Dan Morgan

2024 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

With the Patriots hiring Eliot Wolf as their de facto GM after having moved on from Bill Belichick, all five teams in need of a GM have filled their post this offseason. If other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list.

Updated 5-11-24 (4:35pm CT)

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Washington Commanders

Latest On Panthers’ CB Situation

The Panthers have a vacancy at the cornerback spot for the time being, with Donte Jackson having been traded to the Steelers for Diontae Johnson and C.J. Henderson departing in free agency. Carolina has since signed Dane Jackson, but another move could be coming relatively soon.

Carolina is interested in bringing back Stephon Gilmorewho had a one-year tenure with the team in 2021. That season was limited to eight games, but the former Defensive Player of the Year still managed to earn a Pro Bowl nod. Gilmore remained healthy during his subsequent campaigns with the Colts and Cowboys, and he is one of the top defensive free agents still on the market.

A new Dallas deal is on Gilmore’s radar, but the 33-year-old could see starting duties if he were to re-join the Panthers. Gilmore would play alongside Jadeveon Clowney in that event, as the former No. 1 pick joined Carolina last week. The two attended the same South Carolina high school, and that connection could help convince Gilmore to take on a Panthers deal. Short of that, though, the team could be in need of a rookie CB addition.

Joe Person of The Athletic predicts the Panthers will select a corner “fairly high” in the upcoming draft if Gilmore or no other veteran is not signed (subscription required). Carolina has Jaycee Horn in place as a starter for at least one more season; a decision on his fifth-year option will be made this spring. The former top-10 pick has battled injuries in his career, though, so a long-term investment in the secondary would come as little surprise.

Dane Jackson will play a part in the team’s efforts to improve against the pass, having signed a two-year deal in free agency. The 27-year-old was drafted when Panthers GM Dan Morgan was a member of Brandon Beane‘s Bills staff, and Person notes Morgan lobbied for Carolina to sign Jackson when he became available. Jackson is in line to serve as a slot starter on his new team, one which has undergone several changes on both sides of the ball this offseason.

Carolina ranked third against the pass in 2023, and the retention of defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero points to a repeat of that success being possible this season. At least one notable move at the CB spot will likely be required, however, whether it is a reunion with Gilmore or an early emphasis on the position in the draft.

Panthers Have Discussed Extending DT Derrick Brown

Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown took a couple of seasons to find his game in the NFL but showed enough in Year 3 to warrant the pickup of the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. A year later, and a second stellar season under his belt, Brown could be headed towards a new contract extension before he even gets the chance to play on that option.

After selecting Brown seventh overall out of Auburn in 2020, Carolina held high expectations for its new starting defensive tackle. Brown delivered on expectations that he would be disruptive, racking up eight tackles for loss in each of his first two season. He also showed a talented pass rushing ability, tallying five sacks and 21 quarterback hits in those first two years. He came under fire early in his career, though, for his struggles in run defense and tackling.

Brown’s third year in the league saw tremendous improvement. While he still had his struggles tackling, he heavily improved his run defense, helping him go from the 37th-best interior defender in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), to the seventh-best. In 2023, Brown put any questions of his tackling issues to rest. Not only did he lead the league in tackles made by a defensive tackle, but Brown also set the NFL record for total tackles in a single season by an interior defender with an astounding 103.

The man was a singular vacuum in the middle of the Panthers defense, and as a result, once again improved his standing, grading out as the fourth-best interior defender in the NFL this season, per PFF, trailing only Dexter Lawrence, Aaron Donald, and Quinnen Williams, three of the league’s highest-paid defensive tackles. Whenever extension talks occur, Brown and his representation, Drew Rosenhaus, will be sure to point out that all three of the above-mentioned players are making over $20MM per year.

Those extension talks do seem to be close at hand, according to Joe Person of The Athletic, who reports that the Panthers general manager Dan Morgan has been in touch with Rosenhaus. The team exercised the 25-year-old’s fifth-year option, allowing them ample time to work out a potential extension agreement. They even lucked out, as the lack of a Pro Bowl season up to that point only qualified Brown for the third tier of the fifth-year option structure, putting his fifth-year, fully-guaranteed salary at a rather manageable $11.67MM. Brown ended up finally earning that Pro Bowl honor this year.

Unfortunately, his Pro Bowl season came one year late. The Panthers may still pursue an extension, though, attempting to lock down Brown on a long-term, potentially team-friendly deal while avoiding any potential for a holdout. His fifth-year salary is set to be about half of what the annual average value would be on a new deal, but it’s all fully guaranteed and all hitting the salary cap. An extension could help lower that cap hit and potentially reward Brown with more guaranteed money in a different structure.

