Possible front office changes on the way for 5 teams
The Texans, Titans, Bills, Jets and Bears could all shake up their front offices after the regular season is over, according to reports.
The offseason will begin for 20 teams on Sunday, and for five of those teams that could yield shake-ups in the front office. The Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Chicago Bears are expected to make changes that could involve new general managers.
One year after selecting with the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Texans are battling for a chance at the postseason in Week 17, but a change could be on the way, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. General manager Rick Smith could receive an “expanded role in the organization” after nine seasons in his current role, leaving an opening for a new GM.
That report was quickly denied by Cal McNair, a vice chairman with the team and son of Texans owner Bob McNair, who told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that the report is false. La Canfora pointed to Tom Gamble of the Philadelphia Eagles and Patriots college scouting director Jon Robinson, in addition to in-house promotions, as possibilities if the Texans do elect to rework Smith’s role.
The Titans are tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for ownership of the worst record in the NFL and have a chance at nabbing the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The collapse of the team doesn’t bode well for the future of Ruston Webster after three seasons as the general manager.
If Tennessee elects to make a change at the top of its front office, La Canfora lists Titans personnel executive Lake Dawson as a candidate who could get a promotion and take over for Webster from within the organization.
Terry Pegula is just getting his feet wet as the new owner of the Buffalo Bills, so it’s tough to say how much influence he will want to have on the team in his first year with the franchise. While Buffalo isn’t headed to the postseason in 2014, it will be the first time since 2004 that it has avoided a losing record, so there’s something to be said about the job done by general manager Doug Whaley.
Still, the team has troubles at quarterback and that could be the reason why Whaley and two other front office executives are in danger of receiving the boot from Pegula, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Other changes that are possible for the Bills could be the addition of advisers like longtime NFL agent Brian Ayrault or former Bills GM Bill Polian.
New York Jets
Rex Ryan is almost definitely gone in New York as head coach and general manager John Idzik looks like he’ll be following the coach out the door. After the bottom fell out for the Jets in 2014, the team already has four candidates in mind to replace Idzik in the front office, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Rapoport named George Paton of the Minnesota Vikings, Ryan Pace of the New Orleans Saints, Trent Kirchner of the Seattle Seahawks and Will McClay of the Dallas Cowboys as possibilities to supplant Idzik as general manager of the Jets.
Everything about the Chicago Bears is expected to look different in 2015 after a rough season in 2014 amidst high hopes. Marc Trestman is likely gone as head coach, Jay Cutler could be out as quarterback and, according to Florio, Phil Emery looks like he’ll be out as general manager.
While Bears president Ted Phillips isn’t expected to be fired, Emery is likely out in Chicago and the favorite to replace him is Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard. It would be a reunion for the pair and a return to Chicago for Ballard, who served as a scout for the Bears for 11 seasons under Phillips.