Jerry Reese

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

Steelers’ GM Interviews Continue

In what continues to be one of the widest ranging general manager searches in recent history, the Steelers announced three more interviews that took place earlier this week. Jerry Reese, Rick Spielman, and Doug Whaley were added to a list of interviewed candidates that now totals up to 16.

Reese is a former general manager for the Giants. Reese served 23 years in New York’s front office starting as a college scout and progressing through the roles of pro scout to director of player personnel and, eventually, to general manager. His first season as general manager saw the team win their first Super Bowl in 17 years, and the Giants earned a second ring under Reese just four years later. After a 2-10 start to the 2017 season, Reese was fired along with then-head coach Ben McAdoo in a rare midseason double canning. In the years since his firing, teams have reached out to Reese. In 2018, Reese turned down an interview for the Raiders’ general manager position that would eventually go to Mike Mayock. Last year, Reese interviewed for the Panthers’ and Jaguars’ open general manager jobs that eventually went to Scott Fitterer and Trent Baalke, respectively. This is the first time Reese’s name has been mentioned in general manager searches this year.

Spielman is a longtime veteran of NFL front offices who formerly served as the general manager for both the Dolphins and the Vikings. In 1990, Spielman started in Detroit as a college scout for five seasons before adding pro scouting responsibilities to his plate for two more. Spielman took on the position of director of pro personnel for the Bears in 1997 and, three years later, took a similar role as vice president of player personnel in Miami. In four seasons, Spielman elevated to senior vice president of football operations to eventually spend one season as the team’s general manager. Spielman left the role and worked 2005 with ESPN as an NFL analyst before returning to football as the vice president of player personnel for the Vikings the next year. After six seasons in that role, Spielman was elevated to general manager, a position he held until being fired a little over two months ago. For the Vikings, Spielman saw success in all aspects of player acquisition bringing in contributors like wide receiver Mike Wallace through trade and quarterback Kirk Cousins through free agency. He also had an eye for undrafted talent, signing the likes of safety Andrew Sendejo and wide receiver Adam Thielen. This is the first job interest he’s received since being fired earlier this year.

Whaley is another former NFL general manager, this time for the Bills. He began his NFL career as a pro personnel coordinator for the Steelers in 2000. For ten years he worked under Kevin Colbert and is credited with helping to scout and draft such defensive stars as pass rusher Lamarr Woodley, safety Troy Polamalu, and linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Whaley was eventually named the assistant general manager and director of pro personnel for the Bills in 2010. Three years later, Whaley took over for Buddy Nix as general manager. He notably moved up in the draft to select wide receiver Sammy Watkins, a move questioned by some as fellow receivers Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., and Brandin Cooks were picked later in the same draft. He also notably traded linebacker Kiko Alonso for running back LeSean McCoy in 2015, seeing McCoy enjoy great success for the next three years as a Bill. Whaley was relieved of his duties following the 2017 NFL Draft and became a recruiter for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl for a season before getting hired as the senior vice president of football operations for the XFL. He was shortly laid off due to COVID-19, but was rehired recently as the league’s vice president of player personnel. Like the other two names above, this is the first mention of interest in Whaley this year.

The Steelers continue to search far and wide in their efforts to replace Colbert. Stay up to date on the search through our 2022 NFL General Manager Search Tracker.

This Date In Transactions History: Giants Fire Ben McAdoo, Jerry Reese

The Giants cleaned house on this date in 2017. Not willing to wait until the offseason, the Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese in one fell swoop.

[RELATED: Giants To Fire Dave Gettleman?]

It’s not uncommon to see head coaches and GMs canned on the same day, but it’s somewhat rare to see it happen during the season. Still, the Giants were 2-10, and owner John Mara‘s mind was made up.

This season has been incredibly disappointing for the organization and our fans, and while it would be ideal to make these kinds of decisions at the conclusion of the season, we simply felt now is the time to prepare for a fresh start,”Mara said in a statement. “I have great respect for both Jerry and Ben. Jerry has worked tirelessly for this franchise for 23 years. He has always communicated in a straight forward and honest manner.”

The Giants enjoyed great success during Reese’s tenure – including two Super Bowl championships – but became more and more reluctant to move up draft day towards the end of his run. In ’17, his final draft in New York, he failed to strengthen the Giants’ Swiss cheese offensive line even though it was one of the team’s most glaring and longstanding needs. So, after a total of 23 years with the Giants organization, he was out.

Ditto for McAdoo, once an NFL darling for his work as Aaron Rodgers‘ position coach. He joined the Giants in 2014 as Tom Coughlin‘s offensive coordinator. Two years later, he was installed as the head coach. At the time, the Giants felt that they were choosing the coach best suited to guide Manning. They also felt compelled to promote him since other clubs were ready to poach him. Year One went well enough – his Giants finished 11-5 before Rodgers & Co. sent them packing in the playoffs. Less than a year later, he was out with a combined 13-15 record.

McAdoo is now with the Cowboys as a consultant while Reese is out of the NFL. Meanwhile, history may repeat itself in New Jersey. The Giants are reportedly set to part ways with Reese’s replacement, Dave Gettleman his aggressiveness has not yielded a better offensive line. The team also fired OC Jason Garrett recently and it’s not a certainty that second-year head coach Joe Judge will return in 2022.

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

Panthers To Meet With Ex-Giants GM Jerry Reese

The Panthers are interviewing former Giants GM Jerry Reese for their vacancy, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Meanwhile, they’ve also requested an interview with Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter) hears.

Reese was fired by the Giants towards the end of the 2017 season, leaving the Meadowlands with a pair of Super Bowl rings. On the flipside, the Giants went just 91-85 in Reese’s decade-long tenure as GM.

His recent meeting with the Jaguars marked his first interview since then, but he’s been on the GM radar over the last few years. Reese declined to interview for the Raiders’ GM job in 2018, and last year there was “heavy support” for him to return to the NFL. The Lions may also give him consideration in their current search.

Reese and Dodds join a growing list of GM candidates in Carolina. The Panthers are also seeking interviews with Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio (if they can keep him away from the Texans), Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland, 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters, Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen, and Browns VP of football ops Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Jaguars Interview Jerry Reese For GM Job

The Jaguars have interviewed former Giants general manager Jerry Reese for their vacant GM post, as Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report. Reese’s meeting with Jacksonville marks the first time he has sat for an interview since he was fired by Big Blue in 2017.

There has, however, been plenty of interest in his services. Reese turned down an interview for the Raiders’ GM job in 2018, and we heard last year that there was “heavy support” for him to return to the league. Earlier this month, a report indicated that he could be in the running for the Lions’ GM position.

Unlike other execs looking to get back in the NFL, Reese has not hired an agent and refuses to make an appearance as an analyst or commentator. Sources tell Garafolo and Rapoport that Reese may already be in a front office if he was a bit more of a self-promoter, but that simply isn’t his style.

His patience, however, might ultimately pay off. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com hears that the Jags’ GM gig — as well as their HC post, assuming they move on from Doug Marrone — is considered at least as attractive as any other opening in the league thanks to the club’s ~$100MM of cap space, 11 draft picks in 2021, and potential opportunity to draft Clemson star QB Trevor Lawrence.

Though the Giants went just 91-85 in Reese’s tenure as GM, the club did win two Lombardi Trophies during that time, and his abilities as an exec are widely-respected around the league. If he and the Jags come to terms, it would be considered a win for Jacksonville.

In addition to Reese, the Jags are also considering Louis Riddick and Rick Smith, as PFR’s tracker shows.

HC/GM Rumors: Lynn, Harbaugh, Bears

Three head coaches and two GMs have already been fired this season, and there will be more dismissals to come. We learned this morning that Eagles HC Doug Pederson is on the hot seat, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Chargers HC Anthony Lynn is in danger of losing his job as well.

The Bolts gave Lynn a modest vote of confidence this offseason by handing him a one-year extension through 2021, but despite the emergence of rookie signal-caller Justin Herbert, Lynn’s squad has limped to a 3-8 record. Several of those losses have been of the heartbreaking variety that Chargers fans have become accustomed to, and Lynn’s in-game decisions have been called into question.

The 51-year-old is highly-regarded in the Chargers’ building, and he did lead his club to a 12-4 record two seasons ago. If he does get fired, he probably won’t have a difficult time finding another HC gig.

Now for more from the HC/GM rumor mill:

  • Jim Harbaugh‘s days with the University of Michigan appear to be numbered, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the former 49ers HC is eyeing an NFL return. Florio adds that a number of clubs are already “doing their homework” on Harbaugh, who could be one of a number of prominent college coaches looking to make a leap to the pros.
  • A few weeks ago, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said the Bears “could” move on from HC Matt Nagy at season’s end. Now, La Canfora says it’s more likely than not that Nagy will be ousted and that Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald will be Chicago’s top choice for Nagy’s replacement.
  • Although Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has drawn plenty of interest and is expected to get his first HC job this offseason, Kansas City quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Mike Kafka is also a name to watch, per La Canfora. We knew that the Eagles were interested in Kafka as an OC last offseason, and JLC says the 33-year-old former QB also had the opportunity to take a head coaching interview. Kafka declined, as he wanted to continue to learn under Andy Reid, but he will be a top target for HC and OC openings in 2021.
  • As far as GM jobs go, former Giants general manager Jerry Reese is expected to draw interest for the Lions‘ GM opening, as La Canfora writes. Reese, who was fired by Big Blue in 2017, wants to return to an NFL front office and has the support from advisors to the Ford family (including Ernie Accorsi, whom Reese succeeded as Giants GM in 2007).
  • The Texans are expected to interview former Chiefs and Browns GM John Dorsey, according to La Canfora. Dorsey was fired by Cleveland at the end of last season, but it would be fair to blame more of the Browns’ disappointing 2019 campaign on former head coach Freddie Kitchens than on Dorsey. After all, Cleveland is now poised for a playoff berth with a roster that Dorsey largely constructed, and Dorsey also has ties to Bieniemy, who has been heavily connected to Houston’s HC job.
  • An unfortunate neck injury may have brought an end to A.Q. Shipley‘s playing career, but he will get the chance to join the Buccaneers‘ coaching staff, as Carmen Vitali of the team’s official website writes. Shipley has long been a favorite of Tampa HC Bruce Arians, who believes the veteran center has all the makings of an excellent coach.

Extra Points: Coaches, Bears, Bell, Tomlin

About halfway through the 2019 NFL season, one head coach has already been fired (Jay Gruden), and several more are on the hot seat. With that in mind people’s attentions are starting to turn to the next crop of head coaches, and it should be a pretty busy carousel this offseason. The league has begun their annual process of internally identifying top head coach and general manager candidates, and a committee will meet again in Week 11 to come up with a list, sources told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. La Canfora notes that Stanford coach David Shaw has been “receiving ringing endorsements and has very strong support within the league,” although he has rebuffed NFL advances in the past.

La Canfora also highlights several current NFL assistant coaches who have already talked about heavily. Interestingly, he identifies some potential new general manager candidates who we haven’t heard as much about. La Canfora writes that there is “heavy support” for fired Giants GM Jerry Reese to receive another job. “Former Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, former Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and former Lions GM Martin Mayhew are also generating support from the committee,” La Canfora writes. He also throws out ESPN analyst Louis Riddick as someone who is highly regarded, and we’ve heard those same rumblings before.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Miles Sanders has played a big role for the Eagles this season, and he racked up 73 yards in their win over the Bears on Sunday. Apparently, as the rookie revealed to the media earlier this week, he almost ended up in Chicago. “I thought I was going to end up there,” Sanders said of the Bears, who didn’t have a pick in April’s draft until the third round, via Zach Berman of The Athletic. “They knew I was probably going to be gone before the third round, but they were also talking about trading up to get me,” he said. The Penn State product was the second running back taken in the draft, and the Bears ended up nabbing David Montgomery in the third round. Sanders has been a part of a timeshare backfield with Jordan Howard so far.
  • Jets running back Le’Veon Bell surprised everybody by saying the Steelers called about trading for him at the deadline, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed they did. Not so fast says Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin, who replied “not to my knowledge, no,” when asked if the Steelers tried to acquire Bell, per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s possible the truth lies somewhere in between, and the most likely scenario is that the Steelers made an exploratory phone call but never got at all serious about it. Bell coming back to the city he started his career in would’ve at least made a dull trade deadline a lot more interesting.
  • In case you missed it, the Seahawks apparently thought about adding Antonio Brown before claiming Josh Gordon off waivers.

Jerry Reese Turns Down Interview With Raiders

Longtime Giants general manager Jerry Reese has turned down the opportunity to interview for the Raiders’ GM position, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Reese served as Big Blue’s GM from 2007-17, and he had been with the organization since 1994. He became one of the most respected executives in the league during that time, and he constructed two Super Bowl champions, but the latter part of his tenure was marred by a series of missteps that ultimately led to his ouster.

Nonetheless, it makes sense that he would be a top target for teams seeking a new GM. Likewise, it makes sense that someone of Reese’s caliber would turn down overtures from the Raiders, as it currently seems that whoever serves as the Oakland GM right now would be little more than a figurehead and a yes man for head coach Jon Gruden. Gruden’s second stint with the Raiders has already been sullied by frequent reports of internal discord, and it is likely that the club will have difficulty attracting an established GM candidate.

In other Raiders news, the team has fired strength and conditioning coach Tom Shaw, according to Schefter. Gruden brought Shaw to Oakland shortly after he was hired earlier this year, but the marriage did not last long. Shaw, who previously worked on speed and conditioning with the Patriots and Saints, and who trained athletes at his facility at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, was recently told by one of Gruden’s administrators that his time with the Raiders was up.

Although Shaw’s dismissal is not a high-profile move, it only strengthens the narrative that there is far too much turmoil within the franchise, and Gruden is clearly at the epicenter of that turmoil. Shaw becomes the fifth strength coach that Gruden has fired during his time as an NFL head coach.

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.