Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Updated: January 7, 6:55 PM ET
Browns to interview Eagles GM
CLEVELAND -- Their coaching search on hold and seemingly locked on Eric Mangini, the Cleveland Browns plan to interview Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert for their GM opening.
The meeting between Browns owner Randy Lerner and Heckert, who has been with the Eagles since 2001, has not yet been scheduled. The Eagles are getting ready for Sunday's playoff game against the New York Giants, but it is not known if Lerner will sit down with Heckert before or after the game.
Heckert has been the Eagles' GM since 2006 after originally joining the team as the director of player personnel. In May, he received a contract extension through 2011. Last year, he interviewed for Atlanta's GM job, a position that went to Thomas Dimitroff.
With the Eagles, the 41-year-old Heckert works with coach Andy Reid in all player personnel matters while overseeing the scouting and personnel departments. Heckert spent 10 years with the Miami Dolphins before joining the Eagles.
In Heckert's first draft with Philadelphia, he selected Lito Sheppard, Michael Lewis, Brian Westbrook -- three future Pro Bowlers.
Lerner has also interviewed Scott Pioli, New England's director of player personnel and T.J. McCreight, the Browns' director of player personnel, to replace Phil Savage. Lerner also intends to speak with George Kokinis, Baltimore's pro personnel director, but he has to wait until after the Ravens' playoff game with Tennessee.
Meanwhile, the Browns have not yet offered a contract to Mangini, fired after this season by the New York Jets. The 37-year-old Mangini is Lerner's top candidate and could be paired with Kokinis, a longtime friend whom he has known since breaking into the NFL with him in Cleveland in the early 1990s.
The Browns also have interviewed New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Cleveland defensive coordinator Mel Tucker for the coaching vacancy.
Spagnuolo and Heckert worked together previously in Philadelphia.