According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport & Tom Pelissero, Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds is expected to interview for the Carolina Panthers general manager vacancy as well as draw interest for other NFL openings—including the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans:
Carolina Panthers (GM): Coach Matt Rhule will have a heavy influence on the process, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they hire someone with a connection to him, as they did in bringing in Pat Stewart as director of player personnel last year. The Panthers are lining up an interview with former Giants GM Jerry Reese, who worked with Rhule in New York in 2012. They are also expected to interview Saints VP/assistant GM of college personnel Jeff Ireland and Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds. Other names to watch include 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters — who played for Rhule at UCLA in 2001 — as well as Seahawks VP of football operations Scott Fitterer and Joe Schoen from Buffalo.
Detroit Lions (HC and GM): They’ve already interviewed seven GM candidates — including former Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, who remains in the mix — and are expected to interview a handful more. They’ve been plotting a potential run at Seahawks GM John Schneider, while others of interest include Dodds, Fitterer, Fontenot, Holmes, Paton, Steelers VP of football administration Omar Khan, Cowboys VP of player personnel Will McClay, and Patriots front office consultant Eliot Wolf.
Houston Texans (HC and GM): When Bill O’Brien was fired, the focus immediately shifted to Eric Bienemy, and he is expected to be interviewed. They’ve already interviewed former Lions coach Jim Caldwell and Marvin Lewis. Other coaches to watch include Panthers OC Joe Brady, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Colts DC Matt Eberflus, Patriots ILBs coach Jerod Mayo, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels and Tennessee’s Arthur Smith. But the Texans’ plan is to hire the GM first. They’ve interviewed their director of player personnel, Matt Bazirgan and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick and are expected to interview at least a handful more, including Seahawks executive Alonzo Highsmith. Other names of interest include: Bills director of pro personnel Malik Boyd, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Ravens director of football research Scott Cohen, Indy’s Ed Dodds, Seahawks VP of player personnel Trent Kirchner and Dallas’ Will McClay.
As Colts general manager Chris Ballard’s ‘right hand man’ in scouting, Dodds has been an instrumental piece for the franchise acquiring young talent on both sides of the football.
His loss would no doubt be felt in the Colts’ football operations department.
Dodds has been regarded as a top young GM candidate for a while now, and it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll remain in Indianapolis—as he’s turned down the opportunity to further pursue other openings in the past (including the Cleveland Browns this past year, citing unfinished business).
The worst case scenario would be not only losing Dodds, but seeing him join the Colts’ divisional rival, the Houston Texans—as he has the scouting acumen to surround superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson with a strong supporting cast in time through the NFL Draft—which would present a major problem for Indianapolis perennially within the division.
However, it’s unclear at this time just how much interest the Texans truly have—or even Dodds in such an opening on his end.
Regardless, Colts fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that Dodds is still comfortable in Indianapolis and wants to finish the job that he and Ballard already started—for at least one more season during 2021.
The Colts could have as high as the #18th overall pick (should their playoff hopes not come to fruition on Sunday) and will also be armed with a projected $65.5 million of cap space for the upcoming offseason.