Jimmy Raye III

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.

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.