Joe Douglas

Eagles Deny Texans Permission To Interview Joe Douglas

The Eagles denied the Texans permission to interview their VP of player personnel Joe Douglas, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). As shown in PFR’s GM Search Tracker, Douglas was one of seven execs tied to the job.

[RELATED: PFR’S 2018 GM Search Tracker]

Unless Howie Roseman surprises everyone by retiring, there’s no plausible way that Douglas can ascend to the Eagles’ top job. However, the Eagles could keep Douglas happy with some combination of a pay bump, a shiny new title, and maybe a tacit promise to be the heir apparent to Roseman, whenever that day comes.

Douglas joined the Eagles in 2016 and he’s already impressed ownership with his acumen. This past year, Roseman granted Douglas additional control over the team’s draft board.

Bills exec Brian Gaine is said to be the favorite for the job in Houston. Packers exec Brian Gutekunst, an exceptionally qualified candidate, will interview with the team on Sunday.

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.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Eagles, Injuries

The 49ers have won every game that Jimmy Garoppolo has started this season. However, general manager John Lynch knows that the team’s priority this offseason must be to surround his new signal caller with better talent, reports Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

Smith relays quotes that the first-year decision maker made on FS1 today that expresses his decision to move forward with the plan of building around Garoppolo.

“It frees you up in the draft to go looking for other needs and build your team around him,” said Lynch.

At the moment, San Francisco seems to have found two solid play makers in Marquise Goodwin and rookie Trent Taylor. But with running back Carlos Hyde‘s future with the team uncertain being that he will become an unrestricted free agent, the team needs more guys that can help elevate Garoppolo’s game.

It’s certainly a team with a number of holes, but there’s undoubtedly newfound hope that the organization has found their next franchise quarterback given this late season run.

Here’s more notes from around the NFC:

  • While the Eagles have a number of assistant coaches that could be in-line for head coaching gigs after the conclusion of this season, the team’s Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas has gone a bit under-the-radar in terms of garnering interest from general manager needy teams, opines Jeff McLane of The Inquirer. Douglas surprisingly wasn’t mentioned in the league’s annual list of prospective GM candidates. But despite not being named, owner Jeffrey Lurie has spoken highly of the number two football man in his front office. “The hiring of Joe Douglas, I thought, was the pivotal moment of the last year,” said Lurie. With Douglas’ guidance, the Eagles have made a number of quality football decisions that has led them to being on the verge of clinching home field advantage in the NFC. McLane does mention that while Douglas is highly-regarded in league circles, he’s still viewed as strictly a “football guy”, which isn’t the type of person that is now needed to lead an entire front office, according to McLane. Nevertheless, if the Eagles continue to dominant with Douglas partially at the helm, he definitely should start to become more sought after for a lead job in the years to come.
  • Despite the Cowboys getting Zeke back for the first time since Week 8, the team is still dealing with a number of injuries entering their season-defining Week 16 game against Seattle. Star left tackle Tyron Smith is currently dealing with back and knee injuries, but he will “give it a try” this Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Defensive tackle David Irving has been officially ruled out for a third straight game because of a concussion as well, reports David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Although, there is some good news on the injury front for the Cowboys as stud pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence practiced fully on Friday and is ready to go, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com.
  • The Seahawks are also dealing with a few critical injuries of their own prior to the Week 16 contest, even though the injury news seems to be a bit better on Seattle’s side. Head coach Pete Carroll said after practice that linebacker Bobby Wagner and strong safety Bradley McDougald are on track to play on Sunday, but the team would “wait-and-see” if cornerback DeShawn Shead would be activated from the PUP for this weekend’s matchup, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com.

NFC Rumors: Vikings, Zeke, Roseman, Cards

Harrison Smith underwent ankle surgery in February but is expected to be ready for training camp. The Vikings‘ top defensive back is ahead of schedule in his recovery from the left ankle operation, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but the team is expected to be cautious with him this offseason. A high ankle sprain hampered Smith toward the end of last season, and although the Pro Bowl defender returned for the Vikings’ final two games after missing two in December, a corrective procedure became necessary. A source informed Tomasson that Smith opted for surgery after playing on the injured ankle in the Pro Bowl led to it “getting worse.” Smith will enter the first season of his five-year, $51.25MM contract in 2017.

