Louis Riddick

Extra Points: Riddick, Jeremiah, Bengals, Bills, Knox

There seems to be a growing trend of NFL media personalities making the jump to front offices. Mike Mayock recently left NFL Network to become the Raiders’ GM, and since then we’ve heard rumors about a handful of big names. Back in May we heard that the Jets were targeting Daniel Jeremiah, also of NFL Network, for a prominent role in their front office. New Jets GM Joe Douglas apparently wanted him, but Jeremiah wasn’t interested. Now, it turns out the Jets aren’t the only ones that have pursued the 41-year-old draft analyst. “Jeremiah is continually rebuffing NFL advances,” according to Lindsay Jones of The Athletic.

Jones also writes that she thinks “we’ll continue to hear Louis Riddick’s name a lot in personnel circles.” Riddick, an ESPN analyst, interviewed for the Giants’ GM job back in late 2017 before they ultimately hired Dave Gettleman. Both Riddick and Jeremiah are very highly regarded, so it’s not shocking news. Still, it’s an interesting development. How Mayock fares in Oakland might go a long way in determining how many teams take this approach in the future.

Here’s more from around the league on a quiet Saturday evening:

  • The Bengals suffered a tough blow a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that Jonah Williams would likely miss his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury. Williams was the 11th overall pick in April’s draft, and Cincy was counting on him to start at left tackle. Cordy Glenn will slide over from guard to take his place, but the Bengals are now pretty thin at tackle. As such, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic expects the Bengals to make a move to add a tackle “whether a veteran cut, waiver pickup or trade.” The Bengals also have to find a replacement for Glenn at left guard, and last we heard 2016 fifth-round pick Christian Westerman is the early favorite. There aren’t too many appealing veteran options on the open market, so perhaps the Bengals will try to swing a trade. With Glenn on the left side and former Giants castoff Bobby Hart on the right side, the Bengals don’t have an enviable situation at tackle.
  • It’s often said that tight end is the hardest position to transition to the pro game from college at other than quarterback. Rookie tight ends don’t usually make huge contributions, as it takes them a while to adjust. Don’t tell that to Dawson Knox and the Bills. Knox, a third-round pick from Ole Miss, has a shot to start from Week 1 for Buffalo, according to Vic Carruci of the Buffalo News. Knox never was used a ton as a receiver, racking up only 284 yards in his last year at Ole Miss, but he did average an impressive 18.9 yards per catch. The Bills finally let Charles Clay go this past offseason, but they also signed Tyler Kroft to a three-year deal, who profiles as Knox’s main competition. Kroft suffered a broken foot back in May and might not be ready for the start of the regular season, which could force Buffalo’s hand with Knox.

East Notes: Giants, Collins, Cutler, Jets

A day after referring to Eli Apple as “a cancer,” Landon Collins has attempted to walk that back. While that might be difficult, the All-Pro Giants safety issued an apology (on Twitter) today and confirmed he did so in person in a meeting with Apple and Steve Spagnuolo. The interim HC confirmed the meeting, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter).

I met with Coach Spags and Eli this morning and I apologized for the things I said yesterday,” Collins said. “I never stop supporting my brother/teammate Eli and the rest of my teammates as we move forward. Just want him to know I’m always here for him.”

On Tuesday during a radio interview, Collins said Apple “needs to grow up.” Wednesday’s apology marks the latest chapter in a weeks-long saga involving the two defensive backs. Earlier this month, Collins said he’d talked to Apple — who has taken a step back this season — and told media the cornerback’s issues were mental and that he was dealing with “significant” personal struggles. Apple then denied Collins spoke with him, and the third-year safety — according to NJ.com — had to be restrained by teammates as he attempted to confront the second-year corner. Apple has not been suspended like Janoris Jenkins or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were, but he’s been benched and reportedly nearly left the Giants’ facility because of a harsh film-room session earlier this season.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern divisions.

