Kyle O'Brien

Lions Part Ways With Execs Jimmy Raye III, Kyle O’Brien

Two experienced NFL executives are now free agents. The Lions’ Brad Holmes-led front office will not include Bob Quinn-era holdovers Jimmy Raye III and Kyle O’Brien, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes.

The Lions hired O’Brien shortly after naming Quinn GM. He served as the franchise’s VP of player personnel. In December, O’Brien interviewed for the job that ended up going to Holmes. O’Brien spent most of his career with the Patriots, following Quinn from New England to Detroit in 2017.

Raye worked as a senior personnel executive with the Lions, joining the team in 2018. The veteran scout/exec has been a regular on the GM interview circuit, having met with the Colts, 49ers, Texans and Panthers about their respective jobs from 2017-18. Raye served as Indianapolis’ interim GM in between Ryan Grigson‘s firing and the hiring of Chris Ballard. Most of Raye’s career has come with the Chargers, who employed him from 1996-2012.

Holmes, assistant GM Ray Agnew and senior personnel exec John Dorsey are now in charge of the Lions, who are expected to conduct a rebuild. The front office quickly greenlit a Matthew Stafford trade that brought back two first-round picks and Jared Goff.

Lions Interview 3 Internal GM Candidates

The Lions have begun interviewing candidates for their general manager post. Three current Lions front office staffers interviewed for the job, including two who have been with the team for more than 15 years.

Player personnel director Lance Newmark, player personnel VP Kyle O’Brien and pro scouting director Rob Lohman completed their interviews, the Lions announced Friday. A member of this trio moving up to Detroit’s top personnel job would qualify as less likely than a splashier outside hire, but two of these staffers joined the organization before since-fired GM Bob Quinn‘s tenure began.

Newmark has been with the Lions since they employed Barry Sanders; he is wrapping up his 23rd season with the organization. Quinn promoted Newmark to his current role in 2017. Lohman arrived during Matt Millen‘s GM tenure, coming to Detroit in 2007. Previously, he was with the Texans when they became an NFL franchise. Quinn hired O’Brien in 2017, but the veteran exec has been an NFL staffer since 2002. O’Brien has spent the bulk of his career as a Patriots scout.

The Lions are not using a search firm, but they have been connected to bigger names. Former Giants GM Jerry Reese is an expected candidate. The Lions are also now open to hiring Matt Patricia‘s successor first and letting him help select the team’s next GM.

Extra Points: Titans, Lions, Pats, Vikings

A very special Christmas edition of Extra Points:

Extra Points: Beane, Lions, Eagles, Saints

As reports indicated earlier this week, new Bills GM Brandon Beane will indeed have control over the 53-man roster. Terry Pegula confirmed as much Friday. “Brandon’s gonna have the 53,” the owner said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “Him and Sean (McDermott) will obviously collaborate on any decisions.” The 39-year-old first-time GM, though, plans to work extensively alongside McDermott, with whom he obviously functioned alongside with the Panthers.

It’s going to be similar to what Sean and I had in Carolina. There’s no czar here, every decision is going to be collaborative,” Beane said, via WGRZ.com. “The unique thing Sean and I had was a respect, I knew his roots and how he worked his way up.”

Beane and McDermott have worked together since 2011, save for a near-four-month period when McDermott took the Bills job and Beane stayed in Charlotte. The former Panthers assistant GM will still have the final say, even though the new Bills HC arrived in Buffalo first.

Here’s more from Buffalo and the latest from around the league.

  • A slew of Bills free agency moves shouldn’t be expected, Beane said today, per Joe Buscaglia of WKBW (on Twitter). In a statement not exactly contrary to most new GMs’ philosophies, Beane plans to build the Bills through the draft (Twitter link, via Buscaglia).
  • The Lions announced a handful of new titles in their front office following Brian Xanders‘ departure. Among them: Kyle O’Brien now has the title of Vice President of Player Personnel and Lance Newmark is now Director of Player Personnel (Twitter link via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com).
  • Doug Pederson isn’t worried about a potential holdout from Brandon Graham, the Eagles coach said today, per Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com (on Twitter). A report earlier this week linked the burgeoning-star edge defender to a holdout. Graham is signed to a four-year deal worth $26.5MM. He’s set to carry cap numbers of $7.5MM apiece in 2017 and ’18. The 29-year-old ranked as the No. 2 overall edge defender in the opinion of Pro Football Focus last season. Among 4-3 defensive ends, Graham’s deal places him just 16th in terms of average annual value. Less accomplished teammate Vinny Curry is making nearly $3MM per year more than Graham due to his 2016 extension.
  • The Saints invited some familiar names to their rookie minicamp/tryout venue today. Former Jets, Bills and Falcons passer Matt Simms received an invite, as did former Raiders and Buccaneers wideout Louis Murphy and veteran tight end Clay Harbor (all Twitter links via Nick Underhill of The Advocate). Murphy spent the past two seasons with the Bucs but saw injuries limit him to just six games.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Front Office Notes: Jets, Giants, Titans, Lions

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan filled his season-ending press conference with “generalities and overall nothingness,” writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Still, the executive did elaborate on several topics, including free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“We’d like very much to get him back… We’ll see how this thing works out.”

Bryce [Petty] has made a lot of progress. We’re kind of excited to have another offseason with him… With Geno [Smith], he’s under contract. We like the progress he’s made.”

Maccagnan also noted that “it’s not impossible” to keep all of their top defensive linemen, including Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison and Leonard Williams.

Let’s check out some more notes from the league’s front offices…

  • Giants general manager Jerry Reese understands that it’s his job to improve the roster, and he said he puts it on himself if the team doesn’t perform well. “At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility,” he said (via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News). “If somebody doesn’t get it right, if somebody doesn’t pan out, it’s the GM’s responsibility.”
  • While candidates have been interviewing for the Titans head coach vacancy, ownership has made it clear that they have no desire to sell the team, tweets ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
  • The Lions have fired senior personnel executive Scott McEwen, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). The former Director of College Scouting was the longest tenured scout in the organization.
  • According to Schefter (on Twitter), the Lions have hired Kyle O’Brien as their Director of Player Personnel.