Ryan Poles

Chiefs Promote Mike Borgonzi To Asst. GM

The Chiefs have promoted Mike Borgonzi to assistant GM, per a team press release. The club also elevated Brandt Tilis to Vice President of Football Operations and Ryan Poles to Executive Director of Player Personnel.

All three executives have been in the mix for GM jobs elsewhere. But, with Brett Veach installed as the Chiefs’ GM, that job won’t be available anytime soon.

The Panthers met with all three executives in this last cycle before ultimately landing on ex-Seahawks VP Scott Fitterer. It’s safe to say that they’ll garner consideration again in the 2022 cycle, but the Chiefs might be able to hang on to them for a while longer with these pay/title bumps.

Tilis has been a key cog in Chiefs contract matters since starting with them in 2010. Among his CV highlights: squeezing in extensions for Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones, and Travis Kelce to keep one of the NFL’s strongest teams in tact. Poles, 36 in September, has served as the assistant player personnel director since May 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

GM/HC Notes: Colbert, Panthers, Jets, Smith

Here is the latest from the GM/head coach carousels. Five GM vacancies and seven HC openings remain as of Wednesday afternoon.

  • Before making his way to Pittsburgh, Kevin Colbert spent many seasons in Detroit. The Lions have been connected to making a push for a Colbert Motor City return, but they have not asked the Steelers for permission to interview him, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. The Steelers gave Colbert an extension last year. After working with the Lions throughout the 1990s as their pro scouting director, Colbert has been with his hometown Steelers since 2000.
  • The Panthers continue to go through second interviews. After meeting with 49ers exec Adam Peters and Titans staffer Monti Ossenfort again this week, Carolina brought back Chiefs assistant player personnel director Ryan Poles and met again with Seahawks VP of football operations Scott Fitterer. Poles is one of a few Chiefs execs to receive interest this offseason, while Fitterer has been on the GM interview circuit for a few years. The Seahawks promoted him in September.
  • The Jets finished up Robert Saleh‘s second interview Wednesday but appear set to identify more finalists soon. They want to speak with Titans OC Arthur Smith again, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The Jets are not alone in pursuing Smith, who has interviewed for six HC jobs thus far. The Falcons are also high on the second-year OC.
  • Although Brian Daboll has not completed quite as extensive an itinerary as Smith has, he has impressed the Jets. Gang Green is high on the third-year Bills OC, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Daboll met with the Jets on Sunday. He cannot meet with the team in person until the Bills’ season concludes.

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

Panthers Conduct Five GM Interviews

The Panthers’ GM interview list is up to 11. Executives from four teams interviewed for the position over the past two days, with two Chiefs staffers being summoned for meetings.

Chiefs football administration director Brandt Tilis and assistant player personnel director Ryan Poles interviewed for the vacant Panthers post, joining Bears assistant player personnel director Champ Kelly, Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds and 49ers VP of player personnel Adam Peters.

Kelly has popped up in the Broncos’ search as well. The Broncos requested an interview with their former staffer, who has been with the Bears since 2015. He has served in his current role for the past two years, previously operating as Chicago’s pro scouting director. Kelly interviewed for the Jets GM job in 2019.

With the Chiefs since 2010, Tilis has been a key cog in Chiefs contract matters. Considering the offseason the defending Super Bowl champions had on this front — extending Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones and Travis Kelce — and the franchise’s success in recent years, it makes sense a team is interested in Tilis. Poles, 35, has worked in his current position since May 2018. The Chiefs have seen multiple staffers — Chris Ballard and Brett Veach — move into GM roles in recent years, and Poles has been on GM radars for a bit now. The Panthers also have Chiefs player personnel director Mike Borgonzi on their radar.

Peters and Dodds have been with their respective teams for four years, each relocating in 2017 to join Ballard and John Lynch‘s respective staffs. Dodds has been in the GM mix for a bit now, most recently turning down a Browns interview request. For Peters, this is his first go-round of GM interviews. Peters and Matt Rhule have an interesting connection. During Rhule’s 2001 stopover at UCLA as the Bruins’ defensive line coach, Peters was on the roster as a defensive end.

