John Schneider

2021 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

This year’s NFL GM carousel figures to be more active than usual. The Falcons, Lions, Panthers, Texans, and Jaguars are all on the hunt for a new front office leader. And that’s only the official list. The real tally shows six clubs looking for a GM, since the Washington Football Team is expected to install a GM to work alongside head coach Ron Rivera. By mid-January, we could easily see a couple more jobs opening up — that’d put ~25% of the NFL on the market.

We’ll keep track of the GM candidates for each club here, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make general manager changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here’s the current breakdown:

Updated 1-19-21 (7:02pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers 

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Washington Football Team

Seahawks Extend GM John Schneider Through 2027

The Seahawks locked up Pete Carroll with a long-term contract back in November, and now they’re doing the same with their front office head. The team has extended GM John Schneider, they announced Tuesday.

Schneider’s new deal will run all the way through the 2027 season, while Carroll’s is up after 2025. We had heard back on January 3rd that the Lions were planning on making a run at luring Schneider away to be their GM, as he only had one year left on his contract at the time. Needless to say, that won’t be happening. Schneider just wrapped up his 11th season as GM of the Seahawks, and he’s obviously had a very successful run.

He helped deliver Super Bowl XLVIII to the team, and of course hit the lottery by drafting Russell Wilson in the third-round. He also helped assemble the legendary ‘Legion of Boom’ defenses led by stars like Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, and Earl Thomas.

Carroll was hired before Schneider back in 2010, and has a great deal of influence in the personnel makeup of the team as well. Carroll is believed to have final say over the roster, which has led to some speculation that another team could try to poach Schneider away with the offer of more power. Clearly that isn’t in the cards anytime soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions To Pursue Seahawks GM John Schneider

The Lions are leaving no stone unturned in their search for a new GM. In addition to three in-house candidates and myriad external options, including a few high-profile targets, the club is expected to make a run at Seahawks GM John Schneider, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports.

Schneider has long been considered one of the best executives in the game, and he and Pete Carroll have forged a remarkably productive GM-HC tandem since they came to Seattle in 2010. Under their leadership, the ‘Hawks have compiled a 111-63-1 record, five division titles, two NFC championships, and a Super Bowl.

But Carroll, not Schneider, has final authority over all personnel decisions. That means that a club like the Lions could interview Schneider if it offers him full control (though as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes, it may not be quite that simple, and Detroit may need to send compensation to Seattle if it wants to hire Schneider away). Plus, while Carroll signed a long-term extension several months ago that will run through the 2025 campaign, Schneider is only under contract through the 2022 draft, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. Rapoport says that, in addition to Detroit, Schneider is expected to get a call from at least one other team,

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says the Lions would also be interested in Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. Colbert has gone year-to-year with Pittsburgh for awhile, but that’s because he wants to leave open the possibility of retirement. He plans to be back with Pittsburgh in 2021, so it looks like another one-year pact is on the horizon.

Vikings assistant GM George Paton, who has been a fixture on the GM rumor mill in recent years, is also on the Lions’ radar, per Rapoport, and there is a new and interesting connection between Minnesota and Detroit. Paton’s boss, Rick Spielman, is the brother of new Detroit exec Chris Spielman, who is expected to have an integral role in the Lions’ search process.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.

Extra Points: Kaepernick, Raiders, Greg Little, Cardinals

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider were deposed in the collusion grievance filed by Colin Kaepernick this week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).

Expanding on the subject, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio recounts that the “Seahawks were planning to bring in the quarterback for a workout, but the team canceled the session when Kaepernick declined to commit to stand for the national anthem.” 

Despite the case, Carroll has not closed the door on the former 49ers quarterback joining the team. As Florio writes, however, “It would be awkward, to say the least, for Kaepernick to sign with Seattle after his lawyers questioned Schneider and Carroll under oath…”

Seattle is still the only team to have brought Kaepernick in for a visit since hitting free agency after the 2016 season. This long saga still appears to be far from a conclusion.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Earlier this week, the Raiders signed longtime Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson to a one-year deal. The details of that contract came out today, with the 13-year pro set to make $1.5MM. The contract includes a $200,000 signing bonus and $500,000 total guaranteed. With incentives, the deal could top out at $2.25MM, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets.
  • Former Browns receiver Greg Little appeared at the Cardinals rookie minicamp, Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com writes. Little, who hasn’t played a game since the 2014 season, was a promising second-round pick who flamed out after three seasons. The Cardinals offered the 28-year-old wideout a tryout this weekend and impressed new head coach Steve Wilks.
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano took a crack at projecting the next big-money quarterbacks. To no one’s surprise, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tops the list in 2020, but the sides are expected to come to a deal before that time. Among the other signal-callers who could surpass Kirk Cousins‘ big deal are Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Rams, Brockers, Lions, Dunlap

After much speculation, Cowboys defender Byron Jones confirmed on Monday that he will be switching from safety to cornerback in 2018, the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota writes.

Viewed as a versatile defender coming out of college, Jones played cornerback as a rookie in 2015 and a safety the past two seasons. New defensive backs coach Kris Richard preferred him at the former.

“I think it will be a good move for me and the team. I’m always open to making position changes, as long as I’m in the best position to succeed. If [Richard] believes my best position is corner, then I’m down.”

Richard knows a thing or two about getting the best from bigger cornerbacks. With the Seahawks, Richard oversaw Richard Sherman’s ascent to one of the premier corners in the league. What remains to be seen is if the team prefers him on the boundary or in the slot. In 2017, rookies Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis showed plenty of promise on the outside.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • In a press conference on Monday, Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers told reporters he tore his MCL in the team’s playoff loss to the Falcons in January, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. During that game, the sixth-year defender sat out the second half. The good news for Los Angeles is that Brockers took part in team activities on Monday, but they’re not in pads until training camp.
  • If any Lions players are moved in draft-day deals, some of the names that make sense include Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick and Jake Rudock, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein writes. Those names all come to mind after the team added veterans in LeGarrette Blount and Matt Cassel in the offseason.
  • The goal is for the Bengals to sign both Carlos Dunlap and get a new deal with Geno AtkinsBengals.com writer Geoff Hobson notes in a mailbag. Both Dunlap’s and Atkins’ deals run through the 2018 campaign.
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to be deposed in the next two weeks in Colin Kaeperncik‘s collusion case against the league, USA Today’s A.J. Perez writes. Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are also on the docket to be deposed.

Seahawks Deny Packers Permission To Interview John Schneider For GM Job

The Packers are aiming high in their search for a new general manager. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the organization “submitted paperwork for permission” to interview current Seahawks general manager John Schneider. The request was ultimately denied.

John Schneider The Packers interviewed director of football operations Eliot Wolf earlier this week, and they’ve also spoken to VP of football administration Russ Ball and director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst. Former Bills GM Doug Whaley is expected to be the first external candidate to interview for the gig later today. The Packers were previously rejected from interviewing Vikings executive George Paton. The team has been seeking a new general manager since Ted Thompson was removed from the role earlier this week.

However, despite the seemingly long list of candidates, you couldn’t blame the Packers organization for targeting Schneider, a Green Bay-native. The executive has been one of the most successful general managers in the NFL since he took over the Seahawks job in 2010. Seattle has compiled a 79-48-1 record over his eight years on the job, including a Super Bowl win and pair of NFC Championships. Working in tandem with head coach Pete Carroll, Schneider has been responsible for the late-round selections of Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor, as well as the signings of undrafted free agents Doug Baldwin and Thomas Rawls.

Rapoport notes that Schneider signed an extension that runs through 2021, and it doesn’t contain an out-clause for Green Bay. As a result, the Packers would only be able to hire the general manager after completing a trade with Seattle. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says that the Packers could push the fact that Schneider isn’t a “high-level employee” considering Carroll’s presence in the front office. However, that would require Green Bay to “certify a dispute” with commissioner Roger Goodell, and it would surely lead to some bad blood between the two organizations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks To Extend GM John Schneider

The Seahawks and longtime GM John Schneider have reached an agreement on an extension that will make him one of the highest-paid GMs in the NFL. It’s a five-year extension for Schneider set to run through the 2021 season.

The deal, per Clayton, will approach $3.75MM per year, matching Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome for the highest full-time GM salary in the NFL . Schneider was set to be seeking a contract worth $4MM per season, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Schneider’s contract was set to expire after the 2016 season. Pete Carroll‘s deal expires after 2016 as well and the Schneider pact is expected to soon lead to an extension for the team’s highly-regarded head coach.

