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2021 NFL General Manager Tracker: Latest news and rumors on NFL general manager vacancies

With seven general manager vacancies entering 2021, we follow all the latest news and rumors in our NFL General Manager tracker.

2021 NFL General Manager Tracker: Latest news and rumors on NFL general manager vacancies
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Houston Texans executive vice president and general manager Rick Smith speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Following Week 17 of the NFL season, seven general manager vacancies are open. Let’s take a look at those NFL general vacancies, and who is in line to fill them with our 2021 NFL general manager tracker.

To quickly jump around from section to section and team to team, use the “What’s in this article” table of contents box above. 

Note: We will be updating this tracker with more news and rumors when we get them. Want to be the first to hear inside information from PFN Insiders Tony Pauline and Benjamin Allbright? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the notifications icon so you can tune in live when our insiders break the latest news and rumors from around the league.

Who will be the Atlanta Falcons’ new general manager?

After joining the Falcons in 2008, Thomas Dimitroff was fired during the 2020 season. Will the Falcons promote internally, or will they be looking to fill the role from outside the organization? With a tight cap situation, the Falcons may prove to be one of the least appealing vacancies in the 2021 NFL general manager tracker.

Confirmed General Manager Interviews

  • Anthony Robinson – Falcons Director of College Scouting
  • Brad Holmes – Los Angeles Rams College Scouting Director
  • Morocco Brown – Indianapolis Colts Director of College Scouting
  • Rick Smith – Former Houston Texans GM
  • Terry Fontenot – New Orleans Saints VP/Assistant GM of Pro Personnel

Requested General Manager Interviews

No further interviews currently confirmed as requested or planned.

Potential General Manager Candidates

  • Champ Kelly – Chicago Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel
  • George Paton – Minnesota Vikings Assistant GM
  • Joe Schoen – Buffalo Bills Assistant GM

What we are hearing

January 14: Ian Rapoport reported that Saints VP/Assistant GM for Pro Personnel Terry Fontenot is the favorite for the Falcons job. However, a deal will not be done until the Saints are out of the playoffs.

January 12: On the January 12 Quick Slants, Ben Allbright stated that Rick Smith is the heavy favorite right now for Atlanta.

2021 NFL General Manager Tracker: Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have put together a decent season where they have exceeded expectations under new head coach Matt Rhule. However, before NFL’s Black Monday, the team decided to move on from general manager Marty Hurney amid a 4-10 season. Hurney went 16-30 in this second shot as Panthers GM and was 16-32 overall.

On January 14th, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Lions are expected to hire Seahawks VP of Football Operations Scott Fitterer as their new GM.

Confirmed General Manager Interviews

  • Adam Peters – San Francisco 49ers VP of Player Personnel
  • Scott Fitterer – Seahawks VP of Football Operations
  • Brandt Tillis – Kansas City Chiefs Director of Football Administration
  • Champ Kelly – Chicago Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel
  • Ed Dodds – Indianapolis Colts Assistant GM
  • Jeff Ireland – Saints VP/Assistant GM of College Personnel
  • Jerry Reese – Former New York Giants GM
  • Joe Schoen – Bills Assistant GM
  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah – Cleveland Browns VP of Football Operations
  • Monti Ossenfort – Tennessee Titans Director of Player Personnel
  • Nick Caserio – New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel
  • Pat Stewart – Panthers Director of Player Personnel
  • Ryan Poles – Chiefs Chiefs Assistant Director of Player Personnel
  • Samir Suleiman – Panthers Director of Player Negotiations and Salary Cap Manager

Requested General Manager Interviews

No further requested or planned general manager interviews currently confirmed.

Potential General Manager Candidates

What we are hearing

January 12: On the January 12 Quick Slants, Ben Allbright stated that Adam Peters is the front runner for the Carolina job and may even be the heavy favorite.