Here are the rest the Panthers’ candidates thus far:

GM Interviews: Lions, Falcons, Panthers

It’s been a very busy Monday after Week 17 so far, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. There are a number of GM openings around the league, and interview requests for execs are flying in. Let’s get you caught up on all the latest:

  • Saints VP/assistant GM for pro personnel Terry Fontenot is scheduled to interview for the Lions GM job on Tuesday and the Falcons GM job on Wednesday, Albert Breer of The MMQB tweets. The Falcons have also requested a GM interview with Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Along with Rick Smith, these were the top names expected to be in the mix in Atlanta. Fontenot isn’t the only Saints exec in the mix, as New Orleans assistant GM Jeff Ireland has been requested by the Panthers and Lions, Pelissero tweets.
  • Finally (for now), the Lions are also going to interview Vikings assistant GM George Paton, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Rapsheet says both Paton and Fontenot are “very strong candidates” for the Detroit job. Paton has drawn interest before, and has been in Minnesota’s front office since the 2007 season.
  • The Panthers are casting a wide net, and they’re also requesting to interview Chiefs assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles for the vacancy created by Marty Hurney’s firing, Rapoport tweets. One more, as Carolina has officially requested to interview 49ers VP of Player Personnel Adam Peters, Rapoport tweets. We had heard they might have some interest in Peters, and Rapoport notes that he spent time with head coach Matt Rhule at UCLA and is “one to watch” here.
  • The Falcons have requested Colts college scouting director Morocco Brown, Pelissero tweets. Indy’s GM Chris Ballard is very highly regarded, so it’s not surprising that teams are digging into some of his deputies. Brown previously had personnel roles with Cleveland (2014-15) and Washington (2008-13).

AFC Rumors: Williams, Chiefs, OBJ, Patriots

Adam Gase insisted the Jets were not trading Quinnen Williams, but that did not stop teams from reaching out about a potential trade. The Jets received inquiries from multiple teams on their standout defensive tackle before last week’s trade deadline, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Although GM Joe Douglas was not with the team when the Jets selected Williams — during a draft in which Gase was not exactly in lock-step with previous GM Mike Maccagnan — the team views the ex-Alabama prospect’s talent and positional value to be too great to trade. After a less impactful rookie year, Williams has broken through as an NFL sophomore. He has three sacks and seven tackles for loss — already bettering his 2019 numbers.

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • The ChiefsAndy Reid-era front office has undergone changes, thanks to the executive talent the organization has amassed. Ryan Poles may well be poised to follow Chris Ballard and Brett Veach to a GM job, with Field Yates of ESPN.com noting (via Twitter) the current Chiefs exec is firmly on the GM radar. The Chiefs have twice promoted Poles over the past three years, moving him to college scouting director in 2017 and to assistant player personnel director a year later. Should Poles land a GM job, the Chiefs would be entitled to third-round draft compensation.
  • Odell Beckham Jr. underwent successful ACL surgery Tuesday, the Browns announced. The team expects OBJ to be ready for the 2021 season. It is not certain if the 28-year-old wideout will, in fact, be with the Browns for the ’21 campaign. His through-2023 contract contains no guaranteed money, and his star has certainly fallen since being dealt from New York to Cleveland. Beckham landed in trade rumors last year and this offseason, and rumblings have resurfaced about the Browns dealing the John Dorsey-era acquisition in 2021.
  • When Sony Michel returns from IR, it is unlikely the third-year Patriots back will recapture his previous role. Damien Harris stood out in training camp and has played well since debuting. The 2019 third-round pick should not be expected to lose his lead role in New England’s backfield, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Harris did suffer a chest injury Monday, but it remains to be seen if the former Alabama back will miss any time. Harris is averaging 5.6 yards per carry this season. While Michel is at 6.7, that is on just 26 totes. The former first-round pick’s career YPC average sits at 4.2.

