Terrance Gray

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

Bills’ Terrance Gray Turns Down Patriots Interview Request; Eliot Wolf Favorite For Job

Seeking to install someone not named Bill Belichick atop their personnel pyramid for the first time since the 20th century, the Patriots are having some issues launching a true search. A third candidate for their top front office position has turned down an interview.

The Patriots requested a meeting with Bills director of player personnel Terrance Gray, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer, who adds Gray “politely” declined the interview. Gray’s refusal to meet with the Pats follows Bengals exec Trey Brown and veteran personnel exec Quentin Harris doing the same.

Gray, who interviewed for both the Chargers and Raiders’ GM jobs in January, has been with the Bills since 2017. Bills GM Brandon Beane hired Gray upon arrival seven years ago. Gray has held the title of Bills director of player personnel since 2022. The Bills reshuffled their front office — a process that led to the team elevating short-lived Texans GM Brian Gaine to assistant GM — following assistant GM Joe Schoen landing the Giants’ GM position two years ago.

Twenty years in as an NFL staffer, Gray logged 11 years in Minnesota under Rick Spielman and previously spent time in Kansas City as well. Gray’s presence during the Bills’ rise into an AFC power — after 17 missed playoff brackets between the Music City Miracle and the first Beane-Sean McDermott year — has naturally made him an attractive GM candidate.

The Pats appear to be having a difficult time convincing candidates this position will not ultimately go to Eliot Wolf, who has been operating as the team’s de facto GM for months. The veteran exec is viewed as the expected hire, Breer adds. This will be rather interesting, seeing as Wolf already shepherded the Patriots through a draft that produced the team’s hopeful franchise quarterback in Drake Maye. Robert Kraft letting Wolf, a Patriots staffer since March 2020, make that decision and then hiring someone else to run the team post-draft would be a strange shift for a team settling in post-Belichick.

A recent report suggested the Patriots had complied with the Rooney Rule, but the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed offers that is not currently the case. Rumored to be planning a true search for a front office boss for a while, the Patriots complied with the Rooney Rule before the draft, per Kyed, due to no singular presence being atop the FO hierarchy. Now that the Pats are planning to name a front office leader, they need to interview at least two external minority candidates for GM and HC posts. Brown, Gray and Harris are each Black, but thus far, no known interviews with any external candidates have taken place.

Chargers Request Seven GM Interviews

8:09pm: The Chargers also put in a request to interview another Bears exec. Co-director of player personnel Jeff King will meet with the Bolts, ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry tweets.

The former Panthers and Cardinals tight end has been with the Bears since 2015, being with the team throughout the Ryan Pace regime. Poles moved King, 40, to his current post in 2022. This will be King’s first GM interview; he met with the Panthers about their assistant GM job in 2021.

5:58pm: Add Ian Cunningham to this list. The Bears’ assistant GM also received an interview request from the Chargers, Rapoport tweets. Cunningham joined Brown as an Eagles staffer who became an assistant GM in 2022, becoming Ryan Poles‘ right-hand man. Set to to have an important say in Chicago’s decision on Justin Fields, Cunningham also turned down the Arizona GM job last year.

2:43pm: The Chargers will make a belated push out of the starting blocks on their general manager search. Seeking to fill the role Tom Telesco held for 11 years, the AFC West team has sent out five GM interview requests thus far.

Former Dolphins GM-turned-Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland is among them, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Also included here is Cowboys VP of player personnel Will McClay, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins. 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters, Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown and Bills VP of player personnel Terrance Gray also received Bolts interview requests, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero.

This marks Ireland’s first entrance onto this year’s GM carousel. An Ireland-Sean Payton reunion has been rumored, but after rumblings of embattled Broncos GM George Paton being on the chopping block, it is looking like the Payton-Paton setup will remain in place. This would hinder an Ireland Denver move. Ireland worked with Payton for seven years in New Orleans, helping revive the franchise after a mid-2010s lull.

Given considerable credit for a Saints impact 2017 draft class that included Marshon Lattimore, Alvin Kamara, Ryan Ramczyk and Trey Hendrickson, Ireland has been the Saints’ college scouting director since his arrival in 2015. Ireland, 53, is still better known for his Dolphins years. He spent six years as Miami’s GM, but after the team (during Matt Cassel‘s QB1 year in New England) won the 2008 AFC East title, no more playoff appearances commenced. Still, Ireland brings more experience to the table than most on this year’s GM market. He has also interviewed for a few jobs — the Panthers, Lions and Bears — from 2021-22.

Although Jerry and Stephen Jones still make the final calls, McClay has been indispensable for the Cowboys over the past several years. Dallas has continually hit on first-round picks, with fourth-rounder Dak Prescott quickly becoming the franchise’s centerpiece player. McClay, 57, has been with the Cowboys since 2003 and has not been a regular during GM hiring periods. His most recent connection to a GM job came when he turned down a Texans interview request in 2018; it will be interesting to see if McClay agrees to the Chargers meeting.

