Ran Carthon

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 1-27-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

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 Request Four More GM Interviews

We can add three more names to the list of Bears GM candidates. Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter), Chicago requested permission to interview Colts vice president of player personnel Ed Dodds. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Bears also requested permission to interview Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland, while Albert Breer of TheMMQB tweets that Chicago put in a request on 49ers director of player personnel Ran Carthon. Schefter also notes (on Twitter) that Chicago requested an interview with Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen.

[RELATED: Bears Request Interviews With Three Execs For GM Gig]

Dodds was a popular name in the GM circuit last offseason, when he was connected to gigs with the Lions and Panthers. Dodds has worked with the Colts since 2017, and he was promoted to his current position in 2018. Dodds previously spent time in the Seahawks front office, where he played a major role in constructing a Super Bowl-winning roster.

Best known for his time as Dolphins GM (2008-13), Ireland resurfaced with the Saints and helped the Mickey LoomisSean Payton regime reposition the team as the NFC South’s best after some mid-2010s defensive struggles. During Ireland’s stay, the Saints have draft perennial Pro Bowlers Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore and several other impact starters. He was also connected to the Lions and Panthers gigs last offseason.

Carthon is already set to interview for the open Giants GM job. The former Florida Gators fullback has spent a decade as a pro personnel director, doing so with the Rams from 2012-16 and in his five years with the 49ers. Carthon was promoted to his current role during this past offseason.

Schoen has been with the Bills organization since 2017, and he’s played a major role in the organization’s recent rise in the AFC. Prior to his stint in Buffalo, Schoen spent almost a decade in Miami (when he was endorsed by Bill Parcells), evolving from a national scout into director of player personnel. The executive also had a stint with the Panthers, working his way up from an intern in the ticket office.

We learned of the first three potential names to replace Ryan Pace in Chicago, with Browns VP of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Browns VP of player personnel Glenn Cook, and Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown connected to the job.

Giants Request Interviews With Seven Execs For GM Opening

9:07pm: We can add three more names to the list of Giants GM candidates, all via Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The Cardinals have requested permission to speak with Cardinals Vice President of Pro Personnel (and former safety) Adrian Wilson, 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters, and 49ers Director of Player Personnel Ran Carthon.

6:38pm: We learned earlier today that Giants GM Dave Gettleman was calling it a career, opening a vacancy atop the organization’s front office. Well, the organization has already started requesting interviews with potential replacements. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Giants requested an interview with Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen.

ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that the organization also requested an interview with Chiefs Executive Director of Player Personnel Ryan Poles, while Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets that New York requested interviews with Titans VP of player personnel Ryan Cowden and Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort. Poles will interview Thursday, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets.

[RELATED: Dave Gettleman Officially Announces Retirement]

Schoen is set to interview Wednesday, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). Schoen has been with the Bills organization since 2017, and he’s played a major role in the organization’s recent rise in the AFC. Prior to his stint in Buffalo, Schoen spent almost a decade in Miami (when he was endorsed by Bill Parcells), evolving from a national scout into director of player personnel. The executive also had a stint with the Panthers, working his way up from an intern in the ticket office.

Poles was mentioned as a candidate for the Panthers GM job last offseason. The executive 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.

Ossenfort was also a candidate for the Panthers GM gig. The executive previously worked in the Patriots front office before moving on to Tennessee. Cowden has been with the Titans for six years, and that followed an almost two-decade stint with the Panthers organization.

Meanwhile, while many assumed that Giants assistant GM Kevin Abrams would be an option for the top gig, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets that the executive “is not considered to be a candidate.” However, Abrams is respected within the organization and could stick around under a new GM.

49ers Make Front Office Changes

The 49ers may be a team to watch for GM hires in the near future. In addition to top John Lynch lieutenant Adam Peters, the team has moved other staffers to jobs from which teams often poach GMs.

Going into his fifth year with the 49ers, Ran Carthon will rise to the position of director of player personnel. The former Florida Gators fullback has spent nearly a decade as a pro personnel director, doing so with the Rams from 2012-16 and in his first four-plus years with the 49ers.

This was Peters’ post during his first three-plus years with the 49ers; he rose to assistant GM in February. R.J. Gillen, a seventh-year 49ers staffer, will succeed Carthon as the 49ers’ director of pro personnel.

Ethan Waugh will become San Francisco’s VP of player personnel. Having spent nearly 20 years with the franchise, Waugh has climbed from the assistant level to the scouting tier to college scouting director to this high-level executive post. Peters received multiple interviews for the Panthers’ GM job that went to Scott Fitterer. It would not surprise if one of the other 49ers high-ranking execs joined him on the GM interview circuit soon.

The 49ers are also promoting Salli Clavelle to an area scout post. A three-year 49ers staffer, Clavelle previously served as a pro personnel analyst. In 2019, Clavelle was the only woman to hold a full-time NFL scouting position. Additionally, the 49ers hired Jessi Seumalo as a scouting assistant. The younger sister of Eagles starting guard Isaac Seumalo, Jessi was part of Washington State and Utah’s recruiting operations over the past three years. Clavelle and Seumalo join the likes of Kelly Kleine (Broncos), Catherine Raiche (Eagles) and others in what has been a banner offseason for women advancing in the NFL front office and scouting ranks.

West Notes: Broncos, Cardinals, 49ers

The Broncos entered the offseason with questions at two of the game’s most important positions – quarterback and left tackle – and that remains the case, writes Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. But general manager John Elway, who’s sticking with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch under center and drafted ex-Utah left tackle Garett Bolles in the first round, expects the Broncos to return to the playoffs in 2017. “I like where we are. I like where we’ll be if we continue to work,” said Elway, whose club went 9-7 last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Elway added that the Broncos are “a pretty good football team,” which led him to trade two draft picks and reduce his selection total from 10 to eight. “We had the meeting before the draft started … and we started counting numbers,” Elway explained. “It’s going to be hard to make our football team. We’ve got a lot of good football players, so that’s why we have to be that good in the draft because we’ve got to find guys that can come in and compete and have a chance to make our football team.”

Now the latest on a couple NFC West teams:

  • Regarding his decision to accept a pay cut earlier this offseason, Cardinals cornerback and special teams standout Justin Bethel told Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic, “It’s called betting on yourself.” Bethel agreed to a reworked contract that hacked $2MM off his base salary for this season and erased the final year of his deal, 2018, which will give him an opportunity to hit free agency next March. In order to cash in, though, Bethel will need to be more of a defensive factor than he was last season, when he only saw action in 25 percent of snaps. Along the way, head coach Bruce Arians called Bethel a “failure in progress.” But Arians acknowledged last month that a broken foot may have held Bethel back, and the defender agrees. “Before I broke my foot, I thought I was going to come into the season and earn the starting job,” Bethel said. “I still had high hopes that I would be healthy by training camp. That wasn’t the case. I was just trying to make it through (the season). I knew I wasn’t healthy enough to play corner all the time.” Bethel and Arians are now “on good terms,” according to Bethel, who will get a chance to start opposite Patrick Peterson in 2017. With free agency looming, the upcoming campaign will be a make-or-break season for Bethel, opines Bickley.
  • The 49ers have tabbed Ran Carthon as their new director of pro personnel, general manager John Lynch announced Friday. Carthon served in the same role with the NFC West rival Rams over the previous five seasons, before they dismissed him last month.
  • In other 49ers news, the team worked out defensive lineman Carlos Wray on Thursday, tweets Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Wray was among three defensive linemen whom the 49ers auditioned, along with the previously reported Kedric Golston and Cedric Reed. A former Duke Blue Devil, Wray signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent last spring, but they waived/injured him in July.