Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

Wednesday, we took a look at how the 2022 offseason changed the HC landscape. While 10 new sideline leaders are in place for 2022, not quite as much turnover transpired on the general manager front. Five new decision-makers, however, have moved to the top of teams’ front office hierarchies over the past six months.

The Bears, Giants, Raiders and Vikings rebooted their entire operations, hiring new HC-GM combos. The Minnesota move bumped out one of the previous top-10 longest-tenured GMs, with 16-year Vikings exec Rick Spielman no longer in power in the Twin Cities. The Steelers’ shakeup took the NFL’s longest-tenured pure GM out of the mix. Kevin Colbert was with the Steelers since 2000, and although he is still expected to remain with the team in a reduced capacity, the 22-year decision-maker stepped down shortly after Ben Roethlisberger wrapped his career.

Twelve teams have now hired a new GM in the past two offseasons, though a bit more staying power exists here compared to the HC ranks. Two GMs (the Cardinals’ Steve Keim and Chargers’ Tom Telesco) have begun their 10th years at the helms of their respective front offices. They have hired three HCs apiece. The Buccaneers’ Jason Licht is closing in on a decade in power in Tampa Bay; Licht will now work with his fourth HC in Todd Bowles. Beyond that, a bit of a gap exists. But a handful of other executives have been in power for at least five seasons.

Here is how long every GM or de facto GM has been in place with his respective franchise:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  5. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  6. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010; signed extension in 2022
  7. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2019
  8. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013; signed extension in 2022
  9. Tom Telesco (Los Angeles Chargers): January 9, 2013; signed extension in 2018
  10. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  11. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  12. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016; signed extension in 2022
  13. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  14. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  15. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  16. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  17. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  18. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  19. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  20. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  21. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  22. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  23. Scott Fitterer (Carolina Panthers): January 14, 2021
  24. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021
  25. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  26. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  27. Martin Mayhew (Washington Commanders): January 22, 2021
  28. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  29. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  30. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  31. Dave Ziegler (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  32. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022


  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

NFC North Notes: Vikings Front Office Hire, Hundley, Jones, Alexander

New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made a noteworthy addition to his staff earlier this week. The team announced the hiring of Demitrius Washington as their new vice president of football operations.

Washington had spent seven years with the 49ers, a stretch which overlapped with Adofo-Mensah’s time in that organization. For the past two seasons, Washington served as San Francisco’s director of research and development, the same title Adofo-Mensah held with the Browns prior to his hire. The pair will now reunite and, along with new head coach Kevin O’Connell, oversee the franchise’s transition from the previous Rick Spielman-Mike Zimmer regime.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC North, starting with one more from Minnesota:

  • The Vikings brought in veteran backup quarterback Brett Hundley as a tryout during rookie minicamp, but they made it clear they would not be signing him, as noted by Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. The 28-year-old hasn’t made a regular season appearance since 2019, most recently spending time with the Colts. Minnesota’s QB room currently consists of Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond, Sean Mannion and Nate Stanley.
  • The Bears used one of their 11 picks in last month’s draft to add to its receiving corps, selecting Velus Jones in the third round. The team is high on his speed and versatility, leading to the new coaching staff having “big plans” for the 25-year-old. “Let’s start out at receiver and then let’s see what he can do, moving him around to different spots and getting him the ball, because he is an explosive athlete” head coach Matt Eberflus said, via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. After transferring from USC to Tennessee, Jones produced both on offense and special teams, recording 807 receiving yards and leading the SEC in both punt and kick return yardage in 2021.
  • An interesting note came out in the aftermath of Jaire Alexander‘s record-breaking extension with the Packers. USA Today’s Josina Anderson reports (on Twitter) that the Pro Bowler specifically wanted a four-year (rather than five-year) deal. He got just that, helping him to break the record briefly held by Denzel Ward for the highest annual average amongst cornerbacks at $21MM per season, and keeping him under contract through 2026.

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

Vikings To Hire Kwesi Adofo-Mensah As GM?

The Vikings have agreed to hire Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their next GM (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of The two sides were hard at work on the contract early this morning, as first reported by’s Ian Rapoport, and they’ve now got everything in place. It’ll be a four-year deal for Adofo-Mensah worth $12MM, according to’s Cameron Wolfe (on Twitter).

Adofo-Mensah was one of two finalists in Minnesota, alongside Ryan Poles. But, after the Bears pounds on the former Chiefs’ executive director of player personnel, Adofo-Mensah was the last man standing.

Adofo-Mensah was also in the running for the Panthers job last year, but he didn’t make it to the finalist stage. Before joining Cleveland’s front office in 2020 under Andrew Berry, the Stanford grad spent seven years with the 49ers. The Bears also looked at him in this cycle before settling on Poles.

Now, he’ll take over for longtime GM Rick Spielman and lead the search for Mike Zimmer‘s replacement. The Vikings have already begun doing their homework on that front, chatting with eight candidates including ex-49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Adofo-Mensah overlapped with Ryans for three years, so it’s possible that he’ll have a leg up on the competition.

Outside of Adofo-Mensah and Poles, the Vikings also considered:

Bears Request Second GM Interview With Ryan Poles

Ryan Poles is getting a second interview in Chicago. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Chiefs’ executive director of player personnel has been asked to interview a second time for the Bears GM job.

Poles is already a finalist for the Vikings GM job. He will meet with the Bears on Tuesday and the Vikings on Wednesday, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). The other finalist for the Minnesota job, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, will meet with the organization again on Tuesday (per Albert Breer on Twitter).

Poles 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.

Last offseason, the Chiefs executive was considered for the Panthers GM job. Besides interest from the Vikings and Bears, Poles was also a finalist for the Giants GM gig (a job that ultimately went to Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen).

Vikings Request Second GM Interviews With Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Ryan Poles

The Vikings are moving toward a GM decision. They have identified Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles as finalists.

While another finalist may emerge, Minnesota has thus far only requested second interviews with these two candidates, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Adofo-Mensah is expected to interview Tuesday, with Adam Schefter of tweeting Poles’ second Vikings meeting is likely to take place Wednesday.

Should Poles take the interview, it would be his second run as a GM finalist during this cycle. The Giants brought him in for a second interview, though Big Blue hired Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen earlier Friday. Just 36, Poles has interviewed with three of the four teams looking for a GM. The Bears also met with the rising exec.

Poles also took part in a second interview with the Panthers last year. On the cusp of a major rise, Poles would follow former Chiefs staffers Chris Ballard and Brett Veach were he to land a GM gig.

Adofo-Mensah joined Poles in interviewing with the Panthers last year, though he was not a finalist for that position. This marks the third-year Browns exec’s first time as a GM finalist. Before joining Cleveland’s front office in 2020 under Andrew Berry, Adofo-Mensah spent seven years with the 49ers. The Stanford grad worked in the business sector until 2013. Adofo-Mensah joined Poles in interviewing for the Bears’ GM gig as well. Chicago has not made its finalists known just yet, so Minnesota’s rival could have a say in this pursuit as well.

Here is how the Vikings’ GM search has shaped up thus far:

  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, vice president of football operations (Browns): Second interview requested
  • Brandon Brown, director of player personnel (Eagles): Interviewed 1/18
  • Glenn Cook, vice president of player personnel (Browns): Interviewed 1/20
  • Monti Ossenfort, director of player personnel (Titans): Interviewed 1/16
  • Ryan Poles, director of player personnel (Chiefs): Second interview requested
  • Catherine Raiche, vice president of football operations (Eagles): Interviewed 1/17
  • John Spytek, vice president of player personnel (Buccaneers): Interviewed 1/17
  • Eliot Wolf, senior consultant (Patriots): Interviewed 1/20

Bears Request To Interview Chargers’ Wooden

Do not be surprised if you start getting calls from Chicago because the Bears are searching far and wide to fill their vacant general manager position and they are interviewing EVERYBODY! The newest candidate to add to the list is Chargers’ director of player personnel, JoJo Wooden, according to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Wooden has been with the Chargers since 2013 overseeing the pro and college scouting department for the Chargers. He got his start with the Jets in 1997 and spent 10 seasons working his way up from pro personnel assistant to the assistant director, player personnel, a position he held for six more years.

What makes Wooden an interesting candidate for the Bears’ job is the connections he has to the search committee. Bears Senior Writer Larry Mayer reported a couple days ago that Bill Polian, who has spent time as a general manager for the Bills, Panthers, and, most notably, the Colts, will be a resource to the Bears as they go through the process of hiring a new head coach and general manager. Wooden is known as a key lieutenant for the Chargers’ current general manager Tom Telesco, and Telesco worked under Polian during Polian’s entire tenure in Indianapolis.

To date, the Bears have already interviewed the Browns’ Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Glenn Cook and their own assistant director of player personnel, Champ Kelly. They’ve also requested interviews with the Colts’ Morocco Brown and Ed Dodds, the 49ers’ Ran Carthon, the Saints’ Jeff Ireland, the Steelers’ Omar Khan, the Giants’ Joe Schoen, and the Patriots’ Eliot Wolf. Texans’ former general manager Rick Smith has also been identified as a candidate.

Bears Interview Champ Kelly For GM Role; Team Interested In Rick Smith?

Comprised entirely of outside candidates previously, the Bears’ GM interview list now includes one of their own staffers. The Bears interviewed assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly for their GM job Thursday.

