The Seahawks have remained mostly silent on the team’s search for a new general manager to run the football operations of the team, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation surrounding the Seahawks, and the person at first considered the favorite to earning the job, former Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren, from percolating over the last 24 hours.
What we do know is the Seahawks have hired New York search firm Spencer Stuart to assist in the search for the team’s new general manager. Spencer Stuart is a national search firm that specializes in helping businesses find capable front office executives.
It’s customary for major companies and public entities to hire a search firm to help on this kind of task, and it says nothing about the people within the franchise capabilities of selecting a new leader. This is just what good businesses do – use all of the resources available to them to make sure they find the most qualified candidate.
According to Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post, Jed Hughes, a senior consultant with Spencer Stuart, is heading the search. Hughes is a former NFL assistant coach and knows the league. He assisted the Green Bay Packers in the team’s search for a president and general manager in 2007, with Green Bay eventually hiring Mark Murphy. He also was reportedly instrumental in the hiring of GM Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel by Cleveland, along with the hiring of coach Jim Tressel by Ohio State.
Hughes also assisted in athletic director searches for Michigan State University, Syracuse University and the University of Virginia. Find his bio here.
Lombardi’s article suggests that Hughes already has compiled a list of 10 potential candidates for the vacant GM position, and Holmgren is not on the list.
Further, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, interim general manager Ruston Webster interviewed for the position today. Again, nothing has been confirmed from the team about this interview taking place, but I can say that Webster is viewed as a potential candidate for the position, and if hired would provide the continuity within the organization that CEO Tod Leiweke covets.
NFL analyst John Clayton also provided some interesting remarks during his conversation with Brock Huard and Mike Salk of ESPN 710 Seattle today, basically saying that Holmgren has received word through an intermediary that the Seahawks will not pursue him as a candidate for the Seahawks GM position at this time.
Clayton also confirmed that Holmgren has received an offer from Cleveland to be the head of the team’s football operation, and is contemplating taking the position. You can listen to Clayton’s conversation in this audio link.
Again, most of the information from these reports is speculative and unconfirmed, but pieced together it perhaps provides bits and pieces of what is taking place behind the scenes.
I don’t think Holmgren is totally out of the running for consideration as the Seahawks GM, but it does appear that Seattle’s front office wants to perform a thorough search, and that they might be looking for a fresh pair of eyes to objectively assess how the team should address moving forward after another year of struggles on the field.