The San Francisco 49ers are very likely to be among the NFL teams searching for a general manager once the 2016 NFL season comes to a close. It is possible they decide to keep Trent Baalke, but odds are pretty good the team is looking for a new GM soon.
I have thought Tom Gamble is the most logical successor to Baalke, but the team could decide it is time to make significant changes in football operations. Whether the team decides to promote Gamble or hire outside, they will still have to comply with the Rooney Rule. We hear about the Rooney Rule in connection with head coach positions, but the rule applies to senior football operations jobs as well.
Every year, the Fritz Pollard Alliance releases a list of recommended minority head coach and GM candidates. The Alliance works to, “promote diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of National Football League ("NFL") teams.”
This year, they have recommended three candidates, per Washington Post NFL reporter Mark Maske:
Fritz Pollard Alliance's recommended GM candidates: Giants' Martin Mayhew, Cowboys' Will McClay, Dolphins' Chris Grier.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) December 21, 2016
Here are their resumes:
Martin Mayhew, Giants: Director of football operations
- GM, Detroit Lions, 2008-2015
- Lions Assistant GM, 2004-2008
- Lions Senior VP football administration/legal affairs, 2003-2004
- Lions, Senior director football administration/staff counsel, 2001-2003
Will McClay, Cowboys: Senior director of player personnel (seeing various titles)
- Can’t find a formal resume of jobs
Chris Grier, Dolphins: General manager (reports to Mike Tannenbaum, Executive VP of football operations)
- Dolphins director of college scouting, 2007-2015
- Dolphins national scout, assistant director of college scouting, 2003-2006
- Dolphins area scout, 2000-2002
- New England Patriots regional scout, 1995-1999
- Patriots intern 1994
All three of these recommended individuals were on the FPA list a year ago. The list also included Omar Khan (Steelers VP of football/business administration), Jimmie Raye III (Colts VP of football operations), Morocco Brown, (Washington Director of Pro Personnel), Marc Ross (Giants VP player evaluation), and Sheldon White (Sheldon White - fired by Lions after 19 seasons, the last as interim GM, now serving as Michigan State football consultant).