Days after reportedly finalizing a deal with longtime Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney to run their own front office, Washington Football Team has reversed course a bit and named Martin Mayhew its GM ahead of the 2021 season, the team announced. Hurney will instead reportedly be named Executive Vice President of Football/Player Personnel, per Adam Schefter of ESPN, but it's Mayhew, the former San Francisco 49ers executive and ex-NFL cornerback, who'll now be leading the team alongside coach Ron Rivera.
"Martin is a proven general manager who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization," Rivera said in an official 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. He is a man of high character and integrity and was part of hte rich history and tradition of this great franchise as a member of the Super Bowl championship team in 1991."
Previous reports indicated the 55-year-old Mayhew would be joining Washington in an executive role, but not as GM. After four seasons with the 49ers, serving as both a senior personnel executive and vice president of player personnel, he becomes the first official GM in Washington since Bruce Allen, who dropped the title in his final years with the franchise as team president. He's also the third minority GM to be hired during the 2021 offseason after Brad Holmes and Terry Fontenot.
Mayhew spent nine seasons playing in the NFL as a cornerback, including with Washington from 1989-1992, a stretch that included a Super Bowl title in 1991. His front-office career began in 2000, as director of football administration for the first rendition of the since-revived (and re-sold) XFL. From 2001-2015, he ascended the Detroit Lions' personnel team, going from senior vice president and assistant GM before becoming Detroit's GM -- a role he held for eight seasons. After a year with the New York Giants, he joined the Niners, working alongside GM John Lynch during San Francisco's recent NFC title run.
The Lions made the playoffs in just two of Mayhew's eight seasons as Lions GM from 2008-2015, going a combined 47-81, including 0-16 in his first year atop the front office.