As the Commanders transition to the Adam Peters regime, this new era will involve a longtime Lions executive holding a key position. In place since the 1990s, Lance Newmark will leave the Lions for the Commanders.
The Commanders are hiring Newmark as their assistant GM, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports. Newmark finished his Lions tenure as the team’s senior director of player personnel. Newmark’s Lions stay overlapped with Martin Mayhew‘s. With Mayhew sticking around in Washington despite Peters displacing him atop the front office, he will reunite with Newmark.
While Newmark showed a tremendous commitment to Detroit and was onboard for this Brad Holmes-overseen rebuild effort, he had been tied to some GM pursuits in the past. The Lions interviewed him for the job that went to Holmes, and the Jets considered him for their GM post — a race Joe Douglas won — back in 2019. Newmark served as the Lions’ senior player personnel director for two years, being part of the team’s ascent that nearly produced a Super Bowl berth.
It is interesting this will be Newmark’s move up the ladder, considering the time he put in with the Lions. Newmark has come up on the scouting side, working his way up from the area-scouting tier. Newmark held multiple scouting director positions during his run in Detroit, serving as the team’s assistant director of college scouting for seven years.
Arriving in Detroit in 1998, Newmark joined the team under Chuck Schmidt‘s GM tenure — one that covered Barry Sanders‘ career. While Sanders’ arrival predated Newmark’s, the latter was in place when the Lions chose Calvin Johnson. Detroit, of course, missed on other first-round receivers during Matt Millen‘s GM tenure. This helped lead to Mayhew’s turn in charge. The team crafted a turnaround with Johnson and Matthew Stafford leading the way, and the Lions keeping Newmark despite four GM hires (Millen, Mayhew, Bob Quinn, Holmes) illustrated the organization’s respect for the veteran exec.
Given his relationship with Peters, Mayhew sticking around was not too surprising. Though, teams obviously do not make a habit of retaining GMs after hiring a new FO boss. Washington’s GM from 2021-23, Mayhew will now work as an advisor to Peters. The Commanders’ new personnel chief had not worked with Newmark previously, though Mayhew has an extensive past alongside Newmark.
Although Mayhew spent time with Peters in San Francisco, he is mostly known for his Detroit and Washington GM stays. Mayhew did elevate the Lions following the Millen years, as the team booked playoff berths in 2011 and 2014 on his watch. But it is interesting Josh Harris will make two staffers from a Lions organization mostly known for modern-era futility as key lieutenants.
The Lions hired the former NFL cornerback in 2001, and he climbed to the assistant GM role in 2004. Mayhew and Newmark worked together for 15 years in Detroit, making the former’s presence a presumable draw for the entrenched Lions staffer. Peters will have final say on personnel matters, representing a pivot after Washington had Ron Rivera in that role. Newmark and Mayhew figure to be key parts of that process as the team attempts to craft its own rebuild operation.
The Commanders also announced Marty Hurney will remain with the team as an advisor. This certainly represents an interesting path for the team, which has fired Rivera but kept his top two personnel staffers in place.
A two-time Panthers GM, Hurney rejoined Rivera in Washington in 2021. He had served as the team’s executive VP of player personnel under Rivera. Following Rivera’s ouster, Hurney and Mayhew stood in limbo as the organization evaluated their statuses. An NFL staffer since beginning his career under Hall of Famer Bobby Beathard — an ex-Washington Super Bowl-winning GM — with the Chargers in 1990, Hurney served as Panthers GM from 2002-12 and again from 2017-20. Newmark also received his start as a Chargers staffer under Beathard in the ’90s, overlapping with Hurney during that period.