Here’s more from the NFC.

  • Jerry Jones acknowledged the Ezekiel Elliott video that emerged via TMZ last month is “not good.” The video shows the Cowboys running back lowering a woman’s top on a float at a Dallas St. Patrick’s Day parade. “There is not much that I want to say other than that was unfortunate and not good,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News,” Jones said. “It wouldn’t be the right emphasis one way or the other to get into any communications or dialogue since that happened. … I wouldn’t want to say on communication, but I’m aware of the incident and I’m aware of the criticism.” Representatives of the 21-year-old Elliott expect him to be cleared of wrongdoing in a 2016 domestic violence case, but this incident adds to a growing list of off-the-field drama for the talented back.
  • The Rams did not pursue T.J. McDonald or Case Keenum in free agency, according to the Los Angeles Times. An impending eight-game suspension reduced interest in McDonald, who landed with the Dolphins. Keenum signed with the Vikings.
  • Howie Roseman‘s given more power over the Eagles‘ draft board to VP of player personnel Joe Douglas than he did previous lieutenants Ryan Grigson or Tom Gamble, Jeff McLane of Philly.com writes. “The draft is going to be really built by Joe,” Jeffrey Lurie said, via McLane, before adding “the final decision will be made by Howie.” This will be Douglas’ first draft with the Eagles after landing in Philadelphia last May. McLane writes this will take some of the prospect-evaluation burden off of Roseman.
  • The Cardinals do not look set to add any notable help at either running back or wide receiver. Bruce Arians said (via Kent Somers of AZCentral.com) the team is content with what it has there. The fifth-year Cardinals coach noted Kerwynn Williams can be the No. 2 back behind David Johnson, and the coach expects a healthier season from John Brown. Somers notes depth pieces could come via lower-round picks or UDFAs, but it appears Arizona will address other positions with its higher draft picks.
  • Tim Hightower‘s 49ers deal is a one-year agreement, according to Nick Shook of NFL.com. The former Cardinals, Redskins and Saints back will turn 31 in May.

Eagles Will Keep Pederson, Roseman

The Rams, 49ers, Jaguars, Chargers, Bills, and Broncos are all in search of their next head coach. The Eagles won’t create a seventh NFL head coaching vacancy this offseason. The Eagles will retain coach Doug Pederson as well as executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, according to a team source who spoke with Zach Berman of the Philadelphia InquirerDoug Pederson (vertical)

[RELATED: Darren Sproles Likely To Retire Following 2017 Season]

Although the Eagles were hoping to do better than 7-9 this year, few expected the team to fire Pederson after just one year at the helm. Roseman only recently wrestled back control of the front office after the Chip Kelly ouster and there wasn’t much talk of him getting the boot either. Roseman has been with the organization since 2000 and has a strong relationship with team owners. Of course, the return of Pederson, Roseman, and Douglas doesn’t mean that there won’t be other changes made.

I’m going to evaluate everything,” Pederson said recently when asked about potential staff changes. “Obviously right now, nothing, but we’re just going to get into the offseason and we’re going to take some time to evaluate, but I don’t anticipate anything.”

The Eagles’ first-round pick (No. 12) is owned by the Browns. However, they’ll be picking at either No. 14 or No. 15 thanks to the pick they acquired from the Vikings in the Sam Bradford trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Hire Joe Douglas As Personnel Chief

MAY 11, 2:49pm: The Eagles have made the hirings of Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl official, announcing that Douglas is the new vice president of player personnel, while Weidl will be the assistant director of player personnel.

“I have known Joe for several years and have admired his work with both the Ravens and the Bears,” Howie Roseman said in a statement. “He is a guy that we had targeted from the outset. I feel that we are very fortunate to have him lead our player personnel department. (Ravens GM) Ozzie Newsome and (Bears GM) Ryan Pace spoke very highly of him and his work. He is passionate about football, passionate about scouting and he played a vital role in the success of the Ravens over the last decade.”

MAY 8, 7:32am: The Eagles are set to hire Douglas as a head of their personnel department, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Enquirer reports. The move is expected to become official on Monday, according to McLane.

MAY 4, 3:55pm: The Eagles are interviewing Joe Douglas for their personnel chief job, and there’s a very good chance the Bears executive will be hired following that meeting, according to multiple reports. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune first reported that Douglas, the Bears’ scouting director, would interview for the job opening in Philadelphia.Eagles Helmet (Featured)

While Biggs referred to Douglas as a “very strong candidate,” several reporters since then have gone even further. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the interview is “believed to be a mere formality,” while Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic (Twitter link) has heard from multiple sources that the job is Douglas’ if he wants it. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com adds (via Twitter) that the Bears are “bracing” for Douglas’ departure.

Having parted ways with head coach Chip Kelly and top personnel executive Ed Marynowitz at the start of the 2016 offseason, the Eagles handed the reins back to Howie Roseman, but had been on the lookout for an outside hire to head up their personnel department, replacing Marynowitz. After interviewing candidates like Brandon Hunt, Morocco Brown, Dwayne Joseph, and Mark Dominik in the winter, the Eagles decided to put their search on hold until after the draft. Now, they appear to have identified their preferred target, in Douglas.

Douglas, who joined the Bears approximately a year ago, spent the previous 15 years with the Ravens, serving as Baltimore’s national scout from 2012 to 2015. Assuming he is offered the Eagles’ job and accepts it, Douglas is expected to bring Ravens East Coast scout Andy Weidl with him, assigning him a prominent scouting role, tweets Mosher.

Per Mosher (via Twitter), Philadelphia’s official interview with Douglas will take place on Thursday, so we should have an update soon on whether he’ll be leaving Chicago to take the Eagles’ job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Personnel Dept. Notes: Titans, Lions, Eagles

Following the draft, Titans general manager Jon Robinson dismissed scouts Mike Yowarsky and Marv Sunderland, as Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com writes. Yowarsky was with the Titans for three seasons while Sunderland has spent the last nine with Tennessee.

It is the ugly part of the game, but new leadership has the prerogative to make changes,” said Sunderland, who has 39 total years of experience as a scout. “The Titans will be much better next fall and are headed in the right direction. Would I prefer to be there to watch Marcus [Mariota] and the team flourish? Absolutely. But Jon has control of the football part of it and I’m sure he wants his own people. He ran a good draft and the new draft picks should represent themselves very well.”

As I noted yesterday when passing along word of the Lions parting ways with two of their scouts, teams with new general managers often wait until after the draft to shake up their personnel departments, with those new GMs bringing in their own people. That’s the case with both Bob Quinn in Detroit and Robinson in Tennessee.

In fact, Quinn has already made a new hire, bringing in a veteran scout with whom he’s very familiar. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press details, the Lions have hired Jay Muraco, formerly of the Chiefs and Patriots, as a regional scout. Quinn and Muraco were both a part of New England’s scouting department from 2000 to 2008.

Here’s more on personnel department changes around the NFL:

  • The Panthers‘ personnel department is undergoing some changes, though those changes involve employees leaving of their own accord rather than being fired. Per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, Carolina’s college scouting director Ryan Cowden is leaving to take a position with the Titans, while college scout John Peterson is retiring.
  • Cowden will be joining the Titans as the team’s new director of player personnel, as reported by Person and confirmed by Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com. According to McCormick, Cowden will serve as Robinson’s “right-hand man in the personnel department,” with director of college scouting Blake Beddingfield and director of pro personnel Brian Gardner both reporting to him.
  • The Eagles requested and were granted permission to interview Bears college scouting director Joe Douglas for their personnel chief job, two sources tell Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Philadelphia put its search for the position on hold in February, with the intention of resuming it after the draft, and while Douglas isn’t a lock to get the job, he’s a “very strong candidate,” says Biggs.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Browns Rumors: Manziel, QB, Mayhew, DC

When the Browns hired Hue Jackson as their new head coach, we heard almost immediately that the former Bengals offensive coordinator had made it clear he was prepared to move on from former first-round pick Johnny Manziel. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) echoes that sentiment, suggesting that the young signal-caller is “all but gone,” and it’s just a formality at this point that Cleveland will part ways with him.

