The washington football team’s search for a new general manager is rapidly expanding and we’ve added three new names to the list. They join previously reported candidates Ryan Cowden and Martin Mayhew. cowden was interviewed on thursday and mayhew is expected to be interviewed on saturday.
The first recently reported candidate is Nick Polk, director of football operations for the Atlanta Falcons. He has been the director of soccer operations for over a decade and, according to his biography, works closely with GM Thomas Dimitroff on contract proposals, negotiations and salary cap management. he also has experience working in the nfl europe and the arena league. Polk also has coaching experience at various universities.
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nick polk enters his 11th season as director of football operations in 2018. he spent five seasons as the club’s director of football administration and enters his 16th year overall with the team. he works closely with general manager thomas dimitroff on all contract proposals, negotiations, and salary cap administration. Polk also helps coordinate the Falcons’ compliance with the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement and labor-related matters. In addition to his football operations duties with the Falcons, Polk was responsible for all aspects of Georgia Force football operations, namely; player scouting, selection and development, coach and player contracts. the force won the southern division title, the national conference championship and advanced to arena bowl xix in 2005. prior to coming to atlanta, polk served as director of football operations for nfl europe for four years, where he led the entire nfl europe league football operations.
polk’s time in the league included serving on the nfl diversity committee, assisting with football operations at super bowl xxxvii and super bowl xxxviii, as well as working as an nfl instant replay communicator during two seasons. He also participated in the inaugural class of the NFL Manager Training Program at the Stanford Executive Education Graduate School of Business and the NFL Career Development Symposium at the Wharton School of Business in 2014. Polk was formerly head football coach at his alma mater, lock haven university of pennsylvania, for four years. he earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and earned a master’s degree in physical education/higher education from james madison university. he spent five years at jmu as a graduate assistant/restricted earnings coach at the secondary, defensive line and linebacker positions. He has also served in various coaching roles at Brown University, Delaware State University, and Southern Connecticut State University.
The second new candidate reported is Los Angeles Chargers Director of Player Personnel Jojo Wooden, who is leading the team’s college and career scouting. He has been with them since 2013 and spent the previous 16 years with the New York Jets. wooden started out as a professional scout/staff executive, but also managed college scouts for his last 6 years in new jersey.
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wooden joined the Chargers in 2013 and oversees the team’s college and pro scouting departments.
Prior to the Angels, he spent 16 seasons with the New York Jets (1997-12), including the last six as assistant manager and player personnel. originally joined the jets in 1997 and served as assistant pro staff (1997-98), pro scout (1999-00), senior/afc pro scout (2001-02), assistant director of pro scouting (2003) and professional scouting director (2004-06).
a native of hartford, conn., wood began two seasons at outside linebacker at syracuse. The Orangemen went to five bowl games during his time with the team and posted consecutive 10–2 seasons during his junior and senior seasons, finishing both years ranked nationally in the top 10. After graduating with a degree in sociology, he went to training camp with the Arizona Cardinals in 1993.
The third new name on GM’s search list is a current employee of the Washington football team, but he’s not the one some fans wanted for the job. Eric Stokes was hired in July, a sexual harassment scandal caused Washington to fire Director of Professional Personnel Alex Santos and Deputy Director of Professional Personnel Richard Mann II. Stokes was the director of collegiate scouting for the Carolina Panthers, but was hired as the director of professional scouting for Washington.
kyle smith has been a part of the washington organization for 11 years and has seen his star rise rapidly in recent years. He has been running the team’s drafts for the past three years and earned a promotion to vice president of player personnel when Ron Rivera was hired. he has worked closely with rivera to build the team the way the head coach wants it.
There have been mixed signals from Rivera regarding Smith’s future with the team and possible promotion to GM. Now it looks like Smith isn’t even on the consideration list, but an executive who’s been there for less than a year is. This is not a good sign for Smith, but it does not mean that he will leave the organization.
While Stokes is in the mix, there has been no indication that Washington’s vice president of player personnel, Kyle Smith, who ranks higher than Stokes in the department, will be interviewed.
washington has not yet contacted some names that have been rumored or speculated as possible. John Keim said Buffalo Bills assistant Joe Schoen and Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown would make sense as outside hires. Brown was the director of professional personnel for Washington and was a respected member of the organization.
Another name that hasn’t received a reported interview request is former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney. He has an extensive history with Ron Rivera dating back to his two seasons with Carolina. Many people have speculated that he could be hired as a general manager or senior executive/advisor.