To most NFL fans, they only see the players on Sundays. Little do they know how important the people behind the scenes are. Most of the blame falls upon the head coach when the team doesn’t do well, leading to their departure, most of the time from the general manager. Sometimes, when things need a full rebuild, both the general manager and head coach get fired. That is the case of a few teams already this season.
The Houston Texans came into the 2020 season with no general manager and Bill O’Brien acting in that role. We all know how that went. Now, Jack Easterby is the man with the general manager title in Houston for the remainder of the season. While Houston fans like the idea of Easterby because of his New England background, Bill Belichick shut down the fact that Easterby might be worthy of the title next year. Belichick was quoted saying that Easterby “is not a personnel person”. Well, that’s not good.
The Atlanta Falcons cleaned house as well earlier this year with the firings of Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn. The Falcons are in a weird spot overall with little cap space and an aging roster with superstars on offense. They could be in for a long rebuild shortly and thankfully have some key players to build around.
This week, the Detroit Lions cleaned house by firing Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia on Saturday, and the Jaguars fired Dave Caldwell on Sunday. The Lions are in a peculiar spot, similar to that of Atlanta, while Jacksonville is set for a full-fledged rebuild.
On top of those four, the Washington Football Team also doesn’t have a general manager, as Ron Rivera is playing that role currently.
There are five openings currently, and there could be even more by the end of the year. Depending on how the rest of the season goes, Ryan Pace, Dave Gettleman, and Howie Roseman could all get canned. In Roseman’s case, it seems as though Eagles ownership is already getting frustrated.
In recent years, Brett Veach, Brandon Beane, Chris Ballard, and Brian Gutekunst have turned their teams around. Last year, the Browns and Jets got their new general managers as they hired Joe Douglas and Andrew Barry. Both have already made impacts on their teams, even if it doesn’t seem like it in Douglas’s case. So, who could fill these voids as the new general managers for these teams? Let’s dive into a few candidates.
Thomas Dimitroff – Current Job – N/A
Dimitroff’s flame ran out in Atlanta. He was responsible for keeping Quinn for the 2020 season, and it backfired immediately. Dimitroff brings over 25 years of scouting experience and has been in the league since 1993. He was elevated to the GM of the Falcons in 2008 and, with his first selection, took Matt Ryan. Dimitroff had a part in every transaction from 2008 up until his firing and came just short of a Super Bowl title. After being fired earlier this year, Dimitroff could opt to take some time away from the game, but any of the other landing spots could be a fitting spot, specifically in Houston or Detroit, where the teams could still have playoff potential next year. Dimitroff took Atlanta on two separate championship runs before his firing.
Ed Dodds – Current Job – Indianapolis Colts Assistant GM
Dodds has to get a job as a general manager. He has worked for 17 years as a scout and will be looking for the right opportunity to lead his team and be out from Ballard’s wing. Dodds started the talks of him being a potential candidate during his time in Seattle, where he helped the Seahawks to two super bowl runs. Now in Indianapolis, he has been one of the main deciders in the Colts selecting Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard, and signing Kenny Moore off of waivers. Dodds is one of the bright minds in all of football, and whichever team gets the opportunity to have him control their franchise is in great hands.
Mike Borgonzi – Current Job – Kansas City Chiefs Director of Football Operations
Borgonzi has been with Kansas City for over a decade. He was a scout for ten years and was the college scouting administrator in 2011 before moving his way up to the director of football operations in 2017. In that role, Borgonzi has had a big hand in the drafting of Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He and Veach have kept the Chiefs afloat and are in the running for consecutive Super Bowl victories. Borgonzi has worked with Scott Pioli, John Dorsey, Andy Reid, Ballard, and Veach during his time in the league.
Joe Hortiz – Current Job – Baltimore Ravens Director of College Scouting/Player Personnel
Hortiz has spent 22 years as a scout and 11 years as Baltimore’s Director of Player Personnel. During his time with the Ravens, he has had a hand in the selections of Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews, Ronnie Stanley, and Marlon Humphrey. Baltimore had one of the best drafts of the year with the selections of Patrick Queen, J.K. Dobbins, Justin Madubuike, Devin Duvernay, Malik Harrison, James Proche, and Geno Stone.
Eliot Wolf – Current Job – New England Patriots Front Office Consultant/Scout
Wolf is the son of former Packers General Manager, Ron Wolf. He spent 14 seasons in Green Bay in various positions, including the Director of Player Personnel and Director of Football Operations between 2015 and 2017. He interviewed for Green Bay’s vacant general manager position, which went to Gutekunst. Wolf followed a fellow long-time Packer scout to Cleveland, where he was the assistant general manager in 2018 and 2019. Now he is currently serving under Belichick in New England. Wolf will be a hot commodity this offseason and at 38, would be the second-youngest general manager in the league.
John Dorsey – Current Job – N/A
Dorsey has been on the short end of the stick twice in recent years. He has two Super Bowl rings from his time in Green Bay, where he served as a scout, director of college scouting, and director of football operations. In Kansas City, Dorsey was the GM from 2013-2016. He was responsible for the selections of Eric Fisher, Kelce, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Dee Ford, Marcus Peters, Jones, and Hill. Dorsey was responsible for the 2017 class as well since he was fired a few months later. Mahomes and Kareem Hunt were selected in that class. In Cleveland, Dorsey was responsible for the drafting of Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, Nick Chubb, Greedy Williams, and Mack Wilson. He also signed Jarvis Landry and traded for Odell Beckham.
Jon-Eric Sullivan – Current Job – Green Bay Packers Director of Player Personnel
This is Sullivan’s 17th season in Green Bay. He served as a college scout for eight seasons before being promoted to director of college scouting in 2016 and finally promoted to Director of Player Personnel in May of 2018. Sullivan currently sits third in the pecking order in Green Bay behind Gutekunst and Milt Hendrickson. He has gotten a few good reviews, including one from former Raider GM Reggie McKenzie. Green Bay continues to churn out talented personnel options for the rest of the league.
Daniel Jeremiah – Current Job – NFL Network Draft Analyst
Jeremiah is currently NFL Network’s lead draft analyst. He took over in that role after Mike Mayock left for the Raiders GM position. Jeremiah played quarterback for Appalachian State during his collegiate years and spent time as a scout for the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Philadelphia Eagles. This is a big leap for Jeremiah, but Mayock seems to have the Raiders pointed in the right direction.
Jim Nagy – Current Job – Executive Director Reese’s Senior Bowl
Nagy has made his way through the ranks of being an intern with the Green Bay Packers to now running the Senior Bowl. During his time at college in Michigan, he sent a resume to every team and got rejection letters from every one of them, except Green Bay. That was in 1996, the year Green Bay won a Super Bowl. On that staff? Scot McCloughan, John Schneider, McKenzie, and Dorsey. He was an NFL scout for 17 years and now picks which talented players get to take place in the Senior Bowl.