According to Cole, the Browns, who hold the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, are strongly considering using that selection on a quarterback, whether it’s Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, or someone else. Waiting until the second round to nab a QB is also an option for Cleveland — it’s worth noting that, with the Browns and Titans flip-flopping in the second round, and the Patriots not having their first-round pick this year, Cleveland’s second pick will be 32nd overall, essentially making it a first-rounder.

Here are a few more Browns updates:

  • The Browns are attempting to move quickly to fill the vacancy in their front office, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, who tweets that former Lions GM Martin Mayhew is a candidate for the job.
  • The opening in the Browns’ front office is a top personnel position, but not technically a general manager job, which means other teams will have more leeway to deny requests to interview their executives. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), that has already happened with the Bears — the Browns requested permission to speak to Bears director of college scouting Joe Douglas, and Chicago turned them down.
  • Earlier this afternoon, we learned that Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton is considered a top candidate for the Browns’ defensive coordinator job, if Tennessee is willing to let him go. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link) hears that Buccaneers DC Leslie Frazier is also a candidate for the same position in Cleveland.
  • The Browns won’t retain quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. While O’Connell did a decent job with Manziel this past season, Jackson wants to pick his own guy for the job.

Sunday Roundup: Ray, Eagles, Chargers

Let’s take a look a a few notes from around the league:

  • Shane Ray‘s draft stock took a hit because of a citation for marijuana possession and a toe injury, but the Missouri product was still selected in the first round, as the Broncos traded up to nab the high-ceiling pass rusher. As Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, Denver hopes that Ray, who missed rookie minicamp as a result of the toe injury, will be able to participate in some capacity when the team resumes work tomorrow. As Alper points out, though, Ray’s work is likely to be limited, especially since the Broncos just lost third-round tight end Jeff Heuerman to a torn ACL at minicamp.
  • Of all the eyebrow-raising moves that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has made during his brief tenure with the club, his decisions relating to Philadelphia’s wide receiving corps may be the most curious. But as David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News writes, with the addition of Nelson Agholor–a physical clone of Jeremy Maclin–the expected improvement from Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews, and the team’s ability to shift Darren Sproles to more of a pass-catching role now that DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews are in the fold, the Eagles may actually have a more dynamic set of receivers than they had in 2014.
  • Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano says rookie Denzel Perryman will compete for time at inside linebacker with projected starters Manti Te’o and Donald Butler, but that ultimately everybody will see time on the field, ESPN’s Eric D. Williams writes. Pagano complimented his talent not only at the linebacker position, but also on special teams.
  • The Chargers don’t have a true fullback on their roster, but San Diego State product Chad Young hopes to change that, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes. Young has experience on his side, having been in training camp last year with the Jets. But like other fullbacks, he has seen his position fade across the NFL over the past several years.
  • Former Maryland standout Andre Monroe tried out for the Chargers during the team’s rookie minicamp, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Monroe set Maryland’s school record with 25 career sacks, 20 of which came in his last 26 games. But at 5’10” and 294 pounds, Monroe is a bit undersized for an NFL defensive lineman, and he was not immediately offered a contract by San Diego.
  • Longtime Ravens scout Joe Douglas has accepted a job with the Bears, according to a press release from the Ravens. Douglas will be Chicago’s new director of college scouting.
  • The Steelers have hired veteran NFL personnel man Rick Reiprish to join their player personnel department, writes Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Reiprish, who has over 30 years of experience in player personnel, was the Saints’ director of college scouting for 11 years until he was released in a front-office shakeup earlier this year.

Zach Links contributed to this post.