he’s expected to receive another crack after running the Panthers this season.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions.

  • The Panthers‘ interview with Raye will take place on Thursday and they’ll meet with Dawson on Friday for the GM job, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Texans’ assistant GM, Raye interviewed for the top jobs in Houston, Indianapolis and San Francisco only to be passed over. The Bills’ assistant college scouting director, Dawson interviewed with the Panthers after they fired Hurney the first time. But Carolina chose Dave Gettleman.
  • Under expected new DC Matt Eberflus, the Colts are likely to implement a 4-3 scheme to take the place of the 3-4 look they’ve used for most of this decade, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star writes. Eberflus’ background comes in Dallas’ 4-3 look, one the Colts used to some success during their run of playoff berths in the 2000s. Outside linebackers John Simon and Jabaal Sheard would shift to ends, and Johnathan Hankins has four years’ experience as a 4-3 nose. Keefer notes the team will need to upgrade its linebacker situation, however, before this move comes to pass.
  • If the Texans want to become a 2018 contender, they need to address their offensive line, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com posits. Houston traded Duane Brown and has three starters eligible for free agency. And the team’s Jeff Allen contract has not worked out especially well. Derek Newton remains without a timetable, and the Texans — thanks to multiple trades with the Browns — do not have a pick in the first two rounds come April. So, some of the team’s free agency budget will need to be allocated here.
  • The Titans could be set to make ex-Ravens DC Dean Pees‘ retirement short.

Panthers Set Up GM Interviews For Next Week

Though interim general manager Marty Hurney is the frontrunner to be named the Panthers new GM, the team has also scheduled interviews with a pair of external candidates for next week, the Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person writesMarty Hurney (vertical)

Those two candidates are Texans assistant general manager Jimmy Raye III and Bills assistant college scouting director Lake Dawson. Both Raye and Dawson, as Person notes, satisfies the Rooney Rule that requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate.

Though a time has not been divulged, the Panthers are also expected to sit down with Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden, who formerly served as a scout with Carolina.

Raye, a former player with the Rams, joined the Houston front office after stints with the Colts, as vice president of football operations, and Chargers, as director of player personnel. He has 23 years of experience in the NFL and previously interview for the Texans GM job earlier this month. Dawson joined the Bills in May 2017 following a stint as Cleveland’s national scout. He served as a receiver for six seasons before getting into college and pro scouting.

Hurney, who rejoined the Panthers following the dismissal of Dave Gettleman in the 2017 offseason, will not have a formal interview. His contract runs through June and has been backed by head coach Ron Rivera. In his one season on the job, Hurney dealt top wideout Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo, which led to Carolina’s passing improvement down the stretch.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers To Interview Two Candidates For GM Gig

The Panthers will be interviewing a pair of general manager candidates this week. According to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the organization will talk to interim general manager Marty Hurney and Texans vice president of player personnel Jimmy Raye III about the full-time gig.

Marty HurneyHurney, who served as the Panthers GM for more than a decade during the early 2000s, reclaimed his former position (on an interim basis) after the organization fired Dave Gettleman last July. The executive was originally supposed to advise through the 2018 NFL draft and assist with finding a new general manager, but plenty has changed in the organization since that time. Following a successful 11-5 campaign, new chief operating officer Tina Becker could simply decide to remove the interim tag from Hurney’s title.

Meanwhile, Raye has moved up the front office ranks in recent years. The 49-year-old served as the Chargers’ director of player personnel from 2008 through 2012, and he moved on to become vice president of football operations with the Colts. In 2017, he served as vice president of player personnel/assistant general manager with the Texans. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the organization is also eyeing Bills executive Lake Dawson and Titans executive Ryan Cowden.

As ESPN’s David Newton writes, the Panthers general manager will certainly have their hands full this offseason. While the team has already extended head coach Ron Rivera, they’ll have to try to lock up a pair of key veterans in defensive end Julius Peppers and left guard Andrew Norwell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans To Interview Jimmy Raye III, Brian Gaine For GM Post

Mentioned as a possible candidate for the Texans’ GM job, Jimmy Raye III will have a chance to state his case for a promotion.

The Texans are interviewing Raye on Monday for the vacant GM job, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. Raye currently works as the franchise’s assistant GM and vice president of football operations.

Houston also scheduled a meeting with former exec Brian Gaine, who is now with the Bills. The Texans will meet with Gaine on Tuesday, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter).

The Bills’ current VP of player personnel is viewed as the favorite to take over for Rick Smith while he’s on a leave of absence. McClain also views Gaine as the favorite but notes Raye saw his responsibilities increase because Smith was spending additional time caring for his ailing wife (Twitter links).

Raye has worked in his current role for less than a year. Houston hired Raye in May to replace Gaine, who moved to Buffalo upon Brandon Beane becoming the Bills’ GM. Raye interviewed to become the Colts’ GM and operated as Indianapolis’ interim GM in between Ryan Grigson and Chris Ballard‘s tenures while also meeting with 49ers brass about San Francisco’s 2017 GM vacancy. Raye worked with the Colts for four years and spent 17 with the Chargers.

Gaine has interviewed for several GM jobs in over the past few years, doing so most recently with the Bills in May. He spent three seasons with the Texans and carries 19 years of NFL experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Eyeing Douglas, McClay For GM Job

The Texans are showing interest in Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas and Cowboys VP of player personnel Will McClay for their GM vacancy, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). They join Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst, and Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort as candidates tied to the opening. Texans Helmet (Vertical)

[RELATED: 2018 NFL General Manager Search Tracker]

Douglas was not included in the league’s annual list of prospective GM candidates, but he has wielded considerable influence over the Eagles in his year-and-a-half with the team. This past year, top exec Howie Roseman gave Douglas more control over the draft board that he has to previous lieutenants. Owner Jeffrey Lurie also recognizes the role that Douglas has had in the team’s success.

“The hiring of Joe Douglas, I thought, was the pivotal moment of the last year,” said Lurie.

Several teams have failed to lure McClay away from the Cowboys, but this could be the year that he finally leaves the nest. He is among the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s recommended minority candidates for GM jobs this offseason.

 

The Texans’ next GM will reportedly have roster control over head coach Bill O’Brien. But, in an interesting twist, O’Brien will be a part of the four-man team in charge of the hiring process along with McNair, team president Jamey Rootes, and vice chairman/CEO Cal McNair.

The GM job opened up this week when Rick Smith announced that he will be taking a leave of absence to care for his wife as she battles breast cancer. Both parties left the door open to Smith returning to his role as GM at some point, but that seems unlikely if a permanent hire is made. At minimum, the plan is for Smith to remain with the organization and carry the title of Executive Vice President.

Texans vice president of football operations/assistant general manager Jimmy Raye III may also be in the mix for the job, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.