Ruston Webster

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

Raiders Interview Falcons’ Ruston Webster, Steelers’ Brandon Hunt For GM Job

For the first time since the Titans fired Ruston Webster in 2016, the veteran executive landed a GM interview. The Falcons exec met with the Raiders to interview for their GM vacancy recently, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

The Raiders also went through an interview with Steelers pro scouting director Brandon Hunt, Rapoport adds. The Silver and Black’s candidate list to succeed Mike Mayock is swiftly moving toward 10 names.

Webster has been with the Falcons since 2016, landing with the then-Thomas Dimitroff-led front office as a national scout and sticking around as a senior personnel exec under new GM Terry Fontenot. Webster’s most notable experience came with the Titans, who brought him over from the Seahawks in 2010 and promoted him to GM in 2012. Webster, 59, has been in the NFL for decades, having begun as a Buccaneers staffer back in 1988. Lasting in Tampa until 2005, Webster’s tenure overlapped with since-resigned Raiders coach Jon Gruden‘s. Webster ended his Bucs run as the team’s director of player personnel before heading to Seattle.

Hunt interviewed with the Raiders on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of tweets. While the Pittsburgh exec is on the radar for the Las Vegas job, he is also expected to be considered — should he not end up with the Raiders — to be in the mix to succeed Kevin Colbert as Steelers GM when he steps down after the draft. Longtime Steelers exec Omar Khan is also expected to be considered to replace Colbert. While Hunt interviewed for the Eagles’ director of player personnel position in 2016, he is beginning to receive GM buzz for the first time.

Here is how the Raiders’ GM search looks as of Wednesday afternoon:

  • Trey Brown, scout (Bengals): Interviewed 1/21
  • Ed Dodds, vice president of player personnel (Colts): To interview 1/26
  • Brandon Hunt, director of pro scouting (Steelers): Interviewed 1/25
  • Dwayne Joseph, director of pro personnel (Raiders): To interview
  • Champ Kelly, assistant director of player personnel (Bears): Interviewed 1/20
  • John Spytek, vice president of player personnel (Buccaneers): Interview requested
  • Ruston Webster, senior personnel executive (Falcons): Interviewed
  • Dave Ziegler, director of player personnel (Patriots): Interviewed 1/21

Falcons Make Front Office Changes

The Falcons have made some changes to their staff, but new GM Terry Fontenot will also keep some big names from the previous regime on the payroll going forward.

Former GMs Phil Emery and Ruston Webster will remain with the Falcons, with the team shifting the pair from scouting roles to spots as senior personnel executives. Emery, the Bears’ GM from 2012-14, and Webster, the Titans’ GM from 2012-15, joined Thomas Dimitroff‘s staff in 2016 as scouts. Emery has worked in the NFL since 1998; Webster’s tenure in the league dates back to 1988.

Additionally, the Falcons are promoting Michael Ross and Tokunbo Abanikanda from area scouts to the national level. Ross has been with the Falcons since Dimitroff’s second year, rising up from the entry level to his current national scout post. Abanikanda, a 10-year Falcons staffer, has done the same since joining the team. Emery and Webster worked as national scouts during Dimitroff’s final five seasons.

Fontenot will also keep other Dimitroff-era staffers, though some will see their roles reduced. Former Chiefs assistant GM Joel Collier will move from national scout to area scout, while Shepley Heard will go from director of pro personnel down to area scout. Heard has been with the Falcons since 2005. Additionally, Benjamin Martinez will follow Fontenot over from New Orleans. A 12-year Saints staffer who worked as a video assistant for the past four years, Martinez will join the Falcons as a BLESTO scout. BLESTO scouts often do advance work on future draft classes.

Falcons Hire Phil Emery, Ruston Webster

2:34pm: The Falcons have officially confirmed that they’ve hired Emery and Webster as national scouts.

1:07pm: The Falcons appear set to add a pair of former general managers to their front office, according to reports. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that the Falcons will add former Bears general manager Phil Emery to their scouting and personnel department, while a Pro Football Talk tweet suggests ex-Titans GM Ruston Webster will join the team as well.Phil Emery

[RELATED: Falcons to retain general manager Thomas Dimitroff]

Earlier this month, in announcing that head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff would return to the Falcons for the 2016 season, owner Arthur Blank indicated that the front office would undergo a bit of a shake-up this winter.

