EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The search for a general manager is on for the New York Giants, and this time the early returns show they will cast a much wider net.
From assistant general managers to personnel executives to some outside-the-box options, get ready for a much different approach to replace retired GM Dave Gettleman than there was to replace Jerry Reese, who was fired before the end of the 2017 season.
During their previous GM search, the Giants consulted former GM Ernie Accorsi, and there was a clear preference to avoid stepping outside their comfort zone. Four candidates interviewed: Gettleman, Marc Ross, Kevin Abrams and Louis Riddick.
Only Riddick, an ESPN analyst, was considered outside the family -- Abrams and Ross were working for the organization at the time, and Gettleman had been with the Giants before being hired and fired by the Carolina Panthers. The job predictably went to Gettleman, with Accorsi having ownership's ear and the Giants preferring a GM with experience.
This feels different already. According to sources, co-owner John Mara and the Giants have been preparing for this moment for the past few months, making phone calls and aligning their list of candidates.
"This will be a comprehensive search for our next general manager," Mara said in a statement after Gettleman retired Monday following a woeful 4-13 campaign. "We are looking for a person who demonstrates exceptional leadership and communication abilities, somebody who will oversee all aspects of our football operations, including player personnel, college scouting and coaching."
Perhaps more of a CEO type than ever before is how one source described New York's preference. Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen and Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles were two of the names that came up most often in conversations with sources.
A look at some of the people, listed alphabetically, who are reported to be in the mix or are expected to be according to sources:
Ran Carthon: The Giants requested an interview with the director of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers, per NFL Network. The son of former Giants fullback Maurice Carthon, he has been on the pro personnel side of things for most of his career. General manager would seem to be a substantial jump -- he was promoted to director of player personnel last year.
Ryan Cowden: He has paid his dues with 22 years in the NFL, the past six with the Tennessee Titans. His current title is vice president of player personnel, a role in which he oversees all of the scouting departments (pro and college) and free-agency preparations. It probably doesn't hurt that the Titans are the AFC's No. 1 seed and have been to the playoffs four of the past five years. The Giants already put in a call.
Quentin Harris: The former NFL safety is the vice president of player personnel with the Arizona Cardinals. He works closely with GM Steve Keim in almost all aspects of the operation. Harris comes from a military household and contemplated joining the FBI before getting into scouting. He has spent his entire post-playing career with the Cardinals, and there is a belief around the league he's ready to handle his own team.
Joe Hortiz: He's the director of player personnel from the widely respected Baltimore Ravens front office, where he's been since 1998. Hortiz managed the team's draft preparations for years and has extensive personnel experience. Sources say his eye for talent has caught the Giants' attention.
Monti Ossenfort: The director of player personnel for the Titans previously worked for the New England Patriots and has extensive experience overseeing the draft. That has never been more important than this year, with the Giants holding five picks in the first three rounds, including the fifth and seventh selections in the first round.
Adam Peters: The assistant general manager for the 49ers has been GM John Lynch's right-hand man the past five years since coming over from Denver. Peters is respected for his evaluation skills, and has worked closely with San Francisco's staff in player acquisition. Sources believe he would help make the Giants' personnel department and coaching staff more closely integrated.
Ryan Poles: Sources say the Giants think very highly of Poles. It is believed he would bring a much more analytical and progressive approach to the organization as more of a CEO type than a scout.
Joe Schoen: Sources say the Bills' assistant general manager is considered bright and versatile, and that a request for an interview has been submitted. He spoke with the Giants (via Zoom) on Wednesday morning. Schoen has worked extensively with the analytics, personnel and football operations, and he is the kind of guy co-workers have said "never stops working." He is expected to be a hot candidate in this GM hiring cycle.
Adrian Wilson: Another former safety -- an All-Pro at that -- with the Cardinals. His title is vice president of pro personnel. Despite working mostly on the pro personnel side, he has been a fast riser through the Arizona organization and has developed a good reputation around the league. He continues the trend of Giants candidates coming primarily from playoff teams.