If the report that Dave Gettleman is “unlikely to return” as general manager of the New York Giants, perhaps choosing to retire, proves accurate the Giants will of course be searching for a replacement.
The Giants are nothing if not a loyal organization. If the GM job is open, it figures that at least a couple of internal candidates would receive interviews. In looking at external candidates, the idea of leaning into a group of candidates that either have ties to Giants head coach Joe Judge or the New England Patriots, where Judge was an assistant, has also been raised.
Let’s look at an initial list of potential candidates who fit those categories. There could, and probably should, be candidates from outside the Judge/New England bubble. We will save those for a different discussion. We will also dive deeper into potential candidates if and when the GM job actually does become available.
Kevin Abrams — Abrams is an obvious candidate. He has been in the organization for 23 years, and been assistant general manager for 20. His specialty is the salary cap. The Giants interviewed Abrams before hiring Gettleman.
Kyle O’Brien — O’Brien is uniquely positioned. He is part of the Giants’ organization, serving as a senior personnel executive for the Giants this season. O’Brien served in various scouting capacities for the Patriots from 2002-2011. O’Brien has been a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, and worked in the personnel departments of the Jacksonville Jaguars and most recently the Detroit Lions.
DuJaun Daniels — Daniels was part of the Patriots’ scouting department for 13 seasons before becoming assistant director of player personnel for the Las Vegas Raiders prior to the 2019 season.
Monti Ossenfort — Ossenfort’s is the name perhaps most often connected to the Giants as a potential Gettleman replacement. Ossenfort spent 15 years with the Patriots, including six as director of college scouting, before joining the Tennessee Titans in 2020 as director of player personnel. Ossenfort received two interviews for the Carolina Panthers’ GM vacancy last offseason.
Scott Pioli — Pioli, 56, is easily the most accomplished name on this list. He is a five-time NFL Executive of the Year and was NFL Executive of the Decade for 2000-2010. Here is his resume as an executive:
- Cleveland Browns (1992–1995) — Pro personnel assistant
- Baltimore Ravens (1996) — Pro personnel coordinator
- New York Jets (1997–2000) — Director of pro personnel
- New England Patriots (2000) — Assistant director of player personnel
- New England Patriots (2001) — Director of player personnel
- New England Patriots (2002–2008) — Vice president of player personnel
- Kansas City Chiefs (2009–2012) — General manager
- Atlanta Falcons (2014–2019) — Assistant general manager
Pioli has never worked directly with Judge, but is obviously steeped in the New England way of thinking. Would he consider one more swing as a GM if he were handed Judge as coach and Daniel Jones as his quarterback?
Adam Peters — Peters has been vice president of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers for the past four season. He was in the Patriots’ scouting department from 2003-2008. From 2009-2016, he was with the Denver Broncos, spending 2016 as the organization’s director of college scouting. Peters, like Ossenfort, got two interviews with the Panthers last offseason.
Louis Riddick — Riddick is the only external candidate on this list without ties to the Patriots. Whether he will be a candidate this time is unknown, but he was the only external candidate who received an interview before the Giants hired Gettleman. Before his television career, Riddick served as pro personnel director for Washington and for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Eliot Wolf — Wolf does not have direct ties to Judge, but has been a front office consultant for the past two seasons in New England. The 39-year-old worked for the Green Bay Packers from 2004-2017, holding titles such as director of pro personnel, director of player personnel and director of football operations. During his time in Green Bay, the Packers earned 10 trips to the playoffs, seven NFC North division titles and a victory in Super Bowl XLV. He was Cleveland Browns assistant general manager in 2018 and 2019.
James Liipfert — Worked as a scout for the Patriots for nine seasons. He has been with the Houston Texans since 2018, and is currently assistant director of player personnel. He was originally Houston’s director of college scouting.
Dave Ziegler — Ziegler is completing his first season as director of player personnel for New England. He has been with the Patriots for nine seasons and filled roles such as director of pro personnel and three as the assistant director of pro scouting. He also spent three seasons prior to New England working for the Denver Broncos. Ziegler is 44.
Matt Groh — Groh is finishing his 11th season with the Patriots, and his first as director of college scouting. Son of one-time Giants defensive coordinator Al Groh, he has worked his way up since beginning as a scouting assistant with New England in 2011. Director of college scouting for New England has put several executives on a GM track.