The Athletic (paywall)
The Washington Commanders have agreed to terms with San Francisco 49ers front-office executive Adam Peters to become the team’s new general manager, team sources confirmed Friday.
Peters entered this hiring cycle widely viewed as the top GM target across the league and a clear target for Washington managing partner Josh Harris. Landing the 49ers’ assistant GM, considered a strong personnel evaluator, is the latest example of a changing perception of the organization following this summer’s sale from Dan Snyder to the Harris group.
Peters was the lead talent evaluator in the 49ers’ hierarchy. He arrived in San Francisco in 2017 as vice president of player personnel after working as a scout with the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick and Denver during the Peyton Manning Super Bowl era.
Agents also voted Peters among the league’s talent evaluators and front-office leaders they trust the most, rare mentions for non-general managers. He tied for first in the “Future GM to Watch” category.
Peters now becomes the main football voice for the committee as the franchise searches for a new head coach following the firing of Ron Rivera on Monday. Based on the current setup, Peters becomes the first [genuine] GM in Washington atop the front office depth since Charley Casserly in 1999.
The Commanders’ in-house front office executives will be evaluated in the coming days, per a team source.
Peters will be the lead football executive under Harris and play a key role in hiring Washington’s next coach. He’ll also evaluate the current front office, including Martin Mayhew, who served as the general manager the past three years. Mayhew worked with Peters for four years in San Francisco. Mayhew was a vice president of player personnel his last two years with the 49ers.
Peters declined requests to interview with Tennessee and Arizona last offseason. The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers both had requested interviews with him this offseason.
Peters won Super Bowls while working in New England and Denver, spending the first 11 years of his career as a scout. After one season as Denver’s director of college scouting, he joined the 49ers in 2017 as the vice president of player personnel.
He played a key role in building one of the NFL’s top rosters.
Peters was the first major front office hire made by 49ers general manager John Lynch when he was hired in 2017. Now Peters becomes the first major front office hire made by Washington as it enters a new era.
The Commanders have their new general manager in place...
It’s not just the hire that’s so impressive, it’s how it came about.
Harris - together with Bob Myers and Rick Spielman - have been working on how to approach this offseason for some time. This has allowed them to strike quickly and with purpose, identifying key targets and doing everything in their power to convince them that Washington is a coveted destination after two decades of misery under Dan Snyder.
Conviction and competence aren’t words that have been associated with the Commanders - or whatever brand they’ve had - since the 1990s. In just four days, Harris has altered perceptions. This all bodes well for their next objective - finding the head coach capable of waking a sleeping giant.
There is growing belief that Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will be the chosen individual. Like Peters, he’s the hottest candidate in his field. If the Commanders could pull off this double swoop, it would completely ignite the fanbase in the blink of an eye.
Peters is seen by most as a home-run hire. Someone with the right experience and forward thinking to make the roster moves needed to take the Commanders into the playoff picture. It might take time. It might not - especially with the vast draft assets and salary-cap space available this offseason. But having a stable presence with an exceptional reputation is a good place to start.
Will Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters target Mike Vrabel as their next head coach?
One name that hasn’t been connected to the Commanders’ job is former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. Vrabel was fired after six seasons at the helm in Tennessee going 54-45 with three playoff appearances from 2018 to 2023.
If connections play a role in who Peters targets, that would give Slowik and Vrabel the edge. Slowik was with Peters in San Francisco from 2017 to 2022 before getting hired as the Texans’ offensive coordinator.
Vrabel appeared to be a favorite for the Patriots’ head coaching after they parted ways with Bill Belichick. That changed when they decided to hire Jerod Mayo, who was previously their inside linebacker coach.
Peters is credited with helping build the Denver Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50
Peters has an attractive opportunity in front of him with nearly $87 million in projected salary cap space and the No. 2 pick in the draft, followed by two selections in the top 10 of the second round.
After 12 different quarterbacks started for Washington since the start of the 2018 season, Peters is the latest person who will try to find a long-term solution at football’s most important position for an organization that has had a revolving door there for decades.
Sam Howell figures to be back after starting all 17 games this season when the Commanders lost eight in a row to finish 4-13, but the second pick is a chance to select one of the top college prospects: USC’s Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye. Russell Wilson could also be among the potential free agent options, or Peters and his front office could look to the trade market.
It’s unclear if he’ll be available depending on the Dallas Cowboys’ path forward with Dak Prescott, but Peters was part of the 49ers brain trust when they traded up to pick Trey Lance third in 2021.
Podcasts & videos
What new Commanders general manager Adam Peters could mean for Washington
Washington Commanders Hire Adam Peters as General Manager | Impact on Coach, Executives, Players
Adam Peters breaks down the 49ers 2023 draft class: https://t.co/6ArJuW4GUV— KyleSmith4GM (@Smith4Gm) January 12, 2024
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The Athletic (paywall)
Neither side looked good as details emerged about the final hours of their partnership, with Daboll’s firing of Martindale’s two most trusted assistants, Kevin and Drew Wilkins, and Martindale’s responding by saying, “F— you” and storming out of the room, according to team sources granted anonymity by The Athletic because they are not authorized to discuss the situation publicly. The Giants announced Wednesday the sides had “mutually agreed to part ways.”
Despite similar wiring as hyper-competitive football lifers, Daboll and Martindale brought different temperaments to the sideline. And it didn’t take long for those differences to surface, with tension starting to build during their first training camp together.
“You could probably see it building a little bit,” a team source said. “Like the defense is getting installed and you might have 12 guys on the field and Dabes is losing it, and he’s calling out coaches, and he’s making it personal.”
Martindale presents a brash persona, cultivated with his standard attire — sunglasses, long-sleeve white compression shirt and basketball sneakers — that makes him look like a WWE rendition of a football coach. But he prides himself on his composure.
Though it’s not uncommon for NFL head coaches to lose their cool, multiple team sources said Daboll goes overboard, particularly during games.
“On game day, he’s a madman,” one team source said. “It’s just brutal.”
That shouldn’t come as a revelation to fans who have witnessed Daboll’s red-faced tirades directed at players for mistakes during games. And it has rankled assistants to have to endure Daboll’s rants while they’re trying to coach.
“It’s to the point where you’ve got to take your headsets off or take one ear off,” another team source said. “He’s just constantly screaming. It’s like, ‘Jeez, I can’t even think.’”
As evidenced by his explosive departure, Martindale isn’t the type to quietly endure something he doesn’t like. So there were the snide comments in meetings and the public allusions to his preferred coaching style.
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Pro Football Talk
Ian Cunningham was finalist for the General Manager job with the Commanders along with eventual choice Adam Peters and he’ll get a chance to interview for another opening this weekend.
Daniel Popper of TheAthletic.com reports that Cunningham, who is currently the Bears’ assistant G.M., will interview with the Chargers on Sunday. The Chargers have already interviewed their interim G.M. JoJo Wooden and Giants assistant G.M. Brandon Brown this week.
Cunningham has been with the Bears since 2022 and he previously worked for the Eagles and Ravens. He interviewed for G.M. openings last offseason as well.
Every year I write an article revealing and explaining my All-Pro votes after the team is officially announced.— Aaron Schatz (@ASchatzNFL) January 12, 2024
This year's article turned into a very long explanation of why I was one of the 5 voters who did not put Lamar Jackson first-team.https://t.co/Ri2VYf0VTS