Peters has received requests from the Commanders and Raiders. It would not be surprising to see every team request a meeting with the 49ers’ assistant GM, given the success the team has achieved during the Kyle ShanahanJohn Lynch years. Gray is on the Raiders’ list as well, with Brown — following his second year as the Giants’ assistant GM — on the Panthers’ radar.

Raiders Request GM Interviews With Trey Brown, Terrance Gray; Champ Kelly To Be Interviewed

Two more Raiders GM interview requests have come in. The Raiders are interested in meeting with Bengals senior personnel executive Trey Brown and Bills director of player personnel Terrance Gray, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports.

Brown’s inclusion is interesting due to the Raiders’ past with the young executive. The team met with Brown in 2019 and again in 2022. Gray has not previously interviewed for a GM job. These two AFC staffers join 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters and Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds in being on the Raiders’ list of interview hopefuls. Dodds joined Brown in meeting with Mark Davis and Co. during the 2022 search that produced a Dave Ziegler hire.

When the Raiders met with Brown in 2019, he held the Eagles’ director of college scouting position. Brown, 38, ascended to that job at just 31. He began his run as an NFL scout back in 2010 with the Patriots. Brown held front office positions with two short-lived leagues between his Eagles and Bengals gigs, working with the Alliance of American Football and second XFL iteration. The Bengals promoted Brown to his current post in 2022.

Gray has 20 years’ experience as an NFL staffer, working for the Chiefs and Vikings prior to his recent run with the Bills. Gray logged 11 years in Minnesota, coming up under Rick Spielman through the scouting ranks. Upon taking the Buffalo GM job in 2017, Brandon Beane hired Gray. He has held his director of player personnel title since 2022. Gray will likely meet with the Raiders later this week, per SI.com’s Albert Breer.

The Bills lost their assistant GM, Joe Schoen, to the Giants that year. Considering Buffalo’s success during Beane’s stay, it stands to reason Gray will be a name to watch on the GM interview circuit. While the Bengals saw Joe Burrow‘s injury impede their route back to the playoffs, the team has qualified for two AFC championship games during Brown’s years in Cincinnati.

While these four candidates may all interview, the Raiders will indeed meet with interim GM Champ Kelly, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo notes. Davis said the team is likely to hire a GM before a head coach, though he indicated that is not a locked-in strategy. Kelly is expected to draw interest from other teams as well. The popular exec had built some momentum during his final weeks in the interim role, with a December report indicating he is more likely to stay than Antonio Pierce.

No Jim Harbaugh-like candidate exists thus far on Las Vegas’ GM interview list, so Kelly may not have the kind of competition Pierce stands to during this process. Though, if the Raiders are serious about Harbaugh, it would be a near certainty they would work with the Michigan HC to pair him with an approved GM. Davis is also considering a president of football operations-type hire that would be in this mix as well, complicating the AFC West franchise’s offseason.

Bills Promote Brian Gaine To Assistant GM

After losing Brandon Beane‘s previous right-hand man to the Giants, the Bills will turn to a former general manager to fill that post. Ex-Texans GM Brian Gaine will now be Beane’s second-in-command.

Gaine will replace Joe Schoen as Buffalo’s assistant GM, while Terrance Gray will rise to the role of player personnel director. The latter has been with the team since Beane’s arrival in 2017. After nearly five years in the assistant GM chair, Schoen became the Giants’ GM in January.

For Gaine, this marks his highest-profile position since the Texans’ surprising decision to fire him after barely a year. Houston hired Gaine from Buffalo in 2018, when he replaced longtime GM Rick Smith. But the team soon turned to then-HC Bill O’Brien, who took on de facto GM responsibilities during a rocky stretch to close out his tenure with the organization. Gaine finished just one season as Houston’s GM but resurfaced in Buffalo soon after.

This marks Gray’s second promotion in three offseasons. Hired as the Bills’ director of college scouting in 2017, the ex-Vikings exec became the team’s assistant player personnel director in 2020. After beginning his personnel career with the Chiefs in 2003, Gray spent 11 seasons as a Vikings scout. Given Schoen’s exit and the Bills’ rise during Beane’s tenure, it would not surprise to see Gray appear in GM searches soon.

Recent hire Matt Bazirgan, who was with Gaine in Houston, will work as a senior personnel exec. Bazirgan spent time as Gaine’s top Texans lieutenant. The team also promoted Mike Szabo to a national college scout role. Szabo stands to move into a post vacated by ex-Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey, who joined Schoen’s Giants staff last month.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Newton, Bills

Although several veterans made a point to skip OTAs this year, Jamison Crowder is away from his team because of a contract issue. The Jets want their leading receiver of the past two seasons to accept a pay cut. Robert Saleh said the veteran slot receiver “definitely” has a role on the 2021 Jets, but SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano notes the pay reduction the Jets have in mind is “significant.” It would be interesting to see what the Jets do if Crowder balks, given their salary cap space (third-most in the NFL) and his potential value in helping Zach Wilson as a rookie. The 27-year-old wideout is due a $10MM base salary this season, which is the final year of his contract. GM Joe Douglas was not around when Crowder signed with the Jets, and the team used a second-round pick on presumptive Crowder slot successor Elijah Moore. The Ole Miss product stands to cut into Crowder’s workload this season, Vacchiano adds, so the Jets would appear to be comfortable moving on.

Crowder may end up hitting free agency at an inopportune time, should he not approve the team’s pay-cut request. If the Jets release Crowder, they would not incur any dead money. Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The hand injury Cam Newton suffered will end up impacting his offseason status. The Patriots quarterback is expected to miss time, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. Given Newton’s extensive injury history, this would be notable even without Mac Jones‘ presence. But the prospect of Jones going through the rest of OTAs and minicamp with Newton sidelined figures to impact the Pats’ quarterback competition. New England’s minicamp is scheduled to run from June 14-16.
  • Staying on the quarterback subject, the Jets may need to consider an addition. Wilson’s two backups — 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan and former UDFA Mike White — are not ready for a QB2 role, Connor Hughes of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The Jets, in Hughes’ view, need to acquire Nick Foles from the Bears. Douglas was with the Eagles during Foles’ memorable second Philadelphia stint, and Foles has become a nonfactor in Chicago. The Jets, however, are not planning any additional costly moves this year; Foles comes with an $8MM price tag. Foles-Jets buzz began brewing shortly after the Bears’ Justin Fields pick, however, and may continue if Morgan and White prove unqualified at Gang Green’s minicamp.
  • The Bills will rely on a group effort to replace Dan Morgan, who left his VP of player personnel gig in Buffalo to become Carolina’s assistant GM. Terrance Gray, Malik Boyd and ex-Texans GM Brian Gaine will split Morgan’s duties, according to Brandon Beane (via Maddy Glab of BuffaloBills.com). The Bills interviewed both Gray and Boyd and promoted each. Gray will rise from college scouting director to assistant director of player personnel; Boyd will shift from pro personnel director to senior director of pro scouting. Gaine remains in his senior personnel advisor role. Boyd interviewed for the Texans’ GM job earlier this year.
  • Buffalo also hired Princeton quality control coach Sophia Lewin as an offensive assistant, according to NFL senior director of diversity, equity and inclusion Sam Rapoport (Twitter link). Lewin and Andrea Gosper, who will rise from Bills scouting intern to player personnel coordinator for the team, caught on with the Bills through the NFL’s Women’s Careers in Football Forum.

Extra Points: Bills, Clay, Floyd, Vikings

Charles Clay has a chronic knee problem and Bills coach Sean McDermott is worried.

We are concerned with Charles’ knee situation,” McDermott said (via Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News). “It’s something we have to manage moving forward in order to have him on the field for us, which is important moving forward. He’s a weapon for us.”

Clay came to Buffalo as a highly-paid restricted free agent in 2015 and they’re hoping that his knee will sort itself out in the long run. The deal calls for him to carry a $9MM cap number in each of the next three seasons and there’s not much of an escape hatch if his performance declines. The Bills cannot save money by releasing him until they get to 2019 and even then, they’d only recoup $4.5MM in cap room.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • There is no guaranteed money in Michael Floyd‘s one-year, $1.41MM deal with the Vikings, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com tweets. In theory, Minnesota could cut Floyd before the season without financial penalty. On the flipside, Floyd’s deal could reportedly pay as much as $6MM if he reaches all of his incentives.
  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh isn’t committed to having a fullback, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets. Today in practice, Lorenzo Taliaferro was taking some reps at the position today along with undrafted free agent Ricky Ortiz. The decision of whether to utilize a fullback may impact the final makeup of Baltimore’s roster. The Ravens have five high-profile running backs on the roster in Terrance West, Danny Woodhead, Javorious Allen, Taliaferro, and Kenneth Dixon. Dixon is facing a four-game suspension to start the year.
  • The Bills have named Terrance Gray college scouting director, per a club announcement. Gray spent the past eleven years in Minnesota’s scouting department.
  • Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva hasn’t signed exclusive rights free agent tender, per NFLPA records, which means he signed a waiver in order to be on field for OTAs (Twitter link via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). Back in February, it was reported that the Steelers are working to extend the lineman. For now, the ERFA is slated to play out the 2017 season for just $540K. Last year, he was the 24th best offensive tackle in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.