10 potential general manager candidates for the Commanders

The Washington Commanders began the offseason on Monday by firing head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera went 26-40-1 in four seasons as Washington’s head coach.

In addition to firing Rivera, the Commanders announced an advisory committee formed by managing partner Josh Harris, minority owners David Blitzer, Magic Johnson, Mitch Rales and former Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers and former Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman. The purpose of the advisory committee is to find a new coach and head of football operations.

While Martin Mayhew serves as Washington’s general manager, he reports to Rivera. Rivera hired Mayhew as his handpicked GM in the 2021 offseason, but all football decisions began and ended with Rivera.

Harris spent the 2023 NFL season consulting with Rivera, Mayhew, and executive VP of football/player personnel Marty Hurney while making his first significant hire: Eugene Shen. Shen was hired in October as Washington’s senior vice president of football strategy and has been heavily involved in preparing to reshape the organization’s future.

Mayhew and Hurney will remain in the organization while Washington conducts its search for the new head of football operations.

The Commanders are set to hire their first true general manager since Charley Casserly was dismissed in 1999. While some have held the title over the years, it was never the traditional setup, as former owner Snyder was always heavily involved.

Who will be Washington’s next general manager? We preview 10 potential candidates. The Commanders have already inquired about some of the names on this list.

49ers assistant GM Adam Peters

Some believe Adam Peters is the No. 1 candidate on the market for any team needing a new head of football operations/general manager. Washington requested permission to speak with Peters, and he will interview with the team this week. Peters began his NFL career in 2003 with the Patriots, where he spent six seasons.

From there, Peters arrived in Denver, where he would serve in multiple roles under John Elway for eight seasons. In 2017, the 49ers hired Peters away from the Broncos, naming him vice president of player personnel. In 2021, San Francisco promoted Peters to assistant general manager under John Lynch. The 49ers recently promoted Lynch, so they could offer Peters a promotion and keep the California native.

Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham

I’ve seen some ask why the Commanders would hire an assistant GM from the Bears. If you say that, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. Cunningham is a former offensive lineman at the University of Virginia. He began his NFL scouting career with the Baltimore Ravens under Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta. He spent nine years in Baltimore as an area scout before moving to the Eagles in 2017.

In five years with the Eagles, Cunningham was director of college scouting for two seasons before being promoted to Philadelphia’s assistant director of player personnel. In 2021, Cunningham was promoted to the director of player personnel. He joined his good friend Ryan Poles as the assistant general manager in 2022 with the Bears.

Cunningham turned down the Cardinals’ GM job last offseason. He is a fast-rising candidate, and some believe he is Washington’s favorite. Worth noting is that Cunningham spent three seasons in Baltimore with current defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald, who Washington wants to speak with about its vacant head coaching position. Having spent time in two of the NFL’s model franchises, Cunningham is an ideal blend of old-school scouting and analytics.

Steelers assistant GM Andy Weidl

Here’s a candidate Josh Harris is probably familiar with, having served as a Steelers’ minority owner. Weidl is Pittsburgh’s current assistant GM, but, like Cunningham, he spent many years with Baltimore and Philadelphia. Weidl is viewed as an excellent evaluator. The Ravens and Eagles won Super Bowls during Weidl’s time working in both organizations.

Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey, center, the Baltimore Ravens’ first-round draft pick, With Humphrey are director of college scouting Joe Hortiz, coach John Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome and assistant GM Eric DeCosta, from left. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) ORG XMIT: MDPS103
Cornerback Marlon Humphrey, center, the Baltimore Ravens’ first-round draft pick, With Humphrey are director of college scouting Joe Hortiz, coach John Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome and assistant GM Eric DeCosta, from left. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) ORG XMIT: MDPS103

Josh Harris is said to be enamored with the Ravens’ model. It’s clear early on that Harris has targeted some former Baltimore execs (Cunningham) and its current defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald, to fill the roles of head of football operations and head coach, respectively.

While the Commanders have yet to formally request an interview with Joe Hortiz, he should be next on the list. Hortiz is Baltimore’s director of player personnel, and no team in the NFL drafts and develops players like the Ravens. He spent years as Baltimore’s director of college scouting under Newsome and was promoted when DeCosta took over the reins in 2019. Hortiz should be a top contender for any job.

Eagles assistant GM Alec Halaby

Another contender with ties to either Philadelphia or Baltimore. Alec Halaby is in his 16th season with the Eagles. He has served in a number of roles and is now Howie Roseman’s assistant GM. Halaby is viewed as an analytics genius and is a major reason why the Eagles are ahead of the other teams on that front. The Harvard-educated Halaby “has focused on player evaluation, roster management, and resource allocation, with a particular emphasis on integrating traditional and analytical methods in decision-making,” per Philadelphia’s official website.


Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds

Ed Dodds is viewed as one of the best talent evaluators in the NFL. He already has an interview lined up with the Raiders. The Commanders have yet to set up an interview with Dodds, who has served as Chris Ballard’s right-hand man with the Colts, Dodds and Ballard have kept Indianapolis’ roster strong over the years, with the main issue being not having a quarterback. Dodds’ name comes up in every vacancy and this could be his year, even if it isn’t with Washington. Before landing with the Colts, Dodds worked under Seattle GM John Schneider and helped build those terrific Seahawks’ team that featured Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom.

Seahawks assistant GM Nolan Teasley

Nolan Teasley has spent the past 11 seasons working under Schneider — one of the NFL’s best. Just last year, Teasley earned a promotion to assistant general manager. Before his promotion, he spent five seasons as the director of pro personnel. Teasley is viewed as another up-and-coming executive. Teasley has worked his way to the top of Seattle’s organization, beginning his career as a scouting intern in 2013. In 2014, he was promoted to a pro personnel scout, then assistant director of pro personnel, director of pro personnel and most recently, assistant GM.

That’s a steady climb and tells you how Schneider and the Seahawks value Teasley. His lack of experience is probably the biggest deterrent to his landing in Washington.

Chiefs assistant GM Mike Borgonzi

Mike Borgonzi is another future GM. The Commanders requested permission to interview Borgonzi on Monday. He has worked as GM Brent Veach’s right-hand man since 2021. With Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones and Travis Kelce taking up a good portion of Kansas City’s salary cap, the Chiefs have needed to draft well to remain an elite team. They have, especially on defense, and Borgonzi is a major reason for that success. He has spent 15 years in Kansas City, first as a director of college scouting before becoming the director of player personnel and now as the assistant GM. The former college football fullback began his scouting career with the Patriots before moving to the Chiefs in 2009.

Browns assistant GM and VP of Football Operations Catherine Raiche

Catherine Raiche, assistant GM, vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Catherine Raiche, assistant GM, vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Another contender with Philadelphia ties. The Commanders have yet to reach out to the Browns to request permission to speak with Catherine Raiche. Before landing with the Eagles, Raiche earned valuable experience in the CFL, working as an executive with the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes. Howie Roseman hired her, and when Andrew Berry, Cleveland’s GM, took over the Browns, he brought Raiche with him. Many believe she will be the NFL’s first female GM. It wouldn’t be a surprise if she landed interviews during this hiring cycle.

Raiche began her career as a lawyer in Quebec before switching careers and going to the Alouettes as an intern. It didn’t take her long to work her way up, as in just two years, she became the team’s assistant GM.

Don’t rule out the Commanders speaking with Raiche.

Browns assistant GM and VP of Player Personnel Glenn Cook

The Commanders have requested permission from the Browns to interview their other assistant GM, Glenn Cook. Cook, 38, joined the Browns in 2020 when Andrew Berry took over as GM. Before his current title, Cook served as Cleveland’s assistant director of pro scouting for four seasons. He was a scout for the Packers from 2012-15 and began his scouting career as a scouting assistant with the Colts in 2011.

Cook is a fast riser and will probably interview with multiple teams. He played linebacker at the University of Miami and has interviewed for at least three GM positions in recent years. He has experience in old-school scouting and analytics, something that will make him an attractive option for the Commanders. Don’t rule Cook out of this one for Washington.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire