EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The search for a general manager has already begun. The New York Giants have former GM Ernie Accorsi on the case, and they’re already scouring back channels for potential candidates.
The Giants would like to move quickly, if possible. It’s not out of the question they'll have someone in place by the end of the year. The problem is that NFL rules prohibit them from interviewing anyone employed by another team until the end of the regular season. They can’t hire an executive from another team until that team's season is over.
Co-owner John Mara is still looking at the situation as having a head start on the other 31 teams. (Make it 30, since the Cleveland Browns fired Sashi Brown on Thursday.)
“If the right candidate comes along, [the end of the year is] possible,” Mara said. “Obviously, if we want to talk to somebody who’s currently employed, we would have to wait.”
After talking to people around the league, here are some names to watch for the Giants job:
Eliot Wolf (Green Bay): The Packers have done their best to keep their top personnel executive under general manager Ted Thompson. Wolf was even targeted by Accorsi last year during the Detroit Lions' general manager search but the Packers reportedly denied the interview request. It might not be possible for Green Bay to keep him this go-around, even though it has been hinted it has a plan to make him Thompson’s successor. Wolf is highly regarded around the league for his evaluation ability, and the Giants' job might be too good to pass on. Wolf, 35, also happens to be the son of former Packers GM Ron Wolf. He’s going to be coveted again this offseason, with the Giants in the hunt.
Nick Caserio (New England): He’s Bill Belichick’s personnel czar. He’s also an enigma. What is known about Caserio is that in an ideal world, he would like to take a good job and bring on Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as his head coach. That’s possible with the Giants, who just so happen to have both jobs open. Caserio-McDaniels might not be the most personable duo, but it would be considered a coup for whoever lands them. It also doesn’t hurt the Giants' case that Belichick respects the organization and has a longstanding relationship with Mara.
Scott Pioli (Atlanta): He’s going to be a hot name this offseason after helping restock the cupboard with the Falcons. Pioli worked with Belichick in New England (2000-08) before taking a GM job with the Chiefs. The Giants could be intrigued by his experience in that role and his track record with personnel.
Trent Kirchner (Seattle): Accorsi thought enough of Kirchner to make him a candidate in the Lions’ general manager search last year, a nod to the job the Seahawks' co-director of player personnel has done in continually adding to Seattle's talent pool. The Giants job might be one that Kirchner -- known as a particularly strong talent evaluator -- can’t deny.
Dave Gettleman: He can be interviewed immediately and is familiar with the Giants organization. Gettleman spent 14 years with them before becoming general manager of the Carolina Panthers. He’s highly respected by Giants ownership and has a strong relationship with Accorsi. But Gettleman could be viewed as simply trying to rekindle the past; the Giants might want more significant change.
Kevin Abrams/Marc Ross (Giants): If the Giants want more significant change, it is going to be hard for Abrams or Ross to land the job. Abrams was the assistant general manager under Jerry Reese and handled contracts in addition to his involvement in personnel. He is serving as the interim GM and is extremely well regarded by Accorsi. Ross is the vice president of player evaluation and in charge of the scouting staff and draft. He’s considered an excellent talent evaluator around the league.
Louis Riddick (ESPN): The former personnel executive is smart, straight to the point and experienced. He has worked in the Eagles' and Redskins' personnel departments. Riddick would fit well in the Giants organization and has expressed a desire in the past to get back into the league in a general manager role. This could be an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.