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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The search for a general manager is underway for the New York Giants, and this time the early returns show they will throw a much wider net.
From assistant general managers to HR managers to some out-of-the-box options, get ready for a very different approach to replacing retired GM Dave Gettleman than there was to replace Jerry Reese, who was fired before the end of the 2017 season .
During their previous GM search, the Giants consulted former GM Ernie Accorsi, and there was a clear preference for avoiding stepping outside their comfort zone. Four candidates interviewed: Gettleman, Marc Ross, Kevin Abrams and Louis Riddick.
Only Riddick, an ESPN analyst, was considered outside the family – Abrams and Ross worked for the organization at the time, and Gettleman had been with the Giants before being hired and fired by the Carolina Panthers. The job predictably went to Gettleman, where Accorsi had the ownership ear and the Giants preferred a GM with experience.
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It already feels different. According to sources, co-owner John Mara and the Giants have been preparing for this moment for the past few months, making phone calls and adjusting their candidate list.
“This will be an extensive search for our next general manager,” Mara said in a statement after Gettleman retired Monday after a sad 4-13 campaign. “We are looking for someone who exhibits exceptional leadership and communication skills, someone who will oversee all aspects of our football operations, including player staff, college scouting and coaching.”
Perhaps more of a CEO type than ever before is how one source described New York’s preference. Buffalo Bill’s assistant general manager Joe Schoen and Kansas City Chiefs chief of staff Ryan Poles were two of the names that most often appeared in conversations with sources.
A look at some of the people listed alphabetically who are reported to be in the mix or are expected to be according to sources:
Ran Carthon: The Giants requested an interview with the San Francisco 49ers player director, by the NFL Network. As the son of former Giants back Maurice Carthon, he has been on the professional staff side for most of his career. General manager seems to be a significant leap – he was promoted to director of player staff last year.
Ryan Cowden: He has paid his culprit by 22 years in the NFL, the last six with the Tennessee Titans. His current title is Vice President of Player Personnel, a role in which he oversees all scouting departments (pro and college) and free-agency preparations. It probably does not hurt that the Titans are the AFC’s No. 1 seed and have been in the playoffs four of the last five years. The giants already call.
Quentin Harris: The former NFL safety is vice president of player staff at the Arizona Cardinals. He works closely with GM Steve Keim in almost every aspect of the operation. Harris comes from a military household and was considering joining the FBI before starting to scout. He has spent his entire career after playing for the Cardinals and there is a belief around the league that he is ready to handle his own team.
Joe Hortiz: He is the director of player personnel from the widely respected Baltimore Raven’s front office, where he has been since 1998. Hortiz managed the team’s draft preparations for years and has extensive staff experience. Sources say his eye for talent has caught the Giants’ attention.
Monti Ossenfort: The director of player staff for the Titans has previously worked for the New England Patriots and has extensive experience overseeing the draft. It has never been more important than this year, when the Giants had five picks in the first three rounds, including the fifth and seventh picks in the first round.
Adam Peters: The assistant general manager of the 49ers has been GM John Lynch’s right hand man for the last five years since joining from Denver. Peters is respected for his evaluation skills and has worked closely with the San Francisco staff in player acquisition. Sources believe he would help make the Giants’ human resources department and coaching staff more closely integrated.
Ryan Poles: Sources say the giants think very highly of the Poles. It is believed that he would bring a much more analytical and progressive approach to the organization as more of a CEO type than a scout.
Louis Riddick: He made a positive impression on the Giants’ ownership during the team’s previous GM search and has extensive experience working in staff with the Washington and Philadelphia Eagles.
Joe Schoen: Sources say Bills’ assistant general manager is considered skilled and versatile and that a request for an interview has been submitted. He spoke with the Giants (via Zoom) Wednesday morning. Schoen has worked extensively with analysis, staffing and football operations, and he’s the kind of guy colleagues have said “never stops working.” He is expected to become a hot candidate in this GM recruitment cycle.
Adrian Wilson: Another previous security – an All-Pro for that – with the Cardinals. His title is Vice President of Pro Staff. Despite working mostly on the professional staff side, he has been a fast rising through the Arizona organization and has developed a good reputation around the league. He continues the trend with Giants candidates coming primarily from playoff teams.
Others to see: Ed Dodds (Indianapolis Colts), Ryan Grigson (Cleveland Browns), Dan Morgan (Panthers), Catherine Raiche (Eagles) and Dave Ziegler (Patriots).