Carolina has some free agents to deal with this offseason like linebacker Frankie Luvu and star pass rusher Brian Burns, so more pressing matters may be at the top of the docket right now. Still, Brown is turning into one of the league’s best at his position, turning even his early-career weaknesses into strengths as he prepares to enter a contract year. Extending him before that point should be an offseason priority.

NFL Draft Rumors: Tackles, Senior Bowl, Rakestraw

The 2024 NFL Draft class may feel relatively light at certain positions like quarterback and running back, but there’s one position that has scouts and coaches excited. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, this year’s offensive tackles group has the potential to match 2020’s class, which saw six tackles selected in the first round.

Four names have been regarded as likely first-rounders for about a year now, so the projections of Notre Dame’s Joe Alt (ranks 6th overall in Dane Brugler of The Athletic’s top 100 prospects), Penn State’s Olu Fashanu (9th), Alabama’s JC Latham (13th), and Georgia’s Amarius Mims (17th) come as no surprise. After some impressive performances in Mobile, Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga (16th) and Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton (18th) have joined those four in the range of the first round.

The top-end depth doesn’t end there, either. There are several other prospects that sit just outside that first-round range in Brugler’s rankings that still find themselves in consideration to be Day 1 picks because of strong Senior Bowl performances and a general interest in the position. Arizona’s Jordan Morgan (32nd), Houston’s Patrick Paul (55th), and Texas’ Christian Jones (NR) all sit on that fringe, according to Fowler.

With these nine guys and still more others pushing for Day 1 money, we’re bound to see a change in recent trends of five or fewer tackles taken in the first round. Even if this year’s class fails to match 2020’s six first-round picks, which seems unlikely as of now, the depth in the first two rounds of this class have a lot of teams excited about what’s available.

Here are a couple of other draft rumors from around the country, starting with more updates out of Mobile:

  • In a mailbag Q&A this week, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer gave his take on some prospects who improved their standing after this year’s Senior Bowl. Breer sees Fuaga and Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell (11th in Brugler’s rankings) as big risers coming out of Mobile. While both players were already expected to be Day 1 picks, Breer believes that they’ve played their way into the top half of the first round. He also touts Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson (45th) as a recent riser. While Wilson may not hear his name called in the first round, Breer thinks he may have pushed his way up to the second.
  • One player who wasn’t able to improve his stock at the Senior Bowl was Missouri cornerback Ennis Rakestraw (48th). Rakestraw had been dealing with a core muscle injury for much of his redshirt junior year before opting to undergo surgery at the close of the season in December, according to Matt Miller of ESPN. After missing out on the college all-star game due to the surgery, Rakestraw, who has been considered a fringe first-rounder, was unable to secure his potential Day 1 status. The young corner has shown a resiliency in coming back from an ACL tear his sophomore year, but his injury history may be enough to push him into the second round.

Panthers Notes: ST Coordinator, QBs Coach, Front Office

The Panthers have made some progress filling their coaching staff, but the team still has a vacancy at special teams coordinator. There’s now at least one known candidate for the job, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that the Panthers are interviewing Bills assistant special teams coach Cory Harkey for their coordinator job.

[RELATED: Panthers Likely To Hire Buccaneers’ Brad Idzik As OC]

Following his five-year playing career, Harkey caught on as a tight ends coach in the college ranks. He earned his first NFL coaching job with the Bills in 2022, and he spent the past two seasons as their assistant special teams coordinator. Harkey clearly made an impression in his role, as he’ll now have an opportunity for the top ST job in Carolina.

While Harkey will interview for the job, he may not be the favorite. Joe Person of The Athletic passes along that Panthers head coach Dave Canales is targeting Seattle’s Tracy Smith as his special teams coordinator. Smith has had two lengthy stints working alongside Canales in Seattle, most recently as an assistant special teams coach. He also spent three years with the Texans organization, including a 2020 campaign where he served as the team’s ST coordinator. With Pete Carroll out in Seattle, Smith likely wouldn’t see any opposition if he decides to take his coaching acumen to the Panthers.

The Panthers are reportedly zeroing in on Buccaneers wide receivers coach Brad Idzik as their next offensive coordinator, and while that move hasn’t been made official, that hasn’t stopped the organization from looking to fill out the rest of the offensive coaching staff. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Panthers requested an interview with Cowboys quality control/offensive assistant Will Harriger for their quarterbacks coach job.

Harriger worked alongside Canales when the two were in Seattle, so there’s a clear connection. The coach recently worked with USC’s quarterbacks during the 2022 season, helping Caleb Williams win the Heisman Trophy. In Carolina, he’d be tasked with guiding former first-overall pick Bryce Young.

As Canales looks to fill his coaching staff, new general manager Dan Morgan is eyeing some reinforcement in the front office. Backing up what we heard last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter passes along that the Panthers are expected to pursue Chiefs vice president of football operations Brandt Tilis for a “prominent” front office role. Albert Breer of SI.com passes along that Tilis’ office in Kansas City has already been cleared out, and the executive hasn’t traveled with the team during the postseason.

