Martin Mayhew

Martin Mayhew To Be Washington’s GM

Jan. 22: Mayhew will indeed be the GM, and Hurney’s official title will be Executive Vice President of Football/Player Personnel, as Rapoport tweets. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network says that both men will report to head coach Ron Rivera, who is still heading football operations (Twitter link).

Jan. 21: Washington was connected to hires of both Marty Hurney and Martin Mayhew this week, with the former being expected to lead the team’s front office. This structure may not be Washington’s preferred hierarchy, however.

It could be Mayhew in line to become Washington’s GM. The former Lions GM is the candidate Washington will go with as general manager, according to ESPN.com’s John Keim (on Twitter). Mayhew, who was with the 49ers for four years, will receive a second chance in a GM post.

Washington will still hire Mayhew and Hurney, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, but the latter will be part of a Mayhew-led front office (Twitter link). The ex-Panthers GM will serve as a high-ranking Washington staffer. The Panthers fired Hurney in December, ending his second stint as their front office boss.

The Lions fired Mayhew in 2015, doing so despite the former Washington Super Bowl-winning cornerback helping Detroit to two playoff berths after the franchise sunk to the NFL’s basement during the 2000s. Mayhew spent a year with the Giants before joining John Lynch‘s 49ers staff. The 49ers promoted Mayhew to VP of player personnel in 2019 and stand to benefit from Mayhew’s Washington hire.

The NFL’s Rooney Rule changes last year will mean the team that loses a head coach or executive is entitled to third-round draft compensation. Because the Jets hired Robert Saleh, the 49ers’ third-round pick for Mayhew will come in 2023, according to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows (subscription required). The Saleh move will provide San Francisco with third-rounders this year and next. Overall, the haul stands to be three total Round 3 picks for the 49ers, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News tweets. These selections will come at the end of the round.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Washington To Hire Martin Mayhew

One of the candidates Washington considered for its general manager post will head back to the nation’s capital anyway, despite Marty Hurney set to lead the team’s front office.

Martin Mayhew agreed to terms to join Washington’s front office, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The former Lions GM’s role has yet to be determined, but considering he was a high-ranking exec with the 49ers in recent years, Mayhew will soon hold a key position within the Hurney- and Ron Rivera-led power structure.

In addition to bringing nearly eight years’ worth of GM experience, Mayhew will return to the team with which he won a Super Bowl. During an eight-year playing career, Mayhew was a starting cornerback for the dominant 1991 Washington squad — amid a four-year stay in D.C. — but his executive work has occurred primarily in Detroit and San Francisco.

Taking over a franchise in tatters in 2008, Mayhew elevated the Lions back to the playoffs. Detroit returned to the postseason in Mayhew’s third full season, 2011, and was back in the playoffs in 2014 under Jim Caldwell. While the Lions fired Mayhew in 2015, the roster nucleus he put in place made the playoffs in 2016 as well. Mayhew, 55, joined the 49ers in 2017 and served as the organization’s VP of player personnel over the past two years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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

WFT Requests Martin Mayhew GM Interview

With Washington having been eliminated, the franchise has moved to its GM interview process. The team has requested a meeting with 49ers VP of player personnel Martin Mayhew, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets.

Mayhew played with Washington in the 1980s and ’90s and rose to a GM position in 2008, taking over the Lions after Matt Millen‘s dismissal. Mayhew held that job until 2015, when the Lions fired him. Mayhew has been with the 49ers since 2017 but was on the radar for the Washington GM job.

Washington has gone without a GM since hiring Ron Rivera a little more than a year ago. But Mayhew joined the likes of ex-Panthers GM Marty Hurney and ex-Texans GM Rick Smith as WFT candidates with GM experience. Smith was on Washington’s radar last year.

Titans VP of player personnel Ryan Cowden also received an interview summons from Washington, according to J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. Cowden also resided on Washington’s GM radar in a search that is now taking shape. Cowden has been with the Titans since 2016. While Cowden has spent the past several years in Tennessee, he worked with Rivera in Carolina as the Panthers’ assistant college scouting director. Both Cowden and Mayhew broke into the personnel ranks around the same time; Cowden became an NFL scout in 2000 and Mayhew joined the Lions as an exec in 2001.

