The first official announcement is here after a week of rumors and conflicting reports about the Washington Football Team’s updated front office. The organization has their first official General Manager since Scott McCloughan was fired in 2017, and his name is Martin Mayhew.
Former Carolina Panthers GM Marty Hurney was originally reported as the selection, but nothing was announced. Reports came out about Mayhew joining the front office too, and possibly getting the job instead. Hurney is still expected to join the front office in some kind of senior executive role.
The rumors about current Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith's future with the team continue to get more negative. Multiple reporters have said they expect him to leave the organization. The only question is when it happens, and whether he is fired or he resigns. Director of Pro Scouting Eric Stokes, who also interviewed for the open GM position, is a top candidate to replace Smith if he is indeed done here.
Martin Mayhew will report directly to Head Coach Ron Rivera according to the team's press release announcing his hiring. This confirms multiple reports that Rivera is still firmly in charge of football operations, and has been since Dan Snyder brought him in to run a coach-centric organization. Mayhew and Hurney were reportedly his top two candidates to join the front office and work under him to continue building the culture and rebuilding(reloading?) the team.
Washington won their first division title since 2015 in Ron Rivera's first season with the team after going 3-13 the year before. The team now has to find a long-term answer at QB after releasing their 1st round QB pick(Dwayne Haskins Jr.) from just two years ago due to multiple issues. They also saw one of the greatest comebacks in sports history when Alex Smith returned to the field following a life-threatening leg injury. But that story was met with reality when another leg injury caused him to miss 3 1/2 of the team's final 4 games, including their home playoff loss to the Buccaneers.
A lot of work ahead for Washington's new front office, but they just gained a lot of experience. The question going forward will be can experience without extended success in previous organizations lead to more success after lessons learned? Or will this new collaboration that will probably be without your young talent evaluator lead to average or worse results? Ron Rivera has earned a lot of trust with the fanbase and owner Dan Snyder, so for now most people are cautiously optimistic, but all eyes are on Ron.
Official Press Release:
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Football Team announced today that they have named Martin Mayhew as General Manager. Mayhew will report directly to Head Coach Ron Rivera
Mayhew joins Washington with 20 seasons of NFL experience as an executive, including eight seasons as the general manager of the Detroit Lions. He returns to the franchise that he played for from 1989-92 and was a member of the Super Bowl XXVI team.
“Martin is a proven general manager who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization,” said Head Coach Ron Rivera. “He will be an integral part of running the daily football operations and will allow me the opportunity to focus more on coaching. He impressed both myself and Mr. Snyder during the interview process and we both believe he will be a tremendous fit here. He is a man of high character and integrity and was part of the rich history and tradition of this great franchise as a member of the Super Bowl championship team in 1991.”
Mayhew spent the previous four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, most recently as the club’s vice president of player personnel. He held the position of senior personnel executive for the franchise from 2017-18. Mayhew assisted first-time general manager John Lynch and was a major contributor for a personnel department that was vital in the team’s Super Bowl appearance in 2019.
Prior to joining San Francisco, Mayhew spent the 2016 season as the director of football operations/special projects with the New York Giants. In his role with the Giants, he worked on all aspects of the salary cap, CBA compliance and player contract negotiations.
Prior to his time in New York, Mayhew spent 15 years (2001-15) in the Detroit Lions organization, including the final seven as the team’s general manager. He took over as the general manager following Detroit’s winless season and oversaw the building of a roster that resulted in a 10-win season in 2011 and an 11-win season in 2014.
During Mayhew’s tenure as Lions general manager, he was responsible for the draft selections of Pro Bowlers QB Matthew Stafford, DE Ezekiel Ansah and DT Ndamukong Suh. Suh was a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro selection with Detroit and was the 2010 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Mayhew was also responsible for signing WR Golden Tate and S Glover Quin in free agency, both of whom went on to earn Pro Bowl honors in Detroit.
Mayhew first joined the Lions organization in 2001 as the senior director of football administration/staff counsel and was promoted to senior vice president of football administration/staff counsel in 2003. Mayhew was appointed senior vice president and assistant general manager in 2004. In 2008, Mayhew was promoted to general manager.
Mayhew played nine seasons in the NFL and was originally selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 10th round (262nd overall) in the 1988 NFL Draft. During Mayhew’s nine-year career, he appeared in 118 games (107 starts) for Buffalo (1988), Washington (1989-92) and Tampa Bay (1993-96) and notched 473 tackles, 21 interceptions, 1.0 sack and four forced fumbles. He started at cornerback for the Super Bowl XXVI champion Washington Redskins.
Mayhew is a native of Tallahassee, Fla. and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in business management and also holds a law degree from Georgetown University. At Florida State, he lettered in both football and track. Mayhew interned for Washington’s personnel department in 1999 while in law school at Georgetown. He also held labor and legal department internships with the NFL League Office before joining the Detroit Lions.
MAYHEW FOOTBALL TIMELINE
2021: General Manager, Washington Football Team
2019-20: Vice President of Player Personnel, San Francisco 49ers
2017-18: Senior Personnel Executive, San Francisco 49ers
2016: Director of Football Operations/Special Projects, New York Giants
2008-15: General Manager, Detroit Lions
2004-07: Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Detroit Lions
2003: Senior Vice President of Football Administration/Staff Counsel, Detroit Lions
2001-02: Senior Director of Football Administration/Staff Counsel, Detroit Lions
2000: Labor Operations and Legal Intern, National Football League
1999: Personnel Intern, Washington Redskins
1993-96: Cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1989-92: Cornerback, Washington Redskins
1988: Cornerback, Buffalo Bills