Tilis was a candidate for the Panthers GM job, and the long-time Chiefs executive was a popular name in recent hiring cycles. In Carolina, Tilis would be expected to play an essential cap/analytics role within the front office.

One executive who won’t be back in Carolina next season is Samir Suleiman. The team has moved on from the director of player negotiations/salary cap manager, per ESPN’s David Newton.

Panthers Promote Dan Morgan To GM

Not long after it was reported Dan Morgan was in line to stay in Carolina in some fashion, his future has been secured. The Panthers announced on Monday that Morgan has been promoted to general manager/president of football operations.

“Dan has a thorough knowledge of our football personnel and a clear vision to take us where we all want to go,” a statement from owner David Tepper reads. “We know he will attack this opportunity with the same intensity he did as a Panthers player.”

Morgan was a first-round pick by the Panthers back in 2001, and the linebacker ended up spending seven seasons with the organization. Following his retirement, he spent time in the Seahawks front office, working his way up from scouting intern to director of pro personnel.

He took the same role in Buffalo in 2018 and spent three seasons with the Bills. He was later recruited to the Panthers front office by Scott Fitterer, with Morgan being named assistant GM in 2021. He held that role for three-plus seasons before falling into the interim GM gig after Fitterer was fired this past season.

Throughout the hiring process, Morgan was considered a strong contender for the role. The organization looked at more than 10 different candidates for the GM job, with Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown and Eagles assistant GM Alec Halaby being among those who earned second interviews. Ultimately, the Panthers decided to stick with Morgan, with sources telling Josina Anderson that the exec has “the trust [and] embedded comfort” of owner David Tepper.

Morgan’s most pressing responsibility is to find a new head coach,and Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network notes that the executive has been participating in the interview process. Morgan will also look to add executives to his front office. Albert Breer of SI.com notes that Chiefs vice president of football operations Brandt Tilis is a strong contender to join the Panthers. Tilis actually interviewed for the Panthers job, and the long-time Chiefs executive has often showed up in the GM interview carousel. Breer adds that some sources expected Tepper to pair Morgan with a cap/analytics executive like Tilis.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Panthers Likely To Retain AGM Dan Morgan; Team No Longer Interested In Eagles OC Brian Johnson

As the 2024 hiring cycle continues, the Panthers remain a team to watch closely with a vacancy at both the head coach and general manager positions. Updates on both fronts have emerged.

Carolina has included assistant general manager Dan Morgan in the team’s head coaching interviews, as detailed by Joe Person of The Athletic (subscription required). Morgan is one of three front office candidates who have a second interview lined up for the Panthers’ GM position. Regardless of he is ultimately hired in that capacity, Person notes Morgan is on track to remain in the organization in some fashion.

Morgan was a key member of Carolina’s front office during Scott Fitterer‘s three-year tenure in charge of the team. As a result, it would have come as little surprise if the latter’s firing had prompted owner David Tepper to clean house during the 2024 offseason. Instead, Morgan appears poised to either take over as general manager himself (a scenario in which, Person adds, an outside staffer with a salary cap background would be targeted to pair with him) or in some other role.

Carolina has cast a wide net in terms of potential GM candidates, but the same is true of the team’s HC vacancy. 11 candidates have been interviewed, and a 12th – Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson received a request last week. Person reports, however, that Carolina is no longer interested in interviewing Johnson, who has met with other HC-needy teams during this year’s cycle.

Johnson was promoted from QBs coach to OC last offseason following Shane Steichen‘s departure. The Eagles started the campaign well, but the team’s late-season collapse culminated in a wild-card defeat in which they were limited to nine points. Philadelphia has, as expected, moved on from defensive coordinator Sean Desai. Johnson being replaced as OC is also firmly on the table, although he has interviewed with both the Falcons and Titans for their head coaching positions.

With coaches (other than the ones whose teams are set to play in the conference championship games) now free to interview in person, movement in the coaching carousel is expected to pick up in the coming days. The Panthers have a number of key decisions to make in the near future, and clarity will likely emerge soon in both of their ongoing searches.

Latest On Panthers’ GM Search

11:10am: Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown and Eagles assistant GM Alec Halaby were among the candidates to earn second interviews with the Panthers, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Morgan also remains in contention for the job.

9:05am: The Panthers continue to make progress with their GM search. According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, the organization has “quietly” started their second round of interviews.

It’s uncertain which candidates have earned second interviews, but Jones points out that assistant GM Dan Morgan entered the interview process as a “strong candidate” for the gig. A first-round pick by the Panthers back in 2001, Morgan returned to the Panthers in 2021, when he was hired as Scott Fitterer‘s assistant GM.

