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‘Tis the season for listing the top GM Candidates to keep an eye on this week

NFL general managers typically come from either a scouting background or a business background. And while this annual list has been scouting-heavy recently, it’s important to consider that owners might choose candidates who can speak their business language. — Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated, 26 December 2019

There have been many requests in the comments section of late for a review of potential GM candidates that the Redskins could consider — a request which, unfortunately, I am not in a good position to fulfill. I had hoped to prepare an article based on feedback from Dan Hatman, much as I did last year, but he, unfortunately, has not yet published a list of 2020 GM candidates.

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Discussion of NFL head coaching & GM candidates from NFL Network

However, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated is among a number of journalists who has recently stepped into the breech with an article that attempts to identify a workable number of candidates who are likely to either be familiar to many NFL fans, or be at the top of the list for teams searching for front office leadership in the coming days, weeks and months.

Unfortunately, I really have little or nothing to add to the information in the SI article, so I will simply provide the list of names that Breer discussed; if you have interest in any particular candidate on the list, you can read Breer’s synopsis in the SI article, then get busy Googling for more detailed information (or clicking on the links to Riggo’s Rag further down, as there is a lot of overlap between the two lists).

Click here to read the SI article, The NFL’s Future GMs: Candidates in Position to Lead Team Personnel

The following list of potential candidate names is taken directly from the Sports Illustrated article, written by Albert Breer and linked above:

TOP 10

  • Mike Borgonzi, director of football operations, Chiefs
  • Nick Caserio, director of player personnel, Patriots
  • Ed Dodds, assistant GM, Colts
  • Scott Fitterer, co-director of player personnel, Seahawks
  • Joe Hortiz, director of player personnel, Ravens
  • Trent Kirchner, co-director of player personnel, Seahawks
  • Jeff Ireland, assistant GM, Saints
  • Will McClay, assistant director of player personnel, Cowboys
  • George Paton, assistant GM, Vikings
  • Adam Peters, VP of player personnel, 49ers


Ray Agnew, director of pro personnel, Rams; Ryan Cowden, VP of player personnel, Titans; Ian Cunningham, assistant director of player personnel, Eagles; Terry Fontenot, director of pro scouting, Saints; Brad Holmes, director of college scouting, Rams; Brandon Hunt, director of pro scouting, Steelers; Champ Kelly, assistant director of player personnel, Bears; James Liipfert, director of college scouting, Texans; Dan Morgan, director of player personnel, Bills; Monti Ossenfort, director of college scouting, Patriots; Matt Russell, director of player personnel, Broncos; Joe Schoen, assistant GM, Bills; Andy Weidl, VP of player personnel, Eagles; Eliot Wolf, assistant GM, Browns; Dave Ziegler, director of pro scouting, Patriots.


Ryan Grigson, Seahawks; Reggie McKenzie, Dolphins; Scott Pioli, free agent; Rick Smith, free agent.

Riggo’s Rag offers much more in-depth insight into 10 potential front office candidates. Click on the links below to read about them:

Let me offer a couple of comments:

  1. This is a lot of candidates — and the above lists are by no means comprehensive — for what is likely to be a small pool of jobs, likely limited to, at most, the Redskins, and possibly the Giants and another team or two.
  2. This has the “good news/bad news” feel for Redskins fans, who will likely note that no names from the Redskins organization are on this list, which may seem surprising after some of the positive attention Kyle Smith seemed to attract after April’s Draft. The good news would be that, at least according to Breer, no other teams are likely to come poaching our front office talent. The bad news is that no one in our front office seems to be well-thought-of to a degree to rate significant consideration for a GM opening. Of course, Breer may have simply missed the boat, but in the handful of articles that I have read on the subject in the past week or two, I have ony seen Kyle Smith’s name mentioned once, and he was in the “honorable mention” group — nowhere near the top candidates list.
  3. For what it’s worth, here are the top GM Candidates listed by the Draft Network in an article published on 17 December: Ed Dodds, Nick Caserio, Mike Borgonzi, Scott Fitterer, and George Paton — all five of whom are in Breer’s top-10 list. Only Fitterer is missing from the Riggo’s Rag list.
  4. Let’s hope we have reason to be concerned with the candidate list for a front office re-organization. Reports surrounding Dan Snyder’s intentions over recent days have been varied and often conflicting. But we can now measure the amount of time until the question of front office and coaching decisions will be addressed in hours rather than days or weeks. In a very real sense, that question appears to be occupying much more attention from the fan base at the moment than the question of whether the Redskins will win or lose against the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. Redskins twitter seems set to explode, and I imagine that Scott Jennings has articles drafted to cover any eventuality.

Here’s hoping for a “Breaking News” banner or three in our immediate future!


2020 NFL General Manager Candidate Study