The NFL Network reported that Hurney is the “top candidate” for the vacancy. Washington has spent the last week interviewing candidates, speaking to Tennessee’s Ryan Cowden, San Francisco’s Martin Mayhew and have requested to speak with other candidates like Atlanta’s Nick Polk and the Chargers’ JoJo Wooden.
Of all the rumored candidates, Hurney has the most experience at the position — and has spent two stints working with Rivera in Carolina. The Panthers fired Hurney in December after four seasons at the helm. The firing marked the end of Hurney’s time in Carolina. Before being rehired in 2017, Hurney was the Panthers’ lead executive from 2002 to 2012.
Hurney, 65, got his start in Washington. A former Washington Times employee, he was a journalist before the Washington Redskins hired him as a public relations assistant under owner Jack Kent Cooke. Hurney began working on the football side of operations when former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard hired him in San Diego.
Hurney grew up in Wheaton, Maryland, and was a graduate of Catholic University.
With the Panthers, Hurney is credited for drafting the core of players that helped Carolina reached the Super Bowl in 2015 — selecting stars such as Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman.
When Hurney was fired, it didn’t take long for speculation to spread that the executive would land with Washington. The team opted not to fill its general manager position when Rivera was hired last season.
“I really appreciated working with him,” Rivera said. “He’s a very hard worker and a very bright man. He knows the game. If you look at what he helped us build in Carolina when he helped us build our run, it’s pretty impressive. He pretty much put a lot of pieces into place.”
Besides Hurney, Mayhew is the only other candidate with previous general manager experience that Washington has interviewed. Mayhew, 55, spent eight seasons with the Detroit Lions, guiding them to two playoff appearances from 2008 to 2015. Mayhew joined the 49ers’ front office in 2017 and was promoted to vice president of player personnel last year.
Washington is believed to be looking to hire someone from outside the organization, though the team also interviewed director of pro personnel Eric Stokes for the position.
Whoever Washington hires is expected to work in-tandem with Rivera, who supposedly has final say over roster decisions. When Rivera was hired, owner Dan Snyder said Washington would use a “coach-centric” approach with Rivera being the primary decision-maker.
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