  • Josh McDaniels remains linked to Patriots exec Nick Caserio regarding GM/HC arrangements, but Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports the New England OC could also be interested in pairing up with Louis Riddick as a GM. Riddick interviewed for the Giants’ GM job last week, although Dave Gettleman is viewed as the favorite. McDaniels and Caserio were a sought-after tandem last year, with the 49ers having shown interest in bringing them to the Bay Area.
  • Adam Gase said Wednesday he has not spoken to Jay Cutler about him returning to the Dolphins in 2018, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Jackson adds the Dolphins remain committed to having Ryan Tannehill return as their starter next season, but he reported last week the Fins would be open to Cutler coming back as the backup. Cutler will start this weekend’s regular-season finale against the Bills.
  • Davis Webb will rise to the Giants‘ No. 2 quarterback role and take Geno Smith‘s place as Eli Manning‘s backup, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It will be the first time Webb suits up as an NFLer. Smith will be inactive Sunday, and Webb could see time off the bench in the game under the format Ben McAdoo broached with Manning upon benching him earlier this year. Spagnuolo, however, said (via Schwartz, on Twitter) there are “no guarantees” the third-round rookie makes his NFL debut against the Redskins.
  • The Jets are likely to land a pick in the lower part of the top 10, and Brian Costello of the New York Post ranked the most- to least-likely scenarios involving offseason quarterback plans. Most likely is a setup where the Jets draft Josh Allen with their first pick and re-sign Josh McCown to continue his better-than-expected stopgap work. Costello notes the Jets’ top competition for the Wyoming passer could be the BroncosJohn Elway trekked to the Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho, last week to observe Allen in person. The Jets, though, have put in the most work on Allen to this point. Gang Green’s No. 2 scenario? Kirk Cousins, whom Costello recalls the team showing interest in after Smith was sucker-punched in 2015.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Manning, Eagles

Two years ago, Louis Riddick spoke to the New York Post about the Giants‘ coaching search that resulted in the promotion of Ben McAdoo. Riddick indicated that if he were in charge of the search, he would make a strong play for Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

I tell you this, if I was a GM, I was a team president, I was an owner, I would definitely make the call,’’ Riddick said (via Paul Schwartz of the NY Post). “I would try. Because I’m not one of those people who believe he was a failure in the NFL. I would be making that call, and I would be saying what would it take to come get you to come talk to me and how much money will it take? “I would have my plane gassed up and down in Tuscaloosa going ‘Will you talk to me?’

Saban is one of the most successful coaches in college football history, but his time in the NFL with the Dolphins did not go as planned. For what it’s worth, Riddick believes that he would do a lot better if he was given another chance. Now that Riddick is up for the Giants’ GM job, one can’t help but wonder if he could bring Saban to New York.

Riddick was also highly complementary of Patriots offensive Josh McDaniels in that conversation. Some anticipate that Riddick would bring McDaniels on board if hired by the G-Men.

He’s a guy, based on my research and knowing him a little bit, I think he’s gonna be fantastic,’’ Riddick said. “I think he’s gonna blow it out of the water and be dynamite in his second shot.’’

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • With roughly eight head coaching positions expected to be available, the chances are high that one of the Eagles‘ assistants gets plucked, Tim McManus of ESPN.com writes. In particular, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz are expected to garner a lot of interest. Schwartz may have to shed the “retread” label, but DeFilippo has been largely responsible for the development of quarterback Carson Wentz and at the age of 39, he is viewed as a coach on the rise in the mold of Sean McVay. When all is said and done, the Eagles are likely to have to fill at least one vacancy on the staff.
  • When speaking as a TV analyst recently, Riddick said that the Giants should consider taking a quarterback with their top pick, regardless of whether or not they keep Eli Manning. “Drafting a young player has to be on the ticket anyway, just by virtue of the fact that you know [Manning] is closer to the end than the beginning,” Riddick said (via Schwartz). “There’s a lot of different moving parts here. But I think everybody will win in the end. I think Eli will get what he wants, and I think the Giants will just move on into the future.”
  • A new deal for Cowboys guard Zack Martin will not come cheap.
  • Is Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther destined to join the Redskins?

Giants To Interview Kevin Abrams On Friday

The Giants will interview interim general manager Kevin Abrams for the club’s full-time position on Friday, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Abrams will become the fourth candidate to interview for the job, joining ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, Giants vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross, and ESPN commentator Louis Riddick.

Abrams, who has spent 16 seasons as the Giants’ assistant general manager, has reportedly been endorsed by former New York GM Ernie Accorsi, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Accorsi, who is advising the Giants as they search for a Jerry Reese replacement, also has close ties with Gettleman, who is considered the frontrunner for the vacancy.

The Giants could conceivably retain Abrams as general manager and hire Gettleman with a “personnel chief” title, opines Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Although Garafolo appears to be speculating and not reporting, such an arrangement could make sense. Gettleman’s ouster from Carolina was reportedly tied to his communication issues and gruff style, so assigning more interpersonal issues to Abrams could be a perfect compromise.

Meanwhile, if Riddick is chosen as the Giants’ new GM, he’s expected to attempt to hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the club’s head coach. Riddick and McDaniels were reportedly viewed as a “package deal” during the hiring cycle earlier this year.

Giants To Interview Louis Riddick

The Giants’ GM search is heating up, with Dave Gettleman and in-house executive Marc Ross interviewing for Jerry Reese‘s old post. A familiar name is coming next.

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick will interview for the job, Kimberly Jones of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Riddick’s interview will commence on Thursday, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets.

The Giants are also scheduled to meet with longtime assistant GM Kevin Abrams amid a search that — just as the Browns’ was — consisted only of names not connected to teams presently, since they’re available to interview now.

Gettleman, as of now, is considered the favorite to land the job. A source informed ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan of this line of thinking as well. The 66-year-old has a close relationship with Ernie Accorsi, the former Giants GM who is leading this search, and helped the Panthers morph into a Super Bowl entrant during his time in Charlotte.

Riddick was connected to the Chiefs’ GM vacancy over the summer, although he denied it, and did interview with the 49ers in January. He’s worked as a scout and an executive, with his most notable experience coming with the Eagles from 2005-13. The former NFL defensive back served as Philadelphia’s director of player personnel from 2010-13. Riddick broke into the scouting world with the Redskins from 2001-04; his executive tenure has come entirely in the NFC East.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Hackenberg, Jets

Jerry Jones offered a measured response to Roger Goodell‘s new extension when asked about it on Friday morning.

“No, I don’t really [have any comment],” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (transcript via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). “We’re having a very important [owners] meeting here in Dallas next week beginning Wednesday. That’s very meaningful. I’m looking forward to that. That’ll be very meaningful as we go forward. One of the things that I think that has been mentioned is any role that I might have had in the extension of Roger. As you know, I’ve been on both ends of it as far as any criticism. It’s been my experience in 30 years in the NFL that to make change and to make positive change — every time we all strive to make the NFL better, I include every owner with that — it’s hard. It’s very, very hard. If you really want to make some changes, you usually end up getting a lot of criticism along the way. It’s happened every time with me when we’ve had meaningful change. … We’ll see how it goes forward, but there’s nothing that has surprised me here.”

While Jones seethes behind closed doors, let’s take a look at the latest from the East divisions:

  • Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com spoke with people around the league to size up some potential candidates for the Giants‘ GM vacancy. The names he’s hearing include Eliot Wolf (Packers), Nick Caserio (Patriots), Scott Pioli (Falcons), Trent Kirchner (Seahawks), Dave Gettleman (ex-Panthers GM), Louis Riddick (currently with ESPN), and internal candidates Kevin Abrams and Marc Ross.
  • Can Christian Hackenberg still be the Jets‘ quarterback of the future? The former second round pick has yet to see the field, but Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News won’t rule out the possibility that he could be in the mix next season. For his part, Hackenberg admits that he is anxious to take an NFL snap. “In order to grow and learn, you need to get hit in your mouth,” Hackenberg said. “You need to fail. Then you grow from that. There’s really no intimidation. I got to experience things. I felt like I experienced a lot of really good things this preseason and some things I need to learn from. That’s all part of the process. If you don’t experience both ends of the spectrum, you’re not getting everything out of the adventure.”

Brett Veach, Louis Riddick Favorites For Chiefs GM?

Although the Chiefs are interviewing Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden today, he’s not currently the frontrunner for the Kansas City vacancy, Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com reports. Instead, Chiefs co-director of player personnel Brett Veach and ESPN commentator Louis Riddick are considered the “strongest candidates” for the job, per McCormick. Indeed, a “growing belief” exists around the league that Veach will end up being promoted, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

Given that head coach Andy Reid is now “running the show” in Kansas City following the firing of ex-GM John Dorsey, familiarity with Reid seems to be playing an integral role in the club’s general manager search. Veach, of course, has worked with Reid with the Chiefs and also spent time with him in Philadelphia. Riddick, too, has a relationship with Reid based on the pair’s time with the Eagles.

