Martin Mayhew

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Pollard Alliance Releases HC Candidates List

The Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation typically releases its list of recommended minority head coaching candidates in January. This year, we have an early preview of the list, courtesy of Tom Pelissero of USA Today. This year’s suggested candidates will include Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin, and Vikings DC George EdwardsTeryl Austin (vertical)

Austin was a popular candidate for coaching vacancies last year but ultimately did not find a head coaching gig. After interviewing with the Browns, Dolphins, Giants, and Eagles, Austin indicated that he felt only two of the interviews were “legitimate” while the other two were only done to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which stipulates that a minority candidate must be interviewed for every job. Since the Browns hired a black coach in Hue Jackson, Austin presumably isn’t accusing Cleveland of interviewing him to fulfill the requirement.

The Bills installed Lynn as their OC in September after ousting Greg Roman. The Bills have been up-and-down this year, but they now stand at 6-6 despite injuries to key players. Lynn has had to run the Bills’ offense without star wide receiver Sammy Watkins for much of the year and teams will certainly take notice of his capable job despite the less-than-ideal circumstances.

Goodwin has made no secret of his desire to land a head coaching job. However, there are some factors working against him. First, the Cardinals offense has struggled this season. Secondly, despite rave reviews from those around him, Goodwin does not call the plays in Arizona, and that could deter interested teams.

Edwards was placed on the Pollard list for the first time last year and he returns this season. Like Goodwin, he does not call plays for his team despite the coordinator title. However, he comes with a strong recommendation from head coach Mike Zimmer and he did call the plays against the Cowboys when Zimmer was recovering from surgery. With Edwards at the wheel, the Vikings allowed just 17 points against one of the league’s most electric offenses.

The foundation also released a list of general manager candidates including Giants VP of player evaluation Marc Ross, Raiders director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales, former Lions GM and current Giants exec Martin Mayhew, and Eagles director of college scouting Trey Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Hire Ex-Lions GM Martin Mayhew

The Giants have added a former general manager to their front office today, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Martin Mayhew as their director of football operations/special projects. It’s Mayhew’s first job since the Lions let him go from his GM position in November.Martin Mayhew

According to the Giants’ announcement, Mayhew will work closely with assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on cap issues and contract negotiations. Mayhew will also handle special projects assigned by GM Jerry Reese.

The Lions and Giants essentially completed a swap of front office executives, since Mayhew is replacing former Giants director of football operations Matt Harriss. The Lions signed Harris, who is expected to play a significant role in managing the team’s salary cap, as their VP of football administration last month.

Mayhew, who was named the Lions’ permanent GM in 2008, spent 15 years in total with the franchise, and had his ups and downs during his time in Detroit. The team earned postseason berths in 2011 and 2014, but never made it out of the first round during Mayhew’s tenure as GM, and finished below .500 in all of his non-playoff seasons.

Before he was hired by the Giants, Mayhew also interviewed for the Titans’ general manager job in January, and was reportedly considered for a football operations job in the Browns’ front office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Hickey, Jaguars, Winslow, Flacco

Former Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey interviewed to be the Browns Vice President of Player Personnel, reports Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Twitter). Miami had parted ways with Hickey earlier this month.

Earlier today, we learned Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta were seeking a personnel executive for their front office, although they weren’t going to label the position “general manager.” Hickey would presumably be up for that role, as the 44-year-old has spent more than two decades in NFL front offices.

Cabot tweets that former Eagles Director of Pro Personnel Rick Mueller is also on the Browns’ radar for the same position, and former Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is also reportedly a candidate for the job.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the league…

  • The Jaguars will be promoting Mark Ellenz to their director of college scouting, reports Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union (via Twitter). Ellenz will be replacing Kyle O’Brien, who became the Lions Director of Player Personnel last week.
  • After having caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns, Kellen Winslow II hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2013. However, a recent tweet by the 32-year-old suggests that the tight end is looking to make a comeback. “I’m putting my life’s work into this comeback. #LoveDaGame #NFL,” Winslow tweeted. Furthermore, a representative for the player told TMZ.com that the former first-rounder is attempting a comeback (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com).
  • Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is signed through 2018, and his cap number won’t dip below $24MM over the next few seasons. The veteran recognizes how this number could restrict his team’s ability to make moves, and he indicated that he may be willing to rework his contract. “We haven’t talked about it yet,” Flacco said on WBAL (via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun on Twitter). “I know it’s a huge number. I’m open to doing something. I want to be here for a while.”

Browns Rumors: Manziel, QB, Mayhew, DC

When the Browns hired Hue Jackson as their new head coach, we heard almost immediately that the former Bengals offensive coordinator had made it clear he was prepared to move on from former first-round pick Johnny Manziel. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) echoes that sentiment, suggesting that the young signal-caller is “all but gone,” and it’s just a formality at this point that Cleveland will part ways with him.

According to Cole, the Browns, who hold the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, are strongly considering using that selection on a quarterback, whether it’s Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, or someone else. Waiting until the second round to nab a QB is also an option for Cleveland — it’s worth noting that, with the Browns and Titans flip-flopping in the second round, and the Patriots not having their first-round pick this year, Cleveland’s second pick will be 32nd overall, essentially making it a first-rounder.

Here are a few more Browns updates:

  • The Browns are attempting to move quickly to fill the vacancy in their front office, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, who tweets that former Lions GM Martin Mayhew is a candidate for the job.
  • The opening in the Browns’ front office is a top personnel position, but not technically a general manager job, which means other teams will have more leeway to deny requests to interview their executives. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), that has already happened with the Bears — the Browns requested permission to speak to Bears director of college scouting Joe Douglas, and Chicago turned them down.
  • Earlier this afternoon, we learned that Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton is considered a top candidate for the Browns’ defensive coordinator job, if Tennessee is willing to let him go. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link) hears that Buccaneers DC Leslie Frazier is also a candidate for the same position in Cleveland.
  • The Browns won’t retain quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. While O’Connell did a decent job with Manziel this past season, Jackson wants to pick his own guy for the job.