“We are going to make a number of changes to our pro personnel and college scouting departments and that process began this week,” Blank said at the time. “It will take some time, but we will be adding talent on the pro personnel side and re-organizing both of these groups to best align with the shared vision of Coach Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff. I expect these changes will produce positive results for our team.”

Since then, the Falcons parted ways with director of player personnel Lionel Vital, and now it appears that the team will add a pair of notable names to its front office. With Emery and Webster set to join a group that already features Dimitroff, Rich McKay, former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, and former Rams general manager Billy Devaney, the Falcons’ front office will include several executives with GM experience.

Emery was let go by the Bears at the end of the 2014 season along with head coach Marc Trestman, while the Titans opted not to retain Webster at the end of the 2015 campaign, when his contract expired.

Titans Part Ways With GM Ruston Webster

The Titans will not renew the contract of general manager Ruston Webster, the team announced today in a press release. Tennessee will begin conducting searches for a new GM as well as a head coach, according to the team. Interim head coach Mike Mularkey will be among the candidates considered for the coaching vacancy, and will get an interview as part of the search process.

While Webster is no longer in the mix, and Mularkey’s future with the organization is uncertain, the Titans announced that Steve Underwood will serve as the club’s president and CEO on a permanent basis, with the interim tag removed from his title.

“Today, I am glad to announce that Steve Underwood will be continuing in his role as our president and chief executive officer on a permanent basis,” said Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk in a statement. “I have had ongoing discussions with Steve on this issue for a while, and I feel his leadership is vital in order to move us forward. He has brought much-needed stability to our organization, and I look forward to progress that will be made under his leadership.”

Underwood will be leading the Titans’ dual searches for a GM and a head coach, while vice president of football administration Vin Marino will oversee the team’s football operations until a permanent GM is hired.

According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter links), Titans college director Blake Beddingfield is worth keeping an eye on, since he’s highly regarded within the organization, and took on an increased role when Lake Dawson was let go. Breer adds that Buccaneers executive Jon Robinson, a Tennessee native, may also be a candidate for the Titans’ GM role.

As for Mularkey, multiple reports earlier today hinted that he may receive stronger consideration for the permanent head coaching position than initially expected. However, if the Titans decide to hire a general manager first, particularly one from outside the organization, that new GM may want to bring in his own head coach rather than sticking with Mularkey.

Titans GM Ruston Webster On Expiring Contract

The contract between the Titans and GM Ruston Webster expires after the 2015 season, multiple sources tell Paul Kuharsky of That means that the Titans won’t have to fire Webster if they choose to move on from him – they can simply let his contract lapse without owing him any additional salary.

CEO/team president Steve Underwood gave Webster a vote of confidence last month, but that might not mean much this offseason. In four seasons with Webster as general manager, the Titans are 18-45, tied with the Raiders for the second worst mark in the league over that stretch. A report earlier this month indicated that Webster is “far from safe” in Tennessee.

Webster has served as the Titans’ GM since 2012 and has been with the organization since 2010. Since that time, the team has canned two coaches and has failed to make the playoffs. Some of that, of course, is not entirely Webster’s fault. For instance, the two coaches that were sacked – Mike Munchak and Ken Whisenhunt – were forced on Webster by ownership. That proved to be problematic as Webster drafted players for a 4-3 defense only to see the team’s coaching staff switch to a 3-4 scheme.

On the other hand, Webster’s track record in free agency has left much to be desired and his draft history has been spotty too. Even though Webster tapped Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick last May, he also drafted underachieving players like Jake Locker, Justin Hunter, and Bishop Sankey.

Titans GM Webster “Far From Safe”

Titans GM Ruston Webster is “far from safe,” according to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Just last week, Webster spoke with ESPN about the preliminary efforts he and other members of the Tennessee front office were making to find a new head coach, but per Rapoport, Webster may not be around to see the fruits of those labors. As one high-ranking source told Rapoport, “when you’ve won five games in the last two years, no one is safe” (Twitter link).

