Kevin Abrams

2022 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

Along with the head coaches being fired, a few NFL teams are looking for new general managers. Listed below are the GM candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status.

If and when other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-27-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Giants Request Interviews With Seven Execs For GM Opening

9:07pm: We can add three more names to the list of Giants GM candidates, all via Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The Cardinals have requested permission to speak with Cardinals Vice President of Pro Personnel (and former safety) Adrian Wilson, 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters, and 49ers Director of Player Personnel Ran Carthon.

6:38pm: We learned earlier today that Giants GM Dave Gettleman was calling it a career, opening a vacancy atop the organization’s front office. Well, the organization has already started requesting interviews with potential replacements. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Giants requested an interview with Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen.

ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that the organization also requested an interview with Chiefs Executive Director of Player Personnel Ryan Poles, while Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets that New York requested interviews with Titans VP of player personnel Ryan Cowden and Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort. Poles will interview Thursday, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets.

[RELATED: Dave Gettleman Officially Announces Retirement]

Schoen is set to interview Wednesday, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). Schoen has been with the Bills organization since 2017, and he’s played a major role in the organization’s recent rise in the AFC. Prior to his stint in Buffalo, Schoen spent almost a decade in Miami (when he was endorsed by Bill Parcells), evolving from a national scout into director of player personnel. The executive also had a stint with the Panthers, working his way up from an intern in the ticket office.

Poles was mentioned as a candidate for the Panthers GM job last offseason. The executive has spent much of his career with the Chiefs, working his way up from director of college scouting to executive director of player personnel, where he works alongside GM Brett Veach and assistant GM Mike Borgonzi.

Ossenfort was also a candidate for the Panthers GM gig. The executive previously worked in the Patriots front office before moving on to Tennessee. Cowden has been with the Titans for six years, and that followed an almost two-decade stint with the Panthers organization.

Meanwhile, while many assumed that Giants assistant GM Kevin Abrams would be an option for the top gig, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets that the executive “is not considered to be a candidate.” However, Abrams is respected within the organization and could stick around under a new GM.

Dave Gettleman Officially Announces Retirement

It’s official: the Giants are in need of a new General Manager. The club released an announcement that Dave Gettleman has retired from his position as Senior Vice President and General Manager. 

After informing owners John Mara and Steve Tisch of his decision, Gettleman said, ““It was a privilege to serve as the general manager of the New York Giants the last four years and to have spent so many years of my career with this franchise. We obviously have not had the on-the-field success I expected, and that is disappointing. However, I have many fond memories here, including two Super Bowl victories, and I wish the team and organization only the best moving forward. There are many good people here who pour their souls into this organization. I am proud to have worked alongside them.”

In a joint statement, Mara and Tisch said, “We would like to thank Dave for his commitment to this franchise. Dave was integral in building three of our Super Bowl teams, including two championship teams, and we wish Dave, his wife Joanne and their entire family all the best in his retirement.”

It has been widely expected for quite some time that Gettleman was going to step down from his position. As a result, many names have been floated as potential replacements. Perhaps the name at the top of that list is current Assistant GM Kevin Abrams – someone who has been labelled a “strong contender” for the job. On the other hand, many believe that the club will stray from its tendency to promote from within, and that the successful candidate may not have ties with Head Coach Joe Judge.

Regarding the search for a new GM, Mara went on to say that, “We are looking for a person who demonstrates exceptional leadership and communication abilities, somebody who will oversee all aspects of our football operations, including player personnel, college scouting and coaching”. 

The Giants have become the third team with a GM vacancy, joining the Vikings and Bears after they fired Rick Spielman and Ryan Pace, respectively, on Monday. News from the morning, however, suggests that Judge will be staying on – something that had been expected throughout the Giants’ 4-13 season.

Latest On Joe Judge, Giants’ GM Position

The latest reporting on the matter suggests that Joe Judge will be back as the Giants’ head coach in 2022, though Judge will be required to make some changes to his offensive staff, including offensive coordinator. However, Judge may not be out of the woods just yet.

Last month, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post wrote that Judge would be back unless someone the team interviews for the soon-to-be-vacant GM post offers both a compelling reason to let Judge go and a compelling replacement for him. Even SNY.tv’s Ralph Vacchiano’s more recent report (cited in our piece linked above) mentioned that the new GM may be given the chance to “weigh in” on Judge’s status.

In that same vein, sources from other ownership groups tell Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports that they would not be surprised if Giants co-owner John Mara decides to move on from Judge, and minority owner Steve Tisch is said to be willing to consider an organizational overhaul that includes the head coaching position. However, Mara himself has thus far remained resolute in his desire to keep Judge aboard.

When GM Dave Gettleman‘s imminent ouster was first reported back in November, it was said that his replacement would ideally have a background in the Patriots’ scouting system and would have philosophies more in line with those of Judge, an ex-New England staffer. Just a month later, though, ownership’s thinking apparently changed a bit, as Schwartz wrote that a prospective GM’s preexisting ties to Judge could actually be a detriment to that person’s candidacy. Indeed, Mara reportedly wants to know what the new GM truly thinks of Judge and does not want that opinion to be influenced by prior relationships.

As for who the new GM will be, we have heard that assistant GM Kevin Abrams is a “strong contender.” That does not come as a surprise given the Giants’ penchant to hire those with connections to the franchise, though sticking with the status quo in this instance would likely incense the Big Blue fanbase. However, Vacchiano does not see Abrams as a mere extension of Gettleman despite the many years the two execs have spent together in the New York front office, and he believes Abrams would be a worthy hire despite what fans might think.

Other candidates include Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort and Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, both of whom were with New England when Judge was there. Again, those Foxborough ties may or may not hurt Ossenfort’s and Ziegler’s case to become Giants GM, but there will be no shortage of other potential targets.

Vacchiano names former Chiefs and Browns GM John Dorsey as another candidate, and if the Giants want to go with a more experienced hand, they would be hard-pressed to do better. Fans who pay attention to front office maneuvers and the annual GM cycle will also recognize Eliot Wolf, Louis Riddick, Dave Caldwell, and Scott Pioli, who all appear on Vacchiano’s list.

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post on Twitter) says Judge himself is pushing for Abrams to be promoted. As Schwartz pointed out, though, Judge might not have much say in the decision, and Dunleavy posits that Judge’s advocacy for Abrams means that old friends Ossenfort and Ziegler are not interested in the post.

Dunleavy also mentions Dawn Aponte as someone who might get an interview (Twitter link). Aponte’s name has not appeared on PFR pages since 2018, but she has served in high-ranking executive positions for the Jets, Browns, and Dolphins, and she currently works in the league office as the NFL’s chief administrator of football operations.

Giants To Consider Kevin Abrams As Next GM

Dave Gettleman is expected to step down as Giants GM after this season, his fourth in the role, and the organization may again be looking inward to fill its top front office post.

Kevin Abrams, the team’s assistant GM, will be a strong contender to succeed Gettleman, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. While the Giants’ past hires would not paint an Abrams rise as a big surprise, the team continuing business as usual after the past five seasons would be a controversial strategy.

A Giants staffer since 1999, Abrams has established a versatile skillset. The Giants hired him as a cap analyst early during Ernie Accorsi‘s GM stay. Abrams has since been the team’s assistant GM for the past 20 years, working under Accorsi, Jerry Reese and Gettleman. The Giants interviewed Abrams for the job in 2017 but opted to go with Gettleman, who was a longtime Giants staffer before taking over as the Panthers’ GM in 2013.

Ownership views Abrams as a “very worthy” in-house option, per La Canfora. The Giants’ three previous GMs have worked with the team before being tabbed to lead the front office.

Reese was with the Giants for 13 seasons before being promoted to GM. Gettleman was on staff for 15 years, from 1998-2012, before heading to Carolina. Even Accorsi, who had GM experience prior to coming to New York, was the team’s assistant GM for four years before taking over. Abrams worked extensively with all three. He interviewed for the Lions job that went to Bob Quinn in 2016 but has not been connected to any other outside positions since.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman Unlikely To Return In 2022

The Giants are sitting at 3-7 and are at the bottom of the NFC East. They are on pace for their fifth consecutive season of 10 or more losses, and if they pull off that dubious feat, GM Dave Gettleman — who was hired at the end of 2017 — will have presided over four double-digit loss campaigns. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, Gettleman is not expected to return to the club in 2022.

