Washington hired Martin Mayhew as general manager Friday, giving coach Ron Rivera a seasoned NFL executive to work with going into his second season.
Mayhew joins Washington after four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Before that, he spent a year with the New York Giants and was GM of the Detroit Lions for seven-plus seasons.
The 55-year-old will report directly to Ron Rivera as part of the organization’s coach-centric front-office structure under owner Dan Snyder.
“Martin is a proven general manager who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization,” Rivera said in a statement. “He will be an integral part of running the daily football operations and will allow me the opportunity to focus more on coaching. He impressed both myself and Mr. Snyder during the interview process, and we both believe he will be a tremendous fit here.”
Mayhew drafted quarterback Matthew Stafford first overall in 2009 while in Detroit, a connection that is sure to raise eyebrows given the Lions’ regime change and Washington’s question mark at the position.
As a player, Mayhew was a cornerback on Washington’s most recent Super Bowl-winning team in the 1991 season. Rivera called Mayhew “a man of high character and integrity (who) was part of the rich history and tradition of this great franchise.”
The hiring of Mayhew makes Washington the only team in the NFL with a Black team president and GM. Jason Wright joined the team as president last summer.
Rivera has championed diversity in football throughout his career. The 57-year-old of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent was the first minority to be named full-time head coach in franchise history when he was hired in January 2020.
After playing eight seasons, Mayhew began his path to NFL executive with Washington as a personnel intern in 1999 while attending law school at Georgetown University.
Rivera may not be done adding to the front office. Washington has been linked to former Carolina Panthers GM Marty Hurney, who hired Rivera for his first head-coaching job in 2011.
Hurney has that long-established relationship with Rivera and ties to the area as a native of suburban D.C. who was a sportswriter at two newspapers before moving into public relations with Washington. Hurney was widely reported to be the pick as GM this week before Mayhew became the choice and could land an adviser role instead.
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