While Fitterer was let go after the 2023 campaign, Morgan was still expected to be a contender for the open job. There were also whispers that the Panthers cold consider pairing Morgan with a football ops-side hire, but it sounds like the executive is a serious candidate for the full-time gig.

After officially ending his playing career in 2009, Morgan pursued front office jobs. He spent eight years in Seattle, working his way up from scouting intern to director of pro personnel. He took on that same role with the Bills in 2018 and spent three seasons in Buffalo.

The new GM will be tasked with turning around a franchise that doesn’t own its first-round pick despite finishing with the NFL’s worst record. With Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay withdrawing from consideration, there are 11 current candidates for the Carolina job:

Panthers To Interview Dan Morgan For GM; Team Considering Pairing Exec With Outside Hire

Firing Scott Fitterer nearly two months after the historically early Frank Reich ouster, the Panthers still have one of their top holdovers in their plans.

Rumored to be in the mix to move up the ladder, assistant GM Dan Morgan will indeed book an interview, ESPN.com’s David Newton tweets. Morgan has received support internally, and Newton adds many around the NFL view the former Panthers linebacker as ready to become a GM. He will have his chance to make a case soon.

Morgan, 45, has been in place as Carolina’s assistant GM since 2021, when he returned to Charlotte after a stay in Buffalo. A first-round Panthers pick back in 2001, Morgan made 59 starts for the Panthers. Injuries intervened for the former Miami Hurricane, but he has found a niche in personnel. The Bills’ regime of ex-Panthers, Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott, hired Morgan in 2018. He spent three years as the team’s director of player personnel. Morgan also has a past with Fitterer, working in the Seahawks front office from 2010-17.

The Panthers may not, however, be ready to give Morgan the keys. But rumblings around the league have pointed to the team considering a setup in which Morgan pairs with a football ops-side hire, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes. A co-GM setup is not especially realistic, but teams often have head coaches and GMs separately report to ownership. The Panthers could have a similar blueprint in mind.

Carolina extended interview opportunities to a few staffers on the operations side, as opposed to those who have come up through scouting, this week. The team wants to interview Chiefs VP of football operations Brandt Tilis for a second time, after meeting with him in 2021. Ravens VP of football administration Nick Matteo, Eagles assistant GM Alec Halaby, Buccaneers assistant GM Mike Greenberg and Saints assistant GM Khai Harley — who has played a lead role in the team’s numerous restructures to complete complex paths to comply with the salary cap — fit this profile as well.

More than half of the Panthers’ interview requests have gone out to this genre of candidate. Despite ties to a failed regime, Morgan appears to have a legitimate shot to stick around in a more prominent role.

Panthers Request Five More GM Interviews

David Tepper and co. aren’t wasting any time finding their next general manager. The team announced that they’ve requested permission to interview eight GM candidates.

[RELATED: Panthers Fire GM Scott Fitterer]

Five of these names are new: Eagles assistant GM Alec Halaby, Saints assistant GM Khai Harley, Ravens vice president of football administration Nick Matteo, Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, and Raiders interim GM Champ Kelly. We heard earlier this evening that Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown, Buccaneers assistant GM Mike Greenberg, and Chiefs VP of football operations Brandt Tilis were set to meet with the Panthers to replace Scott Fitterer, who was fired earlier today.

Halaby has spent 16 years in Philadelphia, including the past two as the Eagles assistant general manager. His focus has been on “player evaluation, roster management, and resource allocation” (per the team website), and he’s also played a crucial role in adding analytics to the team’s decision making. Halaby previously spent six seasons as the team’s vice president of football operations and strategy.

Harley has spent close to two decades in New Orleans, with a lengthy stint as director of football administration before earning a promotion to his current role. The executive has primarily dealt with “contract negotiation and strategic planning/management of the Saints salary cap and roster management,” although he’s also played a role in preparing for free agency and the draft.

Matteo has spent the past four seasons in Baltimore, with the team website crediting him for negotiating the contracts for all 37 draft picks over that span. The executive has also worked on deals for free agents and extensions for “key Ravens,” including tight end Mark Andrews.

Dodds has been a popular name on the GM market in recent years, generating six interviews since 2020. However, the executive has continued to stick in Indy as Chris Ballard‘s right-hand man. Dodds is also set to interview for the Raiders GM vacancy.

Following stints in Denver and Chicago, Kelly joined the Raiders as their assistant GM in 2022. Following the firing of Dave Ziegler, Kelly was promoted to interim GM, and similar to interim head coach Antonio Pierce, the executive has drawn praise for his team management down the stretch. After being a popular GM candidate in recent years, Kelly is expected to be a hot name once again in 2024.

Interestingly, one name that was included in the press release was Panthers assistant GM Dan Morgan , who is expected to have an opportunity to succeed Fitterer.