The Chiefs are expected to interview Veach, whose name was tossed out during the Bills GM hunt, at some point this week. Riddick, meanwhile, is a candidate for the Kansas City despite his public denial. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Monday that the Chiefs have reached out to Riddick’s representation, but perhaps not Riddick himself.

As our Chiefs GM Search Tracker shows, Cowden, Veach, and Riddick are three of six candidates who have been linked to the Chiefs’ vacancy. Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer will interview this week, Chiefs co-director of player personnel Mike Borgonzi has been mentioned as a contender, and Vikings assistant general manager George Paton declined an interview.

Louis Riddick Is Candidate For Chiefs GM

ESPN commentator and former NFL executive Louis Riddick is a candidate for the Chiefs general manager position despite his denial on Sunday, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Although Kansas City didn’t contact Riddick himself — meaning his denial was technically accurate — a source tells Florio the club has indeed reached out to Riddick’s representation.

[RELATED: Chiefs GM Search Tracker]

Several reasons may have lead Riddick to issue his public denial, Florio speculates. For one, Riddick may not have communicated the Chiefs’ interest to his employers at ESPN, which could potentially complicate matters. Second, ESPN’s reporters may have been disappointed they didn’t land the Riddick news given that he’s currently employed at the network (Ian Rapoport of NFL.com initially reported Kansas City’s interest in Riddick).

A candidate for the 49ers’ GM job earlier this year, Riddick has worked at ESPN for nearly four years. Prior to becoming an analyst, Riddick served in the Redskins and Eagles personnel departments. The 48-year-old played for the 49ers, Falcons, and Browns during his NFL career.

Riddick is the fifth candidate to be linked to the Chiefs vacancy, joining incumbent co-directors of player personnel Mike Borgonzi and Brett Veach, Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden, and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer.

Louis Riddick Denies Chiefs GM Interest

Although Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicates (Twitter link) the Chiefs have reached out to ESPN commentator Louis Riddick in order to schedule an interview for their general manager vacancy, Riddick himself denies Kansas City has done so. “The Kansas City Chiefs have not contacted me and there is no interview set up for this week. Source? Me,” Riddick said (Twitter link).

Riddick was a candidate for the 49ers’ GM job earlier this year, so it’s entirely conceivable that he might be on Kansas City’s wishlist. Indeed, the variance in Rapoport’s report and Riddick’s denial could simply be semantics, as it’s possible the Chiefs intend to contact Riddick about an interview but haven’t yet officially reached out.

The Chiefs are expected to consider both internal and external candidates for their GM position after firing John Dorsey last week, and a wide swath of contenders could be interested in what is viewed as a highly attractive job. Incumbent co-directors of player personnel Mike Borgonzi and Brett Veach are both expected to be interviewed.

49ers Narrow General Manager Search

The 49ers have informed several candidates from their general manager search that they’re out of the running for the job, per a team announcement.

49ers Helmet (Featured)

“The 49ers pared down its list of general manager candidates (Wednesday) morning and thanked those who will not be included in the second round of interviews,” tweeted 49ers spokeman Bob Lange. “Upcoming interviews will be announced as they were in the first round.”

Specifically, the Niners will not invite Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane, Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, Colts vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III or ESPN analyst Louis Riddick back for second interviews, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).

Even before San Francisco eliminated those four from its GM mix, each seemingly had slim odds to land the role. Packers director of college scouting Brian Gutekunst emerged as the favorite earlier this week, and the Niners will also reportedly hold second meetings with Green Bay director of football operations Eliot Wolf and Vikings assistant GM George Paton next week. Those interviews will take place in Atlanta, where Kyle Shanahan coaches. The current Falcons offensive coordinator is the only candidate left for the 49ers’ head coaching position, and he’s set to help the team’s management pick a GM.

Along with Gutekunst, Wolf and Paton, Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is still in play, per Barrows. However, the 49ers have not yet requested another sitdown with him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.