Two NFL teams ended their search for a new general manager on Tuesday. The Arizona Cardinals tabbed an in-house candidate – vice president of player personnel Steve Keim – to replace Rod Graves, while the Jacksonville Jaguars went outside the organization and hired Atlanta Falcons director of player personnel David Caldwell to replace Gene Smith.
"We got our man," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "I have a lot of faith in David Caldwell and I can assure our fans that the best days for the Jacksonville Jaguars are in front of us."
Caldwell worked as an area and then regional scout for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2007 before joining the Falcons as their director of college scouting in 2008. Last February, Caldwell was promoted after the Falcons lost Les Snead to a general manager's position with the St. Louis Rams.
"I am thrilled to accept the offer to become the next general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars," Caldwell said. "There are no bad GM opportunities in the NFL, but to work on behalf of a dynamic owner in a rabid football city like Jacksonville is truly special.
"This is where I wanted to be and I could not be happier. I can't wait to get to Jacksonville and get started."
Caldwell had also drawn interest from the New York Jets.
A third team may fill their general manager vacancy as the San Diego Chargers are expected to announce their choice this week. The three candidates for the position are current director of player personnel Jimmy Raye, Colts director of player personnel Tom Telesco and San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, who interviewed with president Dean Spanos, executives Ed McGuire and John Spanos and consultant Ron Wolf on Tuesday.
Here's a look at the coaching and general manager carousel:
Arizona Cardinals: As noted above, the Cardinals promoted Keim to general manager and will now go about with their search for a head coach to replace Ken Whisenhunt. The Cardinals interviewed current defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and have requested permission to interview Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. The Gruden interview will take place on Thursday, president Michael Bidwill confirmed on Wednesday.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills hired former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone to replace Chan Gailey, who was fired after three seasons with the team. No official announcements have been made by the team, but Marrone has brought Syracuse offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett with him to Buffalo and has hired former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to run the defense.
Carolina Panthers: According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers have begun to interview general manager candidates, with the club beginning with Montreal Alouettes GM Jim Popp and New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross. Other candidates include interim GM Brandon Beane, Giants senior pro personnel analyst Dave Gettleman, Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson and Minnesota Vikings assistant GM George Paton.
Chicago Bears: GM Phil Emery has assembled a list of over a dozen candidates for their head coaching vacancy with most of the names possessing backgrounds on offense. Those coaches who have been interviewed or will interview with the Bears include Mike Sullivan (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Mike McCoy (Broncos), Pete Carmichael (New Orleans Saints), Tom Clements (Green Bay Packers), Rick Dennison (Houston Texans), Darrell Bevell (Seattle Seahawks), Bruce Arians (Colts), and Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. Four of the candidates on the Bears' list are special teams coordinators, including current Bears coordinator Dave Toub. Other names are Joe DeCamillis (Dallas Cowboys), Keith Armstrong (Falcons) and Mike Priefer of the Minnesota Vikings. Hall of Fame Bears linebackers Mike Singletary, who is currently the assistant head coach/linebackers coach of the Vikings, is also a candidate.
Cleveland Browns: After trying and failing to land Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner began the "rebooted" coaching search with Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman on Monday. The Browns have also requested permission from the Colts to interview Bruce Arians, who has been battling an inner ear infection that has hospitalized him in both Baltimore and Indianapolis. According to Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com, the Browns will interview Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer today.
Kansas City Chiefs: With Andy Reid on board to replace Romeo Crennel as head coach, CEO Clark Hunt is searching for a GM to replace Scott Pioli, who departed the organization last week. Packers director of football operations John Dorsey has been believed to be the favorite, but is not the only candidate. 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble and former Browns GM Tom Heckert are also in the mix for the Chiefs' job.
New York Jets: The Jets were interested in Caldwell, who accepted the Jaguars' job. Left standing for the job at 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and a dark horse candidate, Jets current assistant GM Scott Cohen. While Cohen is a highly respected personnel man, hiring an in-house candidate may not go over too well with the team's vocal and unhappy fan base.
The Jets will have new coordinators in 2013 after special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff retired, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine declined a contract extension (and has accepted the coordinator position with the Bills) and head coach Rex Ryan fired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. The Jets are still looking for an offensive coordinator, but have promoted Ben Kotwica to replace Westhoff and Dennis Thurman to replace Pettine.
Philadelphia Eagles:Like the Browns, the Eagles went after, and missed out on, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, who opted to remain in college. The Eagles have also interviewed Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and had interest in former Syracuse and current Bills head coach Doug Marrone and Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien, who, like Kelly, remained in school. The Eagles will interview former Bears head coach Lovie Smith on Thursday and have requested permission to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.