Mayhew was with the Lions throughout Millen’s disastrous tenure, but after taking the GM reins amid the franchise’s 0-16 season, the ex-NFL cornerback helped elevate them back to respectability. Mayhew hired Jim Schwartz and drafted Matthew Stafford in 2009, and Detroit made the playoffs in 2011 and 2014 — coming close to a first-round win in Dallas during the ’14 season. The Lions were also in the 2016 playoffs behind Mayhew hire Jim Caldwell, though the since-fired Bob Quinn was running the team by that point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans To Interview Former Lions GM Martin Mayhew

Just minutes after our latest update on the Texans’ GM search, we have another one. Former Lions GM Martin Mayhew is in Houston to interview with the Texans, sources told Peter Schrager of Foxsports.com (Twitter link).

Mayhew is the second known candidate to get an interview, after former Browns GM Ray Farmer. We just heard in our most recent update that Patriots exec Nick Caserio is the “leading candidate,” but the Texans might have trouble getting to him considering New England denied their interview request last time around. Mayhew currently holds the position of Vice President of Player Personnel with the 49ers.

Mayhew ascended to the top role in Detroit’s front office in 2008 after the firing of Matt Millen. He managed to hold onto the job until midway through the 2015 season, when he was canned after a 1-7 start. He then latched on with the Giants for a year, before joining the new regime in San Francisco in 2017.

Mayhew also spent about a decade in the league as a player, playing for the Redskins and Buccaneers from 1988-1996. Mayhew has done well in San Francisco, as they just promoted him to his current post back in January. This isn’t his first time drawing interest for a lead job recently, as he also interviewed for the Panthers’ vacancy last offseason.

The Texans are clearly casting a wide net, showing interest in guys with prior general manager experience as well as young up and comers. Despite being around for a while, Mayhew is still only 53. As we heard earlier, the Texans hiring someone from the Patriots’ tree who has familiarity with Bill O’Brien would be a good sign of O’Brien’s power, while them hiring an outsider could mean he’ll be on the hot seat himself.

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Staff Notes: Redskins, 49ers, Packers, Jets

The Redskins have hired former Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton as their new defensive backs coach, according to John Keim of ESPN.com. Washington is retaining incumbent DC Greg Manusky, but the club has spent the offseason meeting with other defensive minds such as Gregg Williams, Steve Wilks, and Todd Bowles. Horton, unlike those three, doesn’t have prior head coaching experience, but he has been a defensive play-caller for the Cardinals, Titans, and Browns (two stints). Horton, who didn’t coach in the NFL in either of the past two seasons, is replacing Torrian Gray, who was let go earlier this month.

Let’s check in on the latest coaching and front office moves:

  • The 49ers have promoted Martin Mayhew to vice president of of player personnel, tweets Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Mayhew, whose previous title was “senior personnel executive,” will now share the VP role with Adam Peters. After serving as Detroit’s general manager from 2008-15, Mayhew was the Giants’ director of football operations/special projects in 2016 before he joined San Francisco the following year. He interviewed for the Panthers’ GM gig last February, but lost out to interim Marty Hurney.
  • Former Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn is a candidate for the same position with the Packers, reports Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), who adds Quinn has spoken with Green Bay. Quinn was New York’s coordinator from 2007-17 before being let go by Pat Shurmur last offseason. However, Quinn re-joined the Giants staff in September 2018 after new ST coordinator Thomas McGaughey began cancer treatments. The Packers were thought to be a serious contender to hire Dolphins’ special teams coach Darren Rizzi, but that union won’t be happening.
  • Adam Gase is bringing a familiar face to New York, as former Dolphins wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson has taken the same job with the Jets, per Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Jefferson, 49, started his coaching career in 2006 with the Lions before moving on to Tennessee in 2013 and Miami in 2016. He was reportedly a candidate to become the Packers’ new wide receivers coach, a role which still hasn’t been filled.
  • The Falcons have hired former Buccaneers tight ends coach Ben Steele as an offensive assistant, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Steele had worked under Dirk Koetter — Atlanta’s new offensive coordinator — in Tampa Bay for the past two years.

Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends GM Candidates

The Fritz Pollard Alliance has released its annual list of minority candidates for general manager vacancies. Much like the latest batch of recommended coaching hires, the suggested GM list is more than twice as long as last year’s. 

[RELATED: Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends Head Coaching Candidates]

Here’s the full rundown, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link):

  • Ray Agnew (Rams)
  • Joey Clinkscales (Raiders)
  • Quentin Harris (Cardinals)
  • Alonzo Highsmith (Browns)
  • Brad Holmes (Rams)
  • Champ Kelly (Bears)
  • Martin Mayhew (49ers, ex-Lions GM)
  • Will McClay (Cowboys)
  • Jimmy Raye III (Lions)
  • Jerry Reese (ex-Giants GM)
  • Doug Whaley (ex-Bills GM)
  • Doug Williams (Redskins)

 

Clinkscales, Highsmith, McClay, and Williams were all featured on last year’s list, but none of those executives landed GM jobs. The only executive from the last round of recommendations who did not carry over to this year was Ray Farmer, the former Browns GM who is currently serving as a senior consultant with the Rams.