Brought in at the start of Ryan Pace‘s GM tenure, Kelly has been with the Bears since 2015. The veteran staffer began as the team’s pro scouting director and has served in his current role since 2017. The Bears promoting a Pace lieutenant would surprise, but Kelly has drawn extensive interest from outside the organization.

The Broncos and Panthers interviewed Kelly for their GM job last year, before respectively hiring George Paton and Scott Fitterer. In 2019, the Jets brought in Kelly for an interview ahead of their Joe Douglas hire. Kelly spent eight years in Denver prior to coming to Chicago. The Bears also completed their interview with Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah on Thursday.

The Bears may also have a higher-profile candidate on the radar. Not yet on the team’s interview list, former Texans GM Rick Smith is expected to draw interest from the Bears, Jeremy Fowler of notes. Smith has not held an NFL role since stepping away from his longtime post as Texans GM after the 2017 season.

Although Smith has not landed on any interview lists during this cycle, he was popular on the 2021 circuit. The Jaguars and Lions met with the 12-year Texans GM, and Washington’s 2020 interview with Smith nearly led to a hire. Smith was in place as GM for the first four playoff berths in Texans history, having drafted the likes of J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins. Smith’s final draft involved the team’s trade-up for Deshaun Watson.

Here is how the Bears’ GM field looks as of Thursday afternoon:

  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, vice president of football operations (Browns): Interviewed 1/13
  • Morocco Brown, director of college scouting (Colts): Interview requested
  • Ran Carthon, director of player personnel (49ers): Interview requested
  • Glenn Cook, vice president of player personnel (Browns): Interviewed 1/12
  • Ed Dodds, vice president of player personnel (Colts): Interview requested
  • Jeff Ireland, assistant general manager (Saints): Interview requested
  • Champ Kelly, assistant director of player personnel (Bears): Interviewed 1/13
  • Omar Khan, vice president of football and business administration: Interview requested
  • Joe Schoen, assistant general manager (Giants): Interview requested
  • Rick Smith, former general manager (Texans): Mentioned as candidate
  • Eliot Wolf, senior consultant (Patriots): Interview requested

Vikings Begin GM Interview Requests

Likely set to hire an outside GM for the first time in over a decade, the Vikings have taken a bit more time to send out their interview requests. But they sent out their first summons Wednesday night.

Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook received a Vikes interview request, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets. Cook has landed on the radar of both the NFC North’s GM-seeking franchises, having interviewed for the Bears’ GM gig Wednesday.

In addition to Cook, the Vikings sent out requests to speak with Patriots senior consultant Eliot Wolf and fellow Browns staffer Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Those two are also on Chicago’s interview list.

Previously in the Packers organization, Cook joined the Browns in 2016. Cook started in the scouting department and rose to the level of assistant pro scouting director, before climbing to his current post in 2020. The Browns were not exactly a sought-after organization for executive talent when Cook arrived, but they have seen multiple execs receive interview requests during this cycle. Both Minnesota’s other two early interview hopefuls worked in Cleveland, where longtime Vikings assistant Kevin Stefanski landed.

Prior to stays in Cleveland and New England, Wolf enjoyed a lengthy Green Bay tenure. The son of Hall of Fame GM Ron Wolf, Eliot has been in the GM mix for a few years now. Yet to rise to a GM role, Wolf interviewed for the Packer job that went to Brian Gutekunst. He also was in the mix for the Colts’ GM post in 2017. The Browns’ vice president of football operations, Adofo-Mensah spent time with the 49ers before joining the Browns in 2020. He interviewed for the Panthers’ GM position last year.

The Vikings are seeking to replace Rick Spielman, who had been with the organization since 2006. In addition to the three requests sent out, Colts VP of player personnel Ed Dodds and Chiefs director of football administration Brandt Tillis are potential candidates,’s Courtney Cronin tweets.

Bears Request Interviews With Three Execs For GM Gig

In addition to head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears also decided to fire GM Ryan Pace today, and the organization is initially eyeing three names to lead their front office. Per Albert Breer of TheMMQB (via Twitter), the Bears requested interviews with Browns VP of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and VP of player personnel Glenn Cook. Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Bears also requested an interview with Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown.

[RELATED: Bears Fire HC Matt Nagy, GM Ryan Pace]

Adofo-Mensah started his NFL career as director of football research with the 49ers before getting hired into his current role in Cleveland. While the Stanford product hasn’t been in Cleveland all that long, he’s already turned into a popular GM candidate, with the executive getting an interview for the Panthers GM opening last offseason.

Cook was previously in the Packers organization before joining the Browns in 2016. After initially starting in the scouting department, Cook eventually got promoted to VP of player personnel.

Brown had a seven-year stint as the Bears assistant director of pro personnel, so he’s already got plenty of familiarity with ownership. He’s served as a top executive in Indy for the past five years, with Brown earning credit for his draft evaluation. He interviewed for the Falcons GM gig last offseason.