Webster has served as the Titans GM since 2012, and has been with the organization since 2010. Since that time, the team has gone 18-42, has seen two coaches be fired, and has failed to make the playoffs. Some of that, of course, is not entirely Webster’s fault. For instance, as ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky wrote early last month, the two coaches that have been fired–Mike Munchak and Ken Whisenhunt–have been forced on Webster by ownership, and Webster drafted players for a 4-3 defense only to see the team’s coaching staff switch to a 3-4 scheme.

On the other hand, Webster’s track record in free agency, with a couple of exceptions, has left much to be desired, and although he did draft Marcus Mariota last May, he also drafted underachieving players like Jake Locker, Justin Hunter, and Bishop Sankey. Plus, as Kuharsky points out, it is almost always preferable for a new coach and GM to come into an organization together rather than have two men on two different clocks that never sync up.

So while CEO/team president Steve Underwood gave Webster a vote of confidence last month, adding that Webster has a “solid” track record as a personnel executive and could “collaborate with virtually anyone,” that show of support may not mean much when the season ends. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes, the Titans could be in position to land a high-profile head coach this offseason, and such a coach would likely want to install their own GM, or to have final say over personnel decisions. If that’s the case, then Webster could certainly follow Whisenhunt out of Nashville.


AFC Rumors: Titans, Revis, Collins, Broncos

On their third head coach in four years after employing just one during the previous 15, the Titans are working diligently to find a full-time replacement for the recently fired Ken Whisenhunt.

GM Ruston Webster, controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk and interim president/CEO Steve Underwood to find the team’s next coach as Mike Mularkey helms the Titans through another disappointing season.

I’m working with Steve every day along those lines and also talking to Amy,” Webster told’s Paul Kuharsky. “I talked to her for a long time yesterday. Yeah, we’re right in the middle of it. Right now it’s mostly background work, building lists.”

Tennessee is 23-42 since their 9-7 season in 2011, Mike Munchak‘s first before he was fired after the 2013 campaign.

Webster told Kuharsky in working on this search he assumes he’ll be part of the power structure once a coach signs on.

Here are some other items coming from the AFC as Week 13 Sunday looms.

  • With Darrelle Revis set to miss Sunday’s Jets-Giants game with a concussion, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes the 30-year-old All-Pro’s future isn’t as certain as people may think, considering he’s now suffered head injuries in each of his past four seasons. Revis sustained official concussions this season and in Sept. 2012 and missed time with concussion-like symptoms in December 2013 and in January of this year.
  • Jets cornerback Marcus Williams‘ emergence points toward him ascending to the starting lineup full-time next season in place of Antonio Cromartie, Rich Cimini of writes. Cimini expects the Jets to strongly considering cutting Cromartie after one season of a three-year deal, with the nine-year veteran having no dead money on his contract after this season. A second-year UDFA, Williams will make just $600K in 2016.
  • Expected to return after a four-week absence, Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins provided little on the illness that sidelined him. “I was sick,” Collins told media, including Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “That’s all I know. I was just feeling real bad. I don’t want to talk about it, bring up memories.” The athletic linebacker’s lack of interest in disclosing what was behind a mysterious absence falls in line with the Patriots’ M.O. That notwithstanding, New England figures to need his services now that it’s expected to be without Dont’a Hightower for a bit.
  • The Broncos delaying their season-defining decision on whether to officially bench Peyton Manning should be put off as long as possible, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. Renck notes that while Osweiler’s inspired more confidence among his teammates than Brian Griese had when he was prematurely promoted in 1999, an injury or subsequent struggles from the career backup would make a Manning return awkward if the team had already declared him the backup.

South Notes: Titans, Spencer, Saints, Panthers

With the Buccaneers viewed as very likely to draft Jameis Winston first overall next month, the Titans‘ pick at No. 2 is a big one, since it’s not clear whether Tennessee will opt for quarterback Marcus Mariota or select a defender.

Asked today about the Mariota possibility, Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters, including Jim Corbett of USA Today (Twitter link) that “if he comes to us at No. 2, he’s definitely going to be the Day One starter.” As Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports tweets, Whisenhunt later clarified that he meant if his team were to draft a quarterback second overall, it would be with the expectation that the player would start immediately.

Whisenhunt’s comments don’t necessarily signal that Tennessee is leaning toward the Oregon signal-caller, but the door certainly doesn’t seem closed on that outcome either. Here are a few more notes from around the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • The latest report on the possibility of a Titans sale has led to the latest round of denials from the organization. This time, it’s interim president Steve Underwood saying that ownership is committed to the team, and doesn’t intend to field offers on the franchise, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. Per Wyatt, Tommy Smith‘s replacement also made it clear that he has confidence in Whisenhunt and GM Ruston Webster.
  • Former Cowboys DE/OLB Anthony Spencer is visiting New Orleans to meet with the Saints, per Kristian Garic of WWL 870 (via Twitter). Spencer, who has spent all eight years of his NFL career with Dallas, hasn’t started a game since his Pro Bowl season in 2012, but has a history with Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
  • Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said today that linebacker Thomas Davis will be next in line for a contract extension, and also suggested that wide receiver Greg Jennings and cornerback Alan Ball are still in play for Carolina — both players have drawn interest from other teams as well, and are taking their time to make decisions.
  • Texans head coach Bill O’Brien identified safety and offensive line as two spots at which he wants to improve his team’s depth, adding that he’d like to upgrade the club’s return game as well (Twitter link via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle).

Titans GM Talks QB, Offseason, Whisenhunt

The Titans’ 2014 season got off to a promising start, with the team scoring an impressive Week 1 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. From that point on though, Tennessee lost 14 of its remaining 15 contests, with a two-point home victory over Jacksonville the only thing standing in the way of a 15-game losing streak.

Coming off a disastrous first year for new head coach Ken Whisenhunt and armed with the second overall pick in this spring’s draft, general manager Ruston Webster spoke to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean about the coming offseason, and the club’s plan to turn things around. Here are a few of Webster’s notable comments:

On the quarterback position:

“We have to get our quarterback situation squared away — that is probably the most important thing, to have the same guy out there for 16 games. We haven’t had that in quite awhile. If this team is going to progress and progress quickly, that is going to be the major deal.

“We definitely like Zach [Mettenberger], and he is a good fit for the system. He has a lot of talent and he has worked very hard. And he is smart. We have to go through and do our due diligence on all our options and make sure that we make the best decisions for the Titans long-term. Obviously there will be options in the draft, and there may be options in free agency.”

On other positions that need to be upgraded:

“We have to get better in every area. I thought there were positions, and I put this on me, where our depth wasn’t where it needed to be, at receiver and at corner. We have to add a lot of depth. … We need to bring in more 3-4 outside linebackers and get better there. When you are a 4-3 team you keep more defensive linemen, and a 3-4 team needs more linebackers and we need to build our linebacker core.”

On the Titans’ lack of impact free agent signings:

“I am the GM, and I take all the responsibility for that. I do beat myself over it. It is something I think about a lot, and I go through in my mind countless times of, ‘What happened here? What could I have done better there?’ … Free agency is an area where we need to continue to improve.”

On CEO Tommy Smith saying the team will be active in free agency:

“If you say ‘spend wisely’ people say you aren’t going to spend. What you have to do is be smart about what you do and fill needs. Free agency through the years hasn’t necessarily been something that will change a franchise, unless you get the franchise quarterback in free agency. It is something that can be a part of what we do, and we can be active. We just need to make wise decisions.”

On Whisenhunt:

“I am very confident in him moving forward. I think this year was, in a lot of ways, a major transition year. That is not an excuse — that is just the way it was on many fronts, whether it was scheme-wise or wherever else. I think Ken has handled things well, and I really believe if we can have some stability, and can continue to move forward with the same offensive and defensive schemes, add players and continue to help out there, we have a chance to continue to improve and get better. The best franchises in the NFL are the ones that are the most stable, and that is something we are working toward here.”