Adrian Wilson

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 5-24-22 (9:03pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bucs To Start Post-Brady Rebuild?

With three-time MVP quarterback Tom Brady announcing his retirement earlier today, speculation has already started on the future of the Buccaneers’ franchise. Brady’s retirement has experts wondering about the futures of tight end Rob Gronkowki and head coach Bruce Arians. Both have flirted with retirement before. 

Contributing to the postulation on Arians’ situation is head coaching interest in the Buccaneers’ coordinators on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich recently had his second interview for the Jaguars open coaching position. Reportedly, talks have stalled as Leftwich has expressed issues with current general manager Trent Baalke continuing in that position, with Leftwich preferring Cardinals’ vice president of pro scouting Adrian Wilson to replace the polarizing GM. The Saints have requested an interview with Leftwich, who previously received interest from the Bears before they hired Matt Eberflus. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has interviewed with the Bears, Jaguars, Raiders, and Vikings. With the Bears’ job taken, Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels being the presumed frontrunner in Las Vegas, and Jacksonville having conducted multiple second interviews Bowles’ opportunities for a head coaching job are starting to dwindle, as well.

More cause for speculation has risen from an article from Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. In the article Wilson reports that Arians has informed the entire coaching staff that they have permission to seek jobs around the league regardless of whether or not the new position would be a promotion. With the potential exit of the two New England-legends and the impactful group of Buccaneers heading into free agency, this permission could potentially be an opportunity to abandon ship before the start of a Tampa Bay rebuild.

In terms of those free agents, joining free-agent-to-be Gronkowski are three other significant role players: wide receiver Chris Godwin, center Ryan Jensen, and cornerback Carlton Davis. Godwin is expected to be the top free agent priority in Tampa Bay after he received the franchise tag for this past season. Jensen came over three years ago from the Ravens on what then made him the highest paid center in the NFL. Davis was a key contributor due for a big contract year on defense before being placed on IR after Week 4 of the season and missing eight weeks during a crucial year.

The domino-effect of Brady’s retirement is already looming large over the Buccaneers’ prospects for the 2022 NFL season. Tampa Bay has the entire offseason to navigate these obstacles and mitigate the potential fallout. After winning a Super Bowl just last year, the departure of Brady could be as game-changing to the Buccaneers as his arrival was nearly two years ago.

Jaguars “Close” To Hiring Adrian Wilson For GM, Byron Leftwich For HC

As news keeps coming on the head coaching front, the lone remaining finalist for the Jags’ HC role looks to be coming to Jacksonville. That doesn’t appear to be the only major hire the team is set to make, however. Mike Jurecki of reports (via Twitter) that the team is “close” to not only hiring Bucs OC Bryon Leftwich as its new head coach, but also Cardinals vice president of pro scouting Adrian Wilson as its new general manager. 

[Related: Jaguars Interview Vic Fangio For Head Coach]

Leftwich’s status as the favorite for the HC position has only grown in the past few days. The belief that he would be the Jags’ top choice has been strengthened by the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett in Denver and Matt Eberflus in Chicago earlier today. However, Adam Schefter tweeted not long after Jurecki’s initial report that the Saints have requested an interview with Leftwich. That would certainly suggest, among other things, that it is not quite a done deal yet for the 42-year-old.

As for Baalke, it has been believed by many around the league that his grip on the GM position was loosening. Earlier in the month, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that his presence would deter certain HC candidates from interviewing for the position. In a follow-up to Jurecki’s report, JLC adds that there was a good chance Baalke “would be gone by the draft”. Given his support for Bill O’Brien, and later, Eberflus, as HC candidates earlier on in the hiring process, his departure might happen “sooner”.

Wilson, meanwhile, was one of nine candidates to interview with the Giants for their GM opening, so his hiring wouldn’t come as a complete surprise. The 42-year-old has been an executive with the Cardinals since 2015, which immediately followed his retirement as a player. He has held his current job title for only one year, so a jump to GM would be a rather large one, irrespective of the fact that it would also, surely, mean an end to Baalke’s time in the role.

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 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.

Extra Points: Coaches, GMs, Schedule, OTAs

After the NFL expanded the Rooney Rule this offseason, it has a “ready list” of minority candidates for head coaching jobs, offensive and defensive coordinator positions and GM candidates, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. Beyond some of the big names — Eric Bieniemy, Marvin Lewis, Todd Bowles, Leslie Frazier among them — coaches like Clemson OC Tony Elliott, Penn State HC James Franklin and Michigan State HC Mel Tucker appear on the HC portion of the list. On the GM side, some first-time candidates include Bills pro scouting director Malik Boyd, Raiders pro scouting director Dwayne Joseph, Ravens exec Vincent Newsome and Chargers player personnel director JoJo Wooden. Former Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson — now the franchise’s pro scouting director — also appears on the GM portion of the list. The Rooney Rule now mandates teams interview two minority HC candidates and expanded the rule to include coordinator positions. Franchises must also open their senior-level executive jobs to minority and female candidates.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Normal NFL offseasons feature several weeks’ worth of OTAs preceding a June minicamp, but the NFLPA would like a schedule that looks closer to this year’s virtual offseason. Union executive director DeMaurice Smith said “there is absolutely no reason” for the NFL to return to full-scale OTAs, per Sports Business Daily’s Ben Fischer (subscription required). Having seen no decline in performance after this atypical offseason, union president J.C. Tretter agrees with Smith. This would be a stretch for coaching staffs, which have steadily seen their time with players cut back. The past two CBA agreements have significantly limited offseason and padded training camp workouts, and 2020’s COVID-19-altered offseason created steeper acclimation challenges for young players.
  • The NFL has agreed to a formula for its 17th regular-season game, making it increasingly likely this season will be the last one of the 16-game era. In what will be the first shift to the league’s scheduling setup since 2002, the 17-game schedule will feature a fifth interconference game. The schedule will pit an AFC division winner against an NFC division winner, and on down the line within each division, but the extra interconference game will not feature two teams who played the previous year, Albert Breer of notes. In the event the NFL moves to the 17-game season in 2021, the Chiefs and Buccaneers could not play again next season; the earliest such a regular-season rematch would occur would be 2022.
  • Roger Goodell may well be on board with shortening the preseason slate from four games to two. The commissioner “seemed in favor” of halving the preseason schedule at last week’s owners meetings, according to’s Seth Wickersham, but some high-profile owners are not. Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, John Mara and Art Rooney II dismissed the idea of going from three preseason games — the new number as of the 2020 CBA — to two, according to ESPN. No vote occurred on the matter, though Goodell discussing the idea publicly points to it remaining an issue going forward.

West Notes: A. Davis, Chargers, Cardinals

In his MMQB column this week, Peter King noted that one source believes the 49ers “want to trade” veteran offensive tackle Anthony Davis, who remains on the reserve/retired list for now. Davis took to Twitter to let his followers know that GM Trent Baalke sent him a text message calling King’s tidbit “false reporting.”

What to make of King’s report and Baalke’s response (via Davis)? For what it’s worth, King presented the info as something that one high-ranking team executive believed, rather than something King himself was formally reporting. Still, it’s unlikely that the team exec simply invented the notion that Davis might be on the trade block. It’s possible that Baalke and the Niners have sent out feelers without explicitly shopping their offensive tackle, attempting to get a sense of their options.

As we wait for further developments on the Davis situation, let’s round up some more items from out of the NFL’s West divisions…

  • The Chargers, who hold the third overall pick in this month’s draft, hosted Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil for a visit today, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). Tunsil is considered by many experts the top prospect in this year’s draft class, so he may not be on the board at No. 3, but San Diego is doing its homework just in case.
  • Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who is in Pittsburgh today, is scheduled to visit the Chargers next, per Jeremy Fowler of (via Twitter).
  • After playing for the Cardinals for 12 seasons, longtime safety Adrian Wilson is now a part of the team in another capacity. According to a press release, Wilson has joined Arizona’s personnel department as a full-time scout.

Adrian Wilson Retires As Cardinal

MONDAY, 3:13pm: Wilson has signed a one-day contract with the Cardinals to retire as a member of the team, tweets Darren Urban of Per Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (via Twitter), Wilson will be part of Arizona’s staff, as a coach and personnel man.

SUNDAY, 6:56pm: The Cardinals have announced that they will hold a special press conference tomorrow at 1:00pm local time, writes Josh Weinfuss of (via Twitter). In attendance at the conference will be team president Michael Bidwill, general manager Steve Keim, and former safety Adrian Wilson.

The purpose of the press conference has not been announced, but it is expected that Wilson will announce his retirement from the NFL, writes Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter).

Wilson is a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro selection, all as a member of the Cardinals. The third-round pick out of North Carolina State spent 11 years with the team after being drafted in 2001.

After a sharp decline in performance during the 2012 season, the team allowed Wilson to leave in free agency. He joined the Patriots, but injured his Achilles tendon prior to the beginning of the regular season, placing him on injured reserve. During the 2014 offseason, Wilson signed with the Bears, although he never played in a regular season game with the team.

As an impressive career comes to a close, coaching might be in Wilson’s future plans. Rapoport mentions that the press conference tomorrow could serve the dual purpose of announcing Wilson’s as well as introducing him as part of the team’s coaching staff.

Bears Cut Adrian Wilson, Eight Others

Sunday, 12:28pm: The Bears have also waived OL Joe Long, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Chicago needs to make six more cuts before 3pm central time on Tuesday.

Saturday, 9:02pm: The Bears have cut ties with veteran safety Adrian Wilson, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Biggs also reports that the team has let go of defensive tackle Nate Collins (Twitter link), offensive lineman Dylan Gandy (Twitter link) and a group of young players:

The Bears signed the 34-year-old Wilson in June with the hope that he’d add a veteran presence to the secondary. The safety missed the entire 2013 season with a foot injury, and Biggs writes that he didn’t move around well enough in camp to justify a role. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), Wilson’s last productive season came in 2011 when he made the Pro Bowl with the Cardinals.

Collins, a former undrafted free agent, was beginning to establish himself last season after starting a pair of games. The 26-year-old went down with an ACL injury, and while he’s done an admirable job recovering, Biggs indicates that the team preferred to move forward with draft picks Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. 

Gandy, a ten-year veteran, had spent the previous five seasons with the Lions, where he served exclusively as a backup. Before that he played for the Raiders, Broncos, and Colts, where he won a Super Bowl in 2007. The 32-year-old has played primarily guard and center throughout his career, and has appeared in at least 15 games since 2009.

NFC North Notes: Wilson, Lyerla, Lions

Bears second-year receiver Marquess Wilson will be sidelined indefinitely after he suffered a fractured clavicle on Monday. A second-year pro, Wilson had the inside track on the Bears’ No. 3 receiver job prior to going down. Josh Bellamy was listed behind Wilson on the Bears’ unofficial preseason depth chart, but the team is expected to sign another receiver in Wilson’s absence.

Here’s a few more NFC North news and notes:

  • There’s a legitimate chance 34-year-old safety Adrian Wilson doesn’t make the Bears if he’s not a starter, says Chicago Sun-Times writer Adam Jahns, who lists five Bears with something to prove.
  • Packers rookie tight end Colt Lyerla suffered a knee injury which will keep him out for ‘weeks,’ according to head coach Mike McCarthy (Twitter link). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Tyler Dunne spoke with Lyerla’s agent, who said surgery doesn’t look necessary (Twitter link). While the injury throws cold water on one of the more interesting story lines in Packers camp, it could be a blessing in disguise if the team is able to stash the talented undrafted free agent on IR.
  • Adding Jonathan Baldwin to the mix is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Lions, opines ESPN’s Michael Rothstein: “The Lions are always on the search for tall wide receivers, hoping the work ethic and professionalism Calvin Johnson provides can potentially rub off on one of them.”
  • The Lions drafted Nate Freese with the thinking he would take over the team’s kicking duties, but he has not impressed, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. Meanwhile, Italian-born Giorgio Tavecchio is pushing hard for the job, and Justin Rogers of says Freese’s status as a draft pick will not preclude the team does not guarantee anything.
  • “The Vikings are being built the right way, a model that could lead to sustained success if — and this should be written in bold capital letters because it looms over everything else — rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater can develop into their franchise quarterback,” writes Chip Scroggins in the Star Tribune. Scroggins adds the team has 17 “core players,” excluding rookies.

Bears Sign Adrian Wilson, Jeron Mastrud

9:45pm: Wilson’s deal is for $955K and is not guaranteed, tweets Adam Caplan of

3:19pm: The Bears have added a pair of free agents to their roster, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve signed veteran safety Adrian Wilson and tight end Jeron Mastrud to contracts. Terms of the agreements aren’t yet known.

Wilson, 34 was set to play for the Patriots in 2013 after spending 12 years in Arizona, but was sidelined with a foot injury in the preseason and missed the entire ’13 campaign. The Pats released Wilson back in April, and Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported at the time that the longtime Cardinal would be healthy for the 2014 season and wanted to continue his playing career. While the idea of a player in his mid-30s coming off a major injury may not inspire a ton of confidence, Wilson isn’t far removed from his most recent Pro Bowl season (2011), so it’s reasonable to think the former third-round pick could contribute if he’s healthy.

As for Mastrud, the tight end played for the Raiders in 2013 after spending his first three NFL seasons in Miami. While Mastrud only has seven career receptions on his NFL resumé, six of which came last season, he logged significant time as a blocker, playing 554 snaps on offense in ’13, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Mastrud’s positive grade as a pass-blocker buoyed him to a rank of 34th among 64 qualified NFL tight ends.