Ryan Pace and John Fox have been together in Chicago for two years, as have Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles in New York, while Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson in Cleveland and Chris Grier and Adam Gase in Miami just finished their first seasons. Finally, GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan just arrived in San Francisco, while Buffalo added HC Sean McDermott in January before switching GMs and bringing in Brandon Beane after the 2017 Draft.
Washington currently has a vacancy at General Manager, after firing Scot McCloughan in March after two winning years. Four other teams (in addition to Washington and Buffalo) are in the unique situation of having a head coach with a longer tenure than its GM:
- In 2014, Mike Mularkey was hired to be Tennessee’s tight ends coach. Midway through the 2015 season, the Titans fired Ken Whisenhunt and promoted Mularkey to interim head coach. Two months later, Tennessee fired GM Ruston Webster and hired Jon Robinson from Tampa Bay; Robinson, despite significant backlash, chose to retain Mularkey as the team’s head coach. That has worked out pretty well so far: after going 3-13 (2-7 under Mularkey) in 2015, the Titans went 9-7 in the first year under Mularkey and Robinson.
- Ron Rivera has been in Carolina since 2011. After a 6-10 first season, Carolina began the year 3-9 in 2012, prompting me to write how attractive this potentially vacant job would be. Well, the Panthers finished 7-9 and retained Rivera, but fired Marty Hurney, who had been the team’s general manager since 2002. The Panthers then hired Dave Gettleman, who retained Rivera, and the rest has been history. Rivera has been named the AP Head Coach of the Year twice since Gettleman arrived.
- The Lions hired Jim Caldwell in 2014, just a year removed from his impressive playoff run that resulted in a Super Bowl as the Ravens offensive coordinator. At the time, Detroit’s GM was Martin Mayhew, but he was fired midway through 2015 with Detroit just 1-7. The Lions hired ex-Patriot Bob Quinn in 2016, who chose to retain Caldwell, after the Lions went 6-2 down the stretch in 2015. Like Mularkey and Robinson, Caldwell and Quinn went
- Finally, the Colts brought in Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson in 2012. Indianapolis followed three straight 11-5 seasons with a pair of 8-8 campaigns; after nearly firing one or both men after 2015, Colts owner Jim Irsay finally ended the failed marriage by canning Grigson after the 2016 season. He’s been replaced by Chris Ballard, who is retaining Pagano… so far.
The table below shows this information for all 32 teams. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but for clarity’s sake, note that the years column excludes the yet-to-be-played (spoiler!) 2017 season.
|Team||GM||GM Title||Years||Head Coach||Years||Diff|
|Dallas Cowboys||Jerry Jones||Owner/President/General Manager||28||Jason Garrett||7||21|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Mike Brown||Principal Owner/President/General Manager||26||Marvin Lewis||14||12|
|Baltimore Ravens||Ozzie Newsome||General Manager/Executive VP||21||John Harbaugh||9||12|
|New York Giants||Jerry Reese||Senior VP/General Manager||10||Ben McAdoo||1||9|
|Houston Texans||Rick Smith||Executive VP/General Manager||11||Bill O'Brien||3||8|
|Minnesota Vikings||Rick Spielman||Executive VP/General Manager||11||Mike Zimmer||3||8|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Kevin Colbert||VP & General Manager||17||Mike Tomlin||10||7|
|Atlanta Falcons||Thomas Dimitroff||General Manager||9||Dan Quinn||2||7|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Howie Roseman||Exec. VP of Football Ops||7||Doug Pederson||1||6|
|Denver Broncos||John Elway||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||6||Vance Joseph||0||6|
|Los Angeles Rams||Les Snead||General Manager||5||Sean McVay||0||5|
|New Orleans Saints||Mickey Loomis||Executive VP/General Manager||15||Sean Payton||11||4|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Tom Telesco||General Manager||4||Anthony Lynn||0||4|
|Oakland Raiders||Reggie McKenzie||General Manager||5||Jack Del Rio||2||3|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||David Caldwell||General Manager||4||Doug Marrone||1||3|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jason Licht||General Manager||3||Dirk Koetter||1||2|
|Green Bay Packers||Ted Thompson||Executive VP/General Manager/Director of Football Operations||12||Mike McCarthy||11||1|
|New England Patriots||Bill Belichick||Head Coach/de facto General Manager||17||Bill Belichick||17||0|
|Seattle Seahawks||John Schneider||Executive VP/General Manager||7||Pete Carroll||7||0|
|Arizona Cardinals||Steve Keim||General Manager||4||Bruce Arians||4||0|
|Kansas City Chiefs||John Dorsey||General Manager||4||Andy Reid||4||0|
|Chicago Bears||Ryan Pace||General Manager||2||John Fox||2||0|
|New York Jets||Mike Maccagnan||General Manager||2||Todd Bowles||2||0|
|Cleveland Browns||Sashi Brown||Executive VP of Football Operations||1||Hue Jackson||1||0|
|Miami Dolphins||Chris Grier||General Manager||1||Adam Gase||1||0|
|Buffalo Bills||Brandon Beane||General Manager||0||Sean McDermott||0||0|
|San Francisco 49ers||John Lynch||General Manager||0||Kyle Shanahan||0||0|
|Tennessee Titans||Jon Robinson||Executive VP/General Manager||1||Mike Mularkey||2||-1|
|Carolina Panthers||Dave Gettleman||General Manager||4||Ron Rivera||6||-2|
|Detroit Lions||Bob Quinn||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||1||Jim Caldwell||3||-2|
|Washington Redskins||Vacant||0||Jay Gruden||3||-3|
|Indianapolis Colts||Chris Ballard||General Manager||0||Chuck Pagano||5||-5|
What stands out to you? I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see it, but man — Kevin Colbert has been with Pittsburgh for 17 years! Tom Donahoe, who struggled in Buffalo from ’01 to ’05, was the Steelers GM from ’91 to ’99, while Dick Haley was the team’s Director of Player Personnel and de facto GM from 1971-1990. Dan Rooney, who passed away last month and was the Steelers Chairman from 1988 to 2016, was the Steelers General Manager in ’68 and ’69, after an 18-year run by Francis Fogarty from 1951 to 1968. And John Holahan was the team’s GM from 1945 to 1952, giving us the complete list of GMs for the Steelers since World War II.
Another thing to consider. Los Angeles has a pair of GMs that have been around for a few years and just fired the coach they were tied to. How long of a leash will the Rams and Chargers give their GMs under new head coaches?
Finally, here’s the same table in graph form.
As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments.