Trent Kirchner

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

Texans Request Scott Cohen, Trent Kirchner Interviews

The Texans’ GM search is heating up. On Monday, the team requested interviews with Ravens director of football research Scott Cohen and Seahawks vice president of player personnel Trent Kirchner, as’s Mike Garafolo tweets.

[RELATED: Texans To Interview Matt Eberflus]

Kirchner started out as the Seahawks’ assistant director of pro personnel in 2010. After a series of promotions, he was elevated to Vice President of Player Personnel in September. Along with co-lieutenant Scott Fitterer, he’s been a hot candidate for GM jobs for a long time. He’s viewed as an integral part of the Seahawks’ success, and a valuable asset for Seahawks GM John Schneider. In 2017, the Panthers, Colts, and 49ers were all connected to the longtime Seattle exec. This time around, the Texans are exploring multiple candidates from the Seahawks, though Garafolo notes that search firm Korn Ferry is strongly pushing Kirchner.

Cohen, meanwhile, has been with the Ravens since 2015. Before that, he spent time with the Buccaneers, Jets, Eagles, and Jaguars. His first 23 years were spent in player personnel. Over the last six years, he’s worked with the team’s coaching staff on week-to-week scouting.

Seahawks Promote Scott Fitterer, Trent Kirchner

Two longtime Seahawks execs have received new titles and, presumably, pay bumps. Scott Fitterer is now the team’s Vice President of Football Operations while Trent Kirchner has been elevated to Vice President of Player Personnel (Twitter link via’s Tom Pelissero).

Seahawks GM John Schneider brought Kirchner to Seattle as the team’s assistant director of pro personnel in 2010. In 2013, Kirchner was promoted to director of player personnel before moving to co-Director of Player Personnel in 2015. Fitterer started with Seattle in 2001 and followed a similar trajectory up the ladder, teaming with Kirchner as the co-DPP in ’15.

They’ve been an integral part of the Seahawks’ success over the years, and the rest of the league has taken notice. Kirchner was one of the hottest names in the 2017 GM cycle, drawing consideration from the Panthers, Colts, and 49ers. Fitterer has also gotten lots of calls, including the Chiefs (2017) and the Jets (2019). For the time being, the Seahawks will hold on to both execs.

Browns To Interview Ed Dodds For GM Opening

We’ve got our first known candidate for the Browns’ general manager vacancy.’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the organization has requested permission to interview Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds. Albert Breer of The MMQB tweets that the Colts have granted the Browns permission to interview the executive.

Perhaps even more notably,’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Browns head coaching candidate (and current 49ers defensive coordinator) Robert Saleh showed interest in being paired with Dodds in Cleveland. Saleh and Dodds both worked together during their stint in Seattle. Rapoport adds that

Dodds was considered one of the top scouts in the NFL during his 10 seasons in Seattle. During his time with the Seahawks, he served in a variety of roles, including senior personnel executive. Dodds joined the Colts back in 2017, and he was promoted to assistant GM the following year.

We heard earlier today that the organization was starting to ramp up their efforts to find a replacement for John Dorsey, who the team parted ways with in late December. While the order of operations may sound a bit weird, the Browns had always planned to complete their head coaching search before hiring a GM.

Dodds is the first known contender for the GM opening, and it sounds like the Browns organization has an affinity for former Seahawks executives. We previously heard that Seattle’s co-directors of player personnel, Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, are two well-respected executives who could emerge as leading candidates for the GM gig. Rapoport tweets that the duo could also be paired with Saleh, as could 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters.

Browns Notes: GM Search, DePodesta, McCarthy, Saleh, Daboll

While the primary focus in Cleveland remains on their search for a new head coach, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Browns could have their eyes on a pair of front-office employees with the Seahawks for their general managerial opening. Via Garafolo’s report, Seattle’s co-directors of player personnel, Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, are two well-respected executives that could emerge as leading candidates.

Here’s more notes from the Browns organization:

  •’s Ian Rapaport noted that two head coaching candidates in the Browns search that align with Kirchner and Fitterer are former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. McCarthy’s connection to the two Seattle executives is unclear, but Saleh started his coaching career in Seattle and has built his defensive scheme upon the Seahawks 4-3 at the peak of the “Legion of Boom.”
  • The Browns pushed back their interview with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for Cleveland’s head coaching position, according to Ian Rapaport of Daboll remains a candidate, but since the Bills were eliminated from the playoffs in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Texans, the team decided to delay his interview to this week so he could meet more of the team’s current front office staff.
  • Browns chief strategist Paul DePodesta has been the center of a lot of coverage surrounding the power struggle in Cleveland. The onetime assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics is spearheading the Browns head coach search, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, but is not under contract with the team beyond next week. With that said, DePodesta is still wanted in Cleveland and the team may want to extend the executive at the same time of the team’s general manager and head coaching hires to put the organization on the same page.

East Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Hackenberg, Jets

Jerry Jones offered a measured response to Roger Goodell‘s new extension when asked about it on Friday morning.

“No, I don’t really [have any comment],” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (transcript via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). “We’re having a very important [owners] meeting here in Dallas next week beginning Wednesday. That’s very meaningful. I’m looking forward to that. That’ll be very meaningful as we go forward. One of the things that I think that has been mentioned is any role that I might have had in the extension of Roger. As you know, I’ve been on both ends of it as far as any criticism. It’s been my experience in 30 years in the NFL that to make change and to make positive change — every time we all strive to make the NFL better, I include every owner with that — it’s hard. It’s very, very hard. If you really want to make some changes, you usually end up getting a lot of criticism along the way. It’s happened every time with me when we’ve had meaningful change. … We’ll see how it goes forward, but there’s nothing that has surprised me here.”

While Jones seethes behind closed doors, let’s take a look at the latest from the East divisions:

  • Jordan Raanan of spoke with people around the league to size up some potential candidates for the Giants‘ GM vacancy. The names he’s hearing include Eliot Wolf (Packers), Nick Caserio (Patriots), Scott Pioli (Falcons), Trent Kirchner (Seahawks), Dave Gettleman (ex-Panthers GM), Louis Riddick (currently with ESPN), and internal candidates Kevin Abrams and Marc Ross.
  • Can Christian Hackenberg still be the Jets‘ quarterback of the future? The former second round pick has yet to see the field, but Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News won’t rule out the possibility that he could be in the mix next season. For his part, Hackenberg admits that he is anxious to take an NFL snap. “In order to grow and learn, you need to get hit in your mouth,” Hackenberg said. “You need to fail. Then you grow from that. There’s really no intimidation. I got to experience things. I felt like I experienced a lot of really good things this preseason and some things I need to learn from. That’s all part of the process. If you don’t experience both ends of the spectrum, you’re not getting everything out of the adventure.”

Browns Eyeing Ex-Chiefs GM John Dorsey

The Browns’ GM search is underway and we already have word on a potential frontrunner for the job. The Browns are eyeing former Chiefs GM John Dorsey and he is expected to emerge as a leading contender for the job, sources tell’s Adam Schefter and Dianna RussiniJohn Dorsey (vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Fire VP Sashi Brown]

Owner Jimmy Haslam and his wife Dee Haslam are expected to interview candidates as early as this week, sources tell the duo. The early interviews may also include Seahawks executive Trent Kirchner and Packers executive Eliot Wolf, Tom Pelissero of reports (on Twitter).

In his statement announcing the firing of Sashi Brown, Haslam said that he would be looking for “someone with strong experience and success in drafting and building consistently winning football teams.” Dorsey fits the bill, though he is not without his critics. Dorsey was canned by Kansas City late last offseason, reportedly because of his overly loose management style. The Chiefs also did a poor job of managing the salary cap, though that supposedly did not factor heavily into Clark Hunt’s decision fire him.

Because of the team is making experience a requirement, it sounds like former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning will not be considered for the job. Throughout the year, there were rumblings of Haslam working to lure Manning, potentially by offering a small stake in the team. Instead, it appears that the Browns will be making a more traditional hire.

Whoever takes over for Brown in Cleveland will have a lot going for them (in theory). In the 2018 draft, the Brows have an enviable stockpile including an extra first-round pick, two additional second round picks, a fourth-round choice, and a fifth-round selection. They could also have nearly $100MM in cap space, though it’s not a given that Haslam will spend it all.

Potential Candidates For Panthers GM Job

To the surprise of many, the Panthers are in search of a new general manager. It’s too early to know who will be in the mix for the job, but speculation is already rampant among those in the know. Here are the early potential candidates for Carolina:

  • Seahawks executive Trent Kirchner spent eight years in Carolina as a scout and could be among those considered, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets. Kirchner interviewed for the Colts and 49ers GM positions earlier this offseason before they went to Chris Ballard and John Lynch, respectively.
  • Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden and Panthers director of player personnel Don Gregory are two names to watch, Adam Schefter of tweets. Cowden was among those to interview for the Chiefs vacancy this summer and spent 16 years working for the Panthers before joining Tennessee.
  • The Panthers’ highest ranking personnel executive left in the building Mark Koncz, Adam Caplan of (on Twitter) notes. He was promoted to personnel director in May from pro director.
  • It’s “just a hunch,” but Alex Marvez of The Sporting News (on Twitter) wouldn’t be surprised if former Chiefs GM John Dorsey ultimately becomes the Panthers’ next GM.
  • The Panthers likely going to go with an interim GM rather than rush to a decision one month before the season starts, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets. With that in mind, former GM Marty Hurney makes some sense. Hurney, who was relieved of his post as GM during the 2012 season, currently works for ESPN Radio in Charlotte. Under his watch, the Panthers drafted some of the team’s biggest stars, including Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and Thomas Davis.

Colts’ GM Candidates List Includes Kirchner, Excludes DeCosta

The Colts have a list of six names they will interview for their vacant GM position. Jim Irsay confirmed Seahawks co-player personnel director Trent Kirchner as one of the six candidates, joining the remainder of a sextet that was each connected to the 49ers’ GM job.

The lone name connected to the Colts’ search the 49ers didn’t pursue, Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta, doesn’t appear among the candidates. So, it’s relatively safe to assume DeCosta’s trend of turning down interview requests continued despite his friendship with Chuck Pagano. DeCosta looks set to begin a 22nd season with the Ravens and a sixth as Ozzie Newsome‘s right-hand man. He’s viewed as a potential successor to Newsome when the Hall of Famer decides to step down.

Kirchner withdrew from the 49ers’ search last week but will see if the Colts’ job appeals to him. The seven-year Seahawks staffer will have some company, the remainder of whom we previously heard would interview for the latest NFL GM vacancy.

Kirchner’s co-player personnel director mate in Seattle, Scott Fitterer, will interview for the job. Vikings assistant GM George Paton, Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf, Chiefs player personnel director Chris Ballard and Colts interim GM/vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III comprise the rest of the list. Paton is the only name in this group who is a finalist for the 49ers’ job. He will meet with the 49ers for a second time on Saturday, joining Cardinals exec Terry McDonough in doing so.

Ballard is set to interview for the Colts’ job today, with Paton expected to follow suit either today or Thursday. Wolf’s interview will occur later this week as well.

Colts Request Interviews With Trent Kirchner, Scott Fitterer, George Paton

The Colts are invading the 49ers’ turf after establishing a GM search party nearly three weeks later. The team has requested interviews with three candidates on the 49ers’ initial list, including one that’s believed to be a finalist for the San Francisco job.

Indianapolis has requested interviews with Vikings assistant GM George Paton and the Seahawks’ co-directors of player personnel — Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer — according to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter links).

Fitterer will interview for the position, Adam Caplan of tweets, and the summit with the Colts is scheduled for Thursday.

This makes four known candidates for Indianapolis’ newly available GM job, with internal candidate Jimmy Raye III believed to be holding an early lead. However, the Colts are planning to interview four or five candidates, Ian Rapoport of tweets, expecting some of these summits to occur in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl. Rapoport expects plenty of overlap in the two teams’ GM searches.

Paton remains in the running for the 49ers’ job after advancing through the first round of interviews. He joins Cardinals exec Terry McDonough as those considered to be finalists for the Bay Area vacancy. Kirchner bowed out of the 49ers’ GM race shortly after Tom Cable withdrew from the head coaching search, while Fitterer did not advance to the finalist stage, joining Raye in that regard. Fitterer dropped out of the running for an Eagles executive position last year.