Rob Lohman

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 1-15-21 (4:59pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers 

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Washington Football Team

Lions Interview 3 Internal GM Candidates

The Lions have begun interviewing candidates for their general manager post. Three current Lions front office staffers interviewed for the job, including two who have been with the team for more than 15 years.

Player personnel director Lance Newmark, player personnel VP Kyle O’Brien and pro scouting director Rob Lohman completed their interviews, the Lions announced Friday. A member of this trio moving up to Detroit’s top personnel job would qualify as less likely than a splashier outside hire, but two of these staffers joined the organization before since-fired GM Bob Quinn‘s tenure began.

Newmark has been with the Lions since they employed Barry Sanders; he is wrapping up his 23rd season with the organization. Quinn promoted Newmark to his current role in 2017. Lohman arrived during Matt Millen‘s GM tenure, coming to Detroit in 2007. Previously, he was with the Texans when they became an NFL franchise. Quinn hired O’Brien in 2017, but the veteran exec has been an NFL staffer since 2002. O’Brien has spent the bulk of his career as a Patriots scout.

The Lions are not using a search firm, but they have been connected to bigger names. Former Giants GM Jerry Reese is an expected candidate. The Lions are also now open to hiring Matt Patricia‘s successor first and letting him help select the team’s next GM.

Staff Notes: Newsome, Panthers, Lions

Despite ceding his post as Ravens GM to longtime lieutenant Eric DeCosta, Ozzie Newsome remains a central presence in Baltimore’s front office. He played a key role in the Ravens adding Earl Thomas, despite not having an official title. He does now. Amid a staff shakeup, the Ravens revealed (via Pennlive.com) Newsome will serve as their executive vice president. The Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl-winning executive will continue to advise DeCosta. This should help a Ravens team in a bit of a transition, considering Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco and C.J. Mosley are no longer with the franchise. Newsome, 63, sticking around will provide vital continuity.

Here is the latest on some front office situations around the league, staying first with more from the Ravens’ new-look staff:

  • The Ravens will now have co-directors of player personnel, moving former college scouting director Joe Horwitz and previous senior personnel assistant George Kokinis into the position. The Ravens brought in Kokinis in 2010, following a short stay as the Browns’ general manager. The Ravens promoted Mark Azevedo from his northeast area scout post to player personnel coordinator and made Chad Alexander their assistant director of pro and college personnel. Vincent Newsome will move from director of pro personnel into a senior player personnel executive position, and Nick Matteo will now oversee the Ravens’ salary cap. Matteo spent 10 years as an NFL management council exec.
  • While their staff changes were not as sweeping as the Ravens’, the Panthers have some key figures in new positions. A 22nd-year Panthers exec, Jeff Morrow will take over as Carolina’s player personnel director after heading the franchise’s college scouting department. Fourth-year Panthers staffer Eric Stokes will move into Morrow’s former role. Former Panthers wide receiver Mark Carrier, a ninth-year member of the team’s front office, will become executive director of the Panthers’ football staff.
  • Lastly, the Lions reshuffled a few roles. Dave Sears will rise from Detroit’s assistant director of college scouting to leading that department. Rob Lohman will make the same move on the pro side. Both Sears and Lohman have been with the Lions for 13 years.

NFC North Notes: Finley, Neal, Packers, Lions

In a piece on the best remaining free agents, former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley tops the 10 players named by Alex Marvez of Fox Sports. Of course, as agent Blake Baratz tells Marvez, it’s not 100% certain that Finley will even return from his spinal injury and play in the NFL again. While we do expect the tight end to sign somewhere, he could file for the collection of a $10MM insurance policy if he opts not continue his playing career.

As we wait to see if the Packers express interest in bringing Finley back into the fold, here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Linebacker Mike Neal re-signed with the Packers early in free agency, but Green Bay wasn’t the only team interested in him. Neal tells Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune that the Bears made him an offer, though he opted not sign with the Packers’ division rival. “In the long run, their offer, it wasn’t a bad deal,” Neal said of Chicago’s proposal. “The option for me to come back [to Green Bay] was better, in my opinion. I felt like this was a system that if I was kept in the same position, I could flourish in.” The Steelers also reportedly expressed interest in Neal before he re-upped with the Packers.
  • Although there are questions about how long Ted Thompson will continue on in his role as Green Bay’s general manager, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com says Packers fans should hope that Thompson still has plenty of years left on the job. One person close to Thompson recently told Demovsky that he doesn’t think the GM will leave anytime soon unless the Packers win another Super Bowl, and that speculation about his retirement “got him going.”
  • The Lions have promoted Rob Lohman to assistant director of pro personnel and expanded their scouting department, as Tim Twentyman details at DetroitLions.com.