December 23: On the December 23rd Draft Insiders podcast, Tony Pauline stated that there is not much known publicly about the situation in Carolina. However, expectations are that Matt Rhule will be heavily involved in the conversations surrounding the next GM in Carolina.

2021 NFL General Manager Tracker: Denver Broncos

John Elway announced on Monday that he will no longer serve as the general manager of the Denver Broncos. Elway will remain the President of Football Operations; he will hire a general manager to lead the personnel and football staff.

On January 13th, the Denver Broncos signed George Paton to a six-year deal as their new general manager. This news comes just one day after PFN Insider Ben Allbright reported that he was one of three people being considered.

Confirmed General Manager Interviews

  • Brian Stark – Broncos Director of College Scouting
  • Champ Kelly – Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel
  • Dave Ziegler – Patriots’ Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Withdrew his name from consideration
  • George Paton – Vikings Assistant GM
  • Terry Fontenot – Saints VP/Assistant GM of Pro Personnel

Requested General Manager Interviews

No further requested or planned general manager interviews currently confirmed.

General Manager Candidate Rumors

  • Thomas Dimitroff – Former Falcons GM

January 12: On the January 12 Quick Slants, Ben Allbright stated that the Broncos have narrowed their search to three names: George Paton, Champ Kelly, and Terry Fontenot.

The Detroit Lions have been looking for a new general manager for a while

The Lions let go of their general manager Bob Quinn, who had been with the Lions since 2016. During his time in Detroit, the team went 31-43-1.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes is expected to be hired as the Detroit Lions’ new general manager.

Confirmed General Manager Interviews

  • Brad Holmes – Los Angeles Rams Director of College Scouting
  • Jeff Ireland – Saints VP/Assistant General Manager of College Personnel
  • George Paton – Minnesota Vikings Assistant GM
  • Kyle O’Brien – Lions VP of Player Personnel
  • Lance Newmark – Lions Director of Player Personnel
  • Louis Riddick – ESPN Analyst and former Eagles Director of Pro Personnel
  • Rick Smith – Former Texans GM
  • Rob Lohman – Lions Director of Player Personnel
  • Scott Pioli – NFL Network Analyst and former Chiefs GM
  • Terry Fontenot – Saints VP/Assistant GM of Pro Personnel
  • Thomas Dimitroff – Former Falcons GM

Requested General Manager Interviews

No further requested or planned general manager interviews currently confirmed.

General Manager Candidate Rumors

  • Adam Peters – 49ers Vice President of Player Personnel
  • Ed Dodds – Colts Assistant GM
  • Eliot Wolf – New England Patriots Front Office Consultant
  • Jerry Reese – Former Giants GM
  • John Dorsey – Former Browns and Chiefs GM
  • John Schneider – Seattle Seahawks GM
  • Omar Khan – Pittsburgh Steelers VP of Football Administration
  • Scott Fitterer – Seahawks VP of Football Operations
  • Will McClay – Dallas Cowboys VP of Player Personnel

January 13: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that with Paton landing in Denver, Brad Holmes becomes the favorite to become the Lions’ GM.

December 16: The Lions have considered going down the route of a general manager head coach combination.  Pauline reported that the Lions might be looking to go down the path of a defensive coordinator as head coach and then hire an offensive coordinator-QB coach combination to run the offense. The Lions could look to pair Saleh as HC with Adam Peters as GM.

2021 NFL General Manager Tracker: Houston Texans

When the Houston Texans let go of Bill O’Brien after starting the year 0-4, they opened up positions for both their GM and head coach. O’Brien took over the GM position in 2020.

Nick Caserio was hired as the head coach of the Houston Texans on January 5th.

Confirmed General Manager Interviews

  • Louis Riddick – ESPN Analyst and former Eagles Director of Pro Personnel
  • Matt Bazirgan – Texans Director of Personnel Matt Bazirgan
  • Omar Khan – Pittsburgh Steelers VP of Football Administration
  • Trent Kirchner – Seahawks Vice President of Player Personnel

Requested General Manager Interviews

  • Scott Cohen – Ravens Director of Football Research

Potential General Manager Candidates

  • Alonzo Highsmith – Seahawks Executive
  • John Dorsey – Former Browns and Chiefs GM

January 5: The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain is reporting that former New England Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio is expected to become the new general manager of the Houston Texans.

December 29: Allbright reaffirmed his position during PFN Weekly’s December 29th episode, claiming that Bieniemy could be “penciled in” as the next HC of Houston. They continue to do background work on him but he is the clear leader of the clubhouse at this point. Allbright also reported that John Dorsey is on the list for a potential GM position with the Texans.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have one of the most appealing general manager vacancies in the NFL

The Jacksonville Jaguars let go of their GM Dave Caldwell after a loss to the Browns that dropped them to 1-10 on the season. Caldwell went 37-88 in nearly eight seasons as GM.

Confirmed General Manager Interviews

  • Jerry Reese – Former Giants GM
  • Louis Riddick – ESPN Analyst and former Eagles Director of Pro Personnel
  • Rick Smith – Former Texans GM

Requested/Planned General Manager Interviews

  • Ray Farmer – Former Browns GM
  • Terry Fontenot – Saints VP/Assistant GM of Pro Personnel

General Manager Candidate Rumors

  • John Dorsey – Former Browns and Chiefs GM
  • Rick Smith – Former Texans GM
  • Ryan Cowden – Titans Vice President of Player Personnel
  • Trent Baalke – Jaguars Interim GM

December 23: Another duo that has been linked with Jacksonville is the combination of John Dorsey and Eric Bieniemy. Early indications are that Jacksonville will be looking to pair up a head coach and general manager familiar with each other.

2021 NFL General Manager Tracker: Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team is looking to bring in a general manager. Prior to this Vice President of Player Personnel, Kyle Smith had been working in tandem with head coach Ron Rivera on upper-level decisions.

General Manager Candidate Rumors

  • Kyle Smith – Washington VP of Player Personnel
  • Marty Hurney – Former Carolina Panthers GM
  • Rick Smith – Former Texans GM

What we are hearing

December 29: Back in January of 2020, Pauline reported on some general manager rumors related to Washington. More specifically, he stated that Washington was interested in Panthers’ GM Marty Hurney. With Hurney now out in Carolina, look for this to pick up steam as we move forward. And on the December 29th episode of PFN Weekly, Ben Allbright reported that Hurney to Washington was being explored.

Could there be more General Manager vacancies open up in the NFL in 2021?

The flurry of activity that is Black Monday has been and gone, but which other NFL general managers roles could end up on our tracker in 2021?

Dave Gettleman, New York Giants General Manager

Updated January 6: In a surprising turn of events, ESPN NFL Nation’s Jordan Raanan is reporting that Dave Gettleman is being retained as the Giants general manager. His roles and responsibilities are not expected to changes. This is an interesting development considering the Giants have now had three straight double-digit loss seasons.

On the December 23rd Draft Insiders podcast, Pauline reported that the needle is moving towards the departure of Gettleman from the New York Giants.

Meanwhile, on the December 29 edition of PFN Weekly, Allbright reported that Gettleman may receive one more year. What happens next remains to be seen, but there is clearly some uncertainty regarding his future.

If Gettleman does depart, Joe Judge would be involved in the conversation, with names such as Nick Caserio in the frame.

Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears

January 3: Jay Glazer reported that Ryan Pace is not yet considered safe, with the result of Week 17 potentially determining their future.

Both Nagy and Pace are on the hot seat heading towards the offseason. On the December 16th Draft Insiders podcast, Pauline reported the Bears would need to go on a run, with Trubisky playing well in order to save both of their jobs.

Pat Fitzgerald is in the frame to replace Nagy as head coach. Pauline reported that George Paton, VP of Personnel and Assistant GM in Minnesota, could be a pairing that the Bears consider as the two have familiarity with each other.

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