The New York Giants and now the Cleveland Browns have fired the head of their football operations, opening the door for at least two significant front office hirings over the next month. On Wednesday, we talked about the San Francisco 49ers coach who was most likely to become a head coach. However, with the Giants and Browns both now in the hunt for a general manager, why not take a look at the 49ers front office person most likely to become a GM?
The easy answer for the long term is Adam Peters. John Lynch hired him to be Vice President of Player Personnel, getting John Elway’s permission to promote him from the Denver Broncos director of college scouting. Peters has 14 years of NFL experience, but it has primarily been at the college scouting level. During his eight years with the Broncos, he rose through the college scouting ranks. He was a western regional scout in 2009 and 2010, then national scout from 2011 to 2013, then assistant director of college scouting in 2014 and 2015, and finally director of college scouting last season.
Prior to joining the Broncos, Peters spent six years with the New England Patriots. He had two years as a scouting assistant, one year as a pro scout, and three years as an area scout.
Moving into this VP of Player Personnel job moves him into a broader role covering both college and pro scouting. I imagine he at least got a look at the pro side of things in his previous roles, but his main focus in those would have been college. This represents a chance to really get a look at more of the bigger picture.
John Elway said back in February that this would represent a growth in responsibilities that he could not get immediately in Denver. The role inherently has more responsibility than a scouting director job, but there is also the context of the 49ers situation. John Lynch had no front office experience when he was hired, and this puts Peters in a position to get a lot of hands-on experience in areas he might not otherwise get with an experienced GM.
Given that this is his first year in the new role, my guess is he does land a GM job for at least another year. I could see him getting interview opportunities, but his lack of broader administrative experience likely means he waits a little longer.
In the meantime, there are two other interesting names to consider. Director of pro personnel Ran Carthon is in his tenth season in an NFL front office. He started his career as a pro scout for four seasons in Atlanta. He then spent five seasons as the then St. Louis Rams director of pro personnel. He is not someone who will be getting GM interviews in the next couple years, but he could continue inching his way up the hierarchy.
The front office member most likely to land a job this offseason would be Martin Mayhew. His job title is senior personnel executive, which comes after spending a year with the New York Giants as director of football operations/special projects. Prior to that, he spent 15 years with the Detroit Lions, including the last seven as general manager.
There are two general manager opportunities out there, and a chance for more to open. The Browns are rumored to have strong interest in John Dorsey. Since Dorsey is currently not working for a team, he can interview and join a team immediately. Mayhew would have to wait until the end of the 49ers season before he can interview for other jobs.