The Detroit Lions will reportedly interview four different general manager candidates this week that have suddenly become available to interview now that the regular season is over. The four candidates are both Saints assistant general managers Terry Fontenot (Pro personnel) and Jeff Ireland (college personnel), Rams college scouting director Bard Holmes, and Vikings assistant GM George Paton.
Here’s the schedule of interviews, per MMQB’s Albert Breer:
Tuesday, Jan 5: Terry Fontenot
Wednesday, Jan 6: Brad Holmes, George Paton
Friday, Jan. 8: Jeff Ireland
The Lions have previously interviewed seven candidates for the job: Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark, Rob Lohman, Louis Riddick, Rick Smith, Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff.
Fontenot has spent his entire 16-year NFL career with the Saints, starting as a pro scouting assistant, before working his way up to director of pro scouting. He now splits assistant general manager duties with Jeff Ireland, who works on the college scouting part of things.
He works alongside Jeff Ireland, who has been in the game for decades, dating back to when he got his start as a Chiefs scout in 1997. Of these four candidates, only Ireland has direct general manager experience, serving that role for the Dolphins from 2008 to 2013. Miami went 46-50 over those six years.
We recently talked extensively about Lions GM candidate Brad Holmes with former Rams beat writer Vincent Bonsignore. You can check out that interview here:
As for George Paton, he’s an intriguing candidate from a Vikings team that knows how to draft on the defensive side of the ball. He has a long history in the league, spending time in the personnel departments with the Dolphins and Bears in the early aughts, before landing with the Vikings in 2007. He may have an edge up on the competition, seeing as he works alongside Rick Spielman, the brother of current Lions advisor Chris Spielman.