It seems as though Gettleman has been under fire ever since he first took the job. Even late last December, the Giants were reportedly prepared to part ways with him and bring in a new top exec to head up the personnel department. However, Big Blue has traditionally given its GMs a long leash, and co-owner John Mara knew when he hired Gettleman that his team was embarking on a multi-year rebuild. He also knew that hiring a a new head coach (Joe Judge) last season could delay that rebuild a bit, as Judge would be implementing new systems and a new culture.

Gettleman, 70, managed to hit on a few of his free agent pickups in 2020 — cornerback James Bradberry, linebacker Blake Martinez, and defensive back Logan Ryan — which may have helped him retain his position for 2021. But Mara made it clear this summer that while he was not issuing a playoff mandate, any stagnation or regression could prompt an organizational shakeup.

And not only might the Giants fail to match last year’s six wins, but they also have not seen any progress from two of Gettleman’s defining draft choices, QB Daniel Jones and RB Saquon Barkley. Both selections garnered a fair amount of criticism when they were made — Gettleman’s use of the No. 6 overall pick on Jones in 2019 was widely regarded as a reach, and his use of the No. 2 overall pick on Barkley in 2018 was deemed too high for a running back for a rebuilding outfit — and between Jones’ struggles and Barkley’s injury problems, the G-Men are getting very little production from two picks that they needed to get right.

Of course, the team recently fired OC Jason Garrett, and it sounds as though Gettleman will be following him out the door. If Mara opts for an internal replacement, Rapoport names VP of football operations and assistant GM Kevin Abrams as one possibility. Any candidate from outside the organization would ideally have a background in the Patriots’ scouting system and would have philosophies more in line with those of Judge, an ex-New England staffer.

The clear implication is that Judge’s job is safe for at least one more season.

East Notes: Patriots, Brady, Giants, Cowboys

Tom Brady recently told Oprah that he’ll retire sooner rather than later, but he may still be on course for his original plan. In a reply to a post on Instagram regarding Brady’s long-term plans, the Patriots quarterback replied “cuarenta y cinco” – Spanish for 45.

Brady turns 41 on Aug. 3, so he still has a ways to go before hitting that mark. Still, after another masterful season, it’s hard to doubt him.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • New Cowboys assistant Kris Richard is drawing rave reviews in Dallas and he could become one of the league’s hottest head coaching candidates next year. “No question,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said when asked if the 38-year-old could coach his own team in 2019 (via Charean Williams of PFT). “He’ll be like a Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, guys I’ve been around who became head coaches. He’s got the right stuff.”
  • Giants executive Kevin Abrams, a member of the organization since 1999 and the assistant GM for the last 16 years, has been promoted to the team’s vice president of football operations. Abrams was considered as an internal candidate for GM before the hiring of Dave Gettleman.
  • Free agent wide receiver Eric Decker feels that he would be a good fit for the Patriots.

Latest On Giants’ Coaching Search

Once thought to be the Giants’ No. 1 candidate, Jim Schwartz looks like he will be a bit behind in Big Blue’s search.

The Eagles’ DC received an interview request, but the sides have yet to schedule said summit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). If nothing transpires by Sunday, the Giants will have to wait until the Eagles are eliminated to meet with Schwartz. Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter) the Giants don’t have a Sunday interview scheduled; he labels Schwartz as being on the back-burner.

While waiting hasn’t been a deal-breaker for some teams in the past, the Giants and Schwartz — attached in rumors for weeks — not conducting an interview before he prepares for Philadelphia’s divisional-round game could cause the team to pivot away from the former Lions boss. The Eagles are not a highly regarded No. 1 seed presently, but in a hotly contested coaching market that’s seen three Giants interviewees also take meetings elsewhere, the team could opt to move forward with other candidates to stave off competitors. Schwartz has met with the Cardinals about their HC vacancy.