Of the dozen suggested executives on this list, only three sat for GM interviews in the last cycle: Mayhew (Panthers), Raye (Texans), and Whaley (Packers). McClay was asked to interview for the Texans opening, but declined the opportunity and instead signed a two-year extension to stay with the Cowboys. McClay may garner consideration again this time around, but he might not be interested in leaving Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers To Interview Martin Mayhew

The Panthers have added Martin Mayhew to their list of candidates for their GM vacancy, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The former Lions GM may be the third outside candidate to sit for an interview after Texans exec Jimmy Raye III (interviewed on Thursday) and Bills exec Lake Dawson (Friday). Martin Mayhew

Despite interviewing these three candidates, the Panthers are still widely expected to remove the “interim” tag from GM Marty Hurney. It’s possible that the decision has already been made at the ownership level, but the Panthers are still required to satisfy the Rooney Rule. By interviewing a minority candidate (or, in this case, three), the Panthers can give the job to Hurney without facing league sanctions,

Mayhew, 52, spent 15 years with the Lions as an executive, including eight years as the team’s GM. After he was canned in 2015, Mayhew hooked on moved on to the Giants for a year before accepting a job with the 49ers’ front office. He remains in SF, but he’ll have the greenlight to interview for the Panthers’ GM job since it is a higher title.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Hire Former Lions GM Martin Mayhew

John Lynch added another experienced NFL personnel man to his front office, with the 49ers’ new GM announcing (via CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco, on Twitter) Martin Mayhew will join him in San Francisco. Mayhew will come to San Francisco as a senior personnel executive.

The former Lions GM spent last season with the Giants but was linked to a Lynch-led front office after the 49ers made their seismic hire. Mayhew served under Jerry Reese for one year as director of football operations/special projects, but his more notable personnel-related tenure came in Detroit. Mayhew succeeded Matt Millen, whom many have brought up recently in light of the 49ers’ unorthodox Lynch decision, as Lions GM and served in that capacity for nearly eight years.

The Lions fired Mayhew in November of 2015 during his eighth season, but he’ll represent significant experience as Lynch acclimates to being a GM. The two also have a history together. A former Super Bowl-winning cornerback with the Redskins, the now-51-year-old Mayhew’s final four NFL seasons came with the Buccaneers from 1993-96. Those years doubled as the 45-year-old Lynch’s first four in the NFL.

Mayhew joins assistant GM Tom Gamble and VP of player personnel Adam Peters in the Lynch front office. This arrangement may become crowded, per USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, who notes Mayhew could replace Gamble as assistant GM after the draft (Twitter link). The 49ers are tentatively planning to give Gamble, promoted to his current post last year, until around draft time to prove he has a place with the restructured organization.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching/FO Notes: Browns, Garcia, 49ers

The Browns have interviewed Jeff Garcia for their vacant quarterbacks coach position, tweets Tony Grossi of ESPN.com. Cleveland is aiming to replace Pep Hamilton, who served as QBs coach in addition to acting as associate head coach, after he joined the University of Michigan staff. Garcia, 46, enjoyed a long NFL career as a signal-caller that included a stint with the Browns (2004). His only professional coaching experience, however, came with the Montreal Alouettes in 2014 and the Rams in 2015.

Here’s more from the NFL’s hiring cycle:

  • Former Lions general manager Martin Mayhew could land in John Lynch‘s new 49ers front office, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Mayhew, who served as Detroit’s GM 2008-15, served as the Giants’ director of football operations/special projects last year. Schrager also confirmed that ex-Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik is still a candidate to head to San Francisco, despite the club’s hiring of Lynch and VP of player personnel Adam Peters.
  • The Jets announced today that they’ve hired Stump Mitchell as their new running backs coach. Mitchell will reunite with New York head coach Todd Bowles, as both men previously worked under Bruce Arians in Arizona. Mitchell had been with the Cardinals since 2013, but the club opted last week not to renew his contract. Gang Green has now filled out most of its offensive staff under new coordinator John Morton, but still needs to hire a QBs coach.
  • The Panthers are expected to promote assistant defensive backs coach Curtis Fuller to secondary coach, reports Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. Fuller’s promotion would be the final link in a chain of events that involved former Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott taking the Buffalo head coaching position, followed by Panthers secondary coach Steve Wilks‘ promotion to DC. Fuller has worked for Carolina since 2013.