The team has qualified for the playoffs in five of the pair’s six years together, including each of the past four. Assembling a mostly homegrown group of talent during this decade, Seattle’s gone to two Super Bowls, winning one and coming closer than perhaps any big-game loser has to claiming another title one year later.

Under Schneider’s regime, the Seahawks have been one of the league’s best at drafting talent and possibly the best reaching extensions with cornerstone players — including Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner. They received the most productive years of Marshawn Lynch‘s career after trading for the then-maligned running back and recently hammered out an extension with former UDFA Doug Baldwin, the latest member of Seattle’s deep core now locked up long-term.

The agreement was first reported by ESPN.com’s John Clayton. FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer (on Twitter) was first to report the length of the agreement. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fallout From Doug Baldwin’s Extension

With Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin‘s four-year, $46MM extension in the books, the Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders is now at the front of the line of wideouts set to land new deals prior to the season, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN. Baldwin, the Chargers’ Keenan Allen and the Jaguars’ Allen Hurns have all signed extensions worth upward of $40MM – including $20MM-plus in guarantees – this month, but each is younger than Sanders. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, having combined for 177 catches and 15 touchdowns during that span, and figures to net a sizable raise over the $5.6MM he’s scheduled to make in 2016. The Broncos and Sanders are already in negotiations, as 9NEWS’ Mike Klis reported earlier this month.

More out of Seattle:

  • The Seahawks will now turn their attention to locking up the Super Bowl-winning duo of general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Caroll, whose deals expire after this season, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Extensions for the pair could come during training camp, per Condotta. Defensive end Michael Bennett, meanwhile, is the next member of the Seahawks’ roster likely to rake in a big payday, writes Condotta. Bennett won’t be a free agent until after the 2017 campaign, however, so he might have to wait another year.
  • Baldwin went undrafted in 2011 out of Stanford, where he was teammates with superstar Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. After all 32 NFL teams snubbed Baldwin for seven rounds, Sherman – a fifth-rounder that year – contacted the wideout and encouraged him to sign with the Seahawks. “They’re going to call you. I want you to be here,” Sherman said (via Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times). Baldwin has since morphed into one of the pros’ best and richest wideouts because of his football-first mindset, which has come at a cost to his personal life, details Jenks. “I’m not the fastest, the strongest, the most athletic, the tallest,” Baldwin told Jenks. “But in order for me to be good at what I do, I have to focus on my craft so much that it alleviates those other things. I can’t have personal relationships like other people do. I can’t spend time on that.”
  • Baldwin’s extension means the Seahawks will enter camp with one fewer distraction, observes ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia, who adds that Baldwin’s 1,000-yard season in 2015 was just the fourth by a slot receiver over the past five years. Baldwin is also the only receiver since 1992 – when targets were first tracked – to rack up 1,000-plus yards while hauling in at least 80 percent of the passes intended for him, per Kapadia.

Seahawks GM Discusses Offseason, Re-Signings, Keys to Success

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for the Seahawks. The organization has added lineman on both sides of the ball, and they also signed Jermaine Kearse to a new contract. Of course, it hasn’t solely been positive in Seattle, as former first-rounder Bruce Irvin left for the Raiders.

General manager John Schneider touched on several of these topics while talking with reporters (including John Boyle of Seahawks.com) at the NFL Annual Meetings earlier this week. We’ve compiled some of the notable quotes below…

On the team’s strategy for the rest of the offseason:

“All throughout free agency, every position, we’re going to keep tinkering and working our way through certain deals and see if we can be involved or if we can’t. Where we’re at right now, we just have to be very responsible.”

On Frank Clark being forced to replace some of Irvin’s production:

“When we drafted Frank—you have to prepare for the possibility of not having some players. Obviously we wanted to have Bruce back and if the two of them were on the same team again, that would have been great, but to a certain extent you have to look towards the future.”

On switching focus to re-signing current players:

“We have several guys who have one year left on their contracts, so that’s always something we look at. For planning purposes moving forward we have to know what’s down the road. We have several key players who have one year left on their deals, so we’ll try to address that at the appropriate time.”

On the key to the Seahawks success:

“There’s no ego. Ego is the enemy, really. Being able to communicate in clear, concise fashion and make decisions as quickly as you possibly can. Knowing that first and foremost, we’re looking out for what’s best in the organization.

“We talk about no walls at our place. We include our coaches in the draft and in free agency, and they have buy-in.”