The Lions are in the early stages of their general manager search, having fired GM Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia last week, but they are gathering information on potential candidates and working with a search firm to prepare for interviews. Former Giants Super Bowl-winning general manager Jerry Reese is one potential candidate for the opening, getting strong support from advisors to the Ford family as well as the NFL league office, sources said.
Former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi was a driving force in their last hiring cycle with longtime Giants executive Kevin Abrams the runner-up to Quinn, and sources said Accorsi remains someone the Ford family trusts as a potential advisor.
Reese succeeded Accorsi as GM in New York in 2007 after rising up the Giants organization under his mentorship after joining them as a college scout in 1994. Reese spent 10 years at the helm of the Giants before being fired in 2017. Reese has many advocates at the league office, and sources said NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent has expressed his dismay on numerous occasions about how "ridiculous" he believed it was that Reese, 57, did not receive the opportunity to interview for any of the few vacant GM openings there were a year ago when the league's lack of vigilance in regards to diversity hiring resulted in significant changes made to The Rooney Rule for 2021.
Reese remains very much interested in a return to the NFL, sources said, and it would be hard to envision another hiring cycle -- particularly one in which more than six GM vacancies could arise -- without him meriting an opportunity to interview again.
Reese was a part of two Super Bowl winning teams with the Giants and has exhaustive experience in all aspects of team management that sources said are appealing to the Lions, among others. Since 2000, the Lions have employed only general managers who had never done the job before, a fact not lost on the Ford family, with the long-suffering franchise continuing to struggle the past two decades. They hired Matt Millen out of the broadcast booth, then promoted his longtime assistant Martin Mayhew to the position in 2008 before hiring Quinn, who had very limited impact on New England's roster, as GM in 2016. Reese would certainly be a departure from that mold.