West Notes: 49ers, Hawks, Raiders, Chiefs

Before signing Mike Person earlier today, the 49ers also worked out veteran offensive linemen Oday Aboushi, Josh LeRibeus, and Brian Schwenke, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). San Francisco was clearly on the lookout for an experienced lineman capable of playing multiple spots along the interior, and Person won the job. Each of Aboushi, LeRibeus, and Schwenke boast at least one season of regular starting work, but none have generated any known interest to this point in the offseason. If the 49ers are in need of more center/guard as the year progresses, however, it’s fair to assume they’ll circle back to these same candidates.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have both denied that Seattle is entering a full-scale rebuild, and the club’s meeting with veteran wideout Brandon Marshall only verifies that stance, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. While the Seahawks have shed a mass of talent this offseason by releasing or trading stalwarts such as Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, and Cliff Avril, the club doesn’t intend to sacrifice its intention to compete. Marshall, of course, hasn’t been productive since 2015, but he’d add a physical element to a wide receiving depth chart that includes Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and Jaron Brown.
  • Linebacker Derrick Johnson rebuffed offers from two-to-three other clubs in order to sign with the Raiders, as Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Johnson, 35, reiterated that the opportunity to play for head coach Jon Gruden played a large role in his decision to join Oakland’s squad, where he is expected to play middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme for the first time in his career. The Raiders have made multiple additions to the second level of their defense, adding Tahir Whitehead, Emmanuel Lamur, and Kyle Wilber in addition to Johnson. As such, it’s becoming clear that fellow linebacker NaVorro Bowman is unlikely to return to the Bay Area.
  • Byron Maxwell‘s new deal with the Seahawks has a base value of $2MM, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The veteran cornerback, who is now in his second stint with Seattle, will collect a $950K base salary, a $500K signing bonus, a $100K roster bonus paid if he makes the Seahawks’ 53-man roster, and up to $450K in per-game roster bonuses. Maxwell looks like the clear favorite to start at outside corner opposite Shaquill Griffin, but he’ll be pushed by Justin Coleman and free agent addition Dontae Johnson.
  • The Chiefs announced that they’ve promoted Mike Borgonzi to director of football operations. As Adam Schefter of ESPN.com points out (Twitter link), Borgonzi will now take over the position manned by Chris Ballard before he became the Colts’ general manager, meaning the former should now be viewed as a future GM candidate. Kansas City also promoted Ryan Poles to assistant director of player personnel and named Ryne Nutt director of college scouting.

AFC Notes: Chiefs, Browns, Kap, Bills

The latest news and notes from the AFC:

  • The Chiefs have announced several changes to their front office, including the hiring of Tim Terry as director of pro personnel and the promotion of Ryan Poles from college scouting coordinator to director of college scouting. Terry is joining his second NFL organization after spending the first 13 years of his career in Green Bay, where he was most recently the team’s assistant director of pro personnel. General manager John Dorsey was in the Packers’ front office before the Chiefs hired him in 2013, so he’s already familiar with Terry. Kansas City’s Dorsey-led front office also pried Chris Shea away from Philadelphia. Shea, the Chiefs’ new salary cap and legal executive, previously served as the Eagles’ director of scouting administration.
  • Former NFL head coach and current 49ers assistant Eric Mangini believes that Colin Kaepernick would be a great fit for the Browns.  “I think as the market settles and people start looking at these young quarterbacks they brought in and start evaluating the quarterback situation, they might realize it may not look as good as they hoped it would be,” Mangini told PFT. “I always thought he would be a good fit for the Browns. Hue [Jackson’s] system is multiple shifts and motions, and that’s what he did in San Francisco. Hue has an element of quarterback-driven runs, I think Colin is excellent as that. As a candidate, him vs. RGIII a year ago, I’d take Colin 10 times out of 10.” So far, the Browns have shown no interest in Kaepernick. To date, only Seattle has given him a real look.
  • Currently, the Bills are not projected to receive any 2018 compensatory picks because they signed more unrestricted free agents (seven) to qualifying contracts than they lost to other teams (five). However, the Bills can change that, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. By releasing a total of four of their seven signed free agents between now and Week 10, the Bills would be projected to tack on two compensatory picks – one being a third-rounder for losing cornerback Stephon Gilmore plus a fourth-rounder for losing wide receiver Robert Woods. The most likely UFAs to go, in Rodak’s estimation, are defensive end Ryan Davis, offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse, and wide receiver Andre Holmes. To secure that fourth-round pick, they could also cut fullback Patrick DiMarco or kicker Steven Hauschka.