Big Blue has already met with Steve Spagnuolo, Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Pat Shurmur, whom Raanan notes (on Twitter) interviewed Saturday. The Giants still plan to meet with both Eric Studesville and Steve Wilks early next week, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv tweets. The Carolina DC would be eligible to meet with New York’s representatives after the Panthers-Saints game, whether his team wins or loses.

Dave Gettleman, John Mara and assistant GM Kevin Abrams are meeting with the HC candidates, per Vacchiano (on Twitter), who adds co-owner Steve Tisch will meet with candidates as the team moves closer to a final decision.

Assistant GM Kevin Abrams Likely To Stay With The Giants

The Giants announced today that they’ve hired former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman to lead the team’s football operations for the foreseeable future. However, just because the team has brought in a new face to be the head of the front office, doesn’t mean all of the previous decision makers will be on their way out the door. It’s expected that Gettleman will keep current assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on board for next season, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link).

Dave Gettleman (vertical)

Abrams was one of two internal candidates to interview for the general manager position. Marc Ross, the team’s vice president of player evaluation, also spoke to ownership, although nothing has been reported as of yet in regards to his future.

As the presumptive number two in command under former GM Jerry Reese, Abrams was primarily involved with the team’s working of the cap, which will help him to remain a crucial part of the Giants decision making process this offseason. Abrams has been with the organization for past 16 years, so he should help make Gettleman’s transition into the lead role a lot smoother in the weeks ahead.

Gettleman offers experience and a track record as the leader of a front office, but Abrams should continue to have a major footprint in how the team conducts its business in the months to come.

 

Giants Notes: Abrams, Apple, Shepard, JPP

The Giants interviewed interim general manager Kevin Abrams for the team’s full-time position yesterday, lengthening a list of candidates that already includes Giants VP of player personnel Marc Ross, former Giants executive Dave Gettleman and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. While Abrams had spent the majority of his career as a salary cap guru, he’s focused on proving that he can also build a winning roster.

“My role has been more than just doing the cap stuff,” Abrams told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.TV. “I wasn’t raised to be a cap guy. It was just the opportunity that was given to me and I was grateful of the opportunity. And the Giants do a great job with everyone — not just me, but we’re all encouraged to grow professionally. And like everyone else, I was getting a lot of opportunities to do that and I tried to take advantage of them whenever I could. A lot of that included being involved with our personnel departments.”

While Giants owner John Mara may be seeking major “wholesale changes,” sources told Vacchiano that Abrams is a serious candidate for the gig. The writer notes that the organization could choose to pair the interim general manager with someone like Gettleman.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the Giants organization…

  • While many attributed cornerback Eli Apple‘s tumultuous season to immaturity, Dan Duggan of NJ.com explored the true root of the player’s issues. Ultimately, the reporter attributed the problems to “strife in Apple’s family,” particularly a falling out with his stepfather, Tim. “One of the biggest reasons Eli is declining so much this year as opposed to last year is (Tim’s absence),” Apple’s half-brother Dane Blackson said. “I know everyone always talks about the fame and all of the attention and how all of that can go to your head. But you have to imagine that from middle school to the NFL, Tim was there. Tim made this whole thing happen. Tim didn’t miss a game. Whenever Eli looked for that support, that was always there. Now, this year whenever he goes to look for support, it’s not real, it’s not genuine.” Duggan dug more in Apple’s family issues in a must-read article.
  • While the 2017 season hasn’t gone as planned for the Giants, one player has emerged as a major piece of the organization’s future. Zach Braziller of The New York Post writes that wideout Sterling Shepard has emerged as a “a future organizational linchpin.” The 2016 second-round pick is on pace to surpass his rookie numbers, as he’s hauled in 54 receptions for 686 yards and two scores. “I was ready to take it on,” Shepard said of the added responsibility. “You don’t expect for your top two receivers to go down. It kind of just throws a lot of weight on you. I’m a second-year player but kind of forced to take that leadership role because I’m the guy in that room with the most experience.”
  • Jason Pierre-Paul revealed that he’s recovering from a broken finger, although he expects to play this weekend against the Cardinals. Neil Best of Newsday.com believes the defensive end suffered the injury during his early-December matchup against the Raiders.