The Washington Football Team finds itself in the middle of a late-season playoff push, but that won't stop the increasing speculation of a new general manager joining the organization.
The rumors hit overdrive Monday morning when Carolina fired longtime executive Marty Hurney. He obviously has ties to Washington coach Ron Rivera from their time together with the Panthers, and now he's available.
For Rivera, however, now is not the time for the discussion.
"I'm not going to talk about our GM situation. All that stuff, personnel stuff, everything, that's going to be addressed when the season is over with," Rivera said Monday morning. "We're focusing in on the playoff run right here."
Even after Sunday's loss dropped them to 6-8 on the season, Washington sits in first place in the NFC East, one game ahead of the Giants and the Cowboys. If Washington wins Sunday against Carolina and the Giants lose to the Ravens, the Burgundy and Gold will clinch the NFC East title.
Even with his focus clearly on the division, Rivera allowed how much he enjoyed working with Hurney.
"I really appreciated working with him," the coach said. "He’s a very bright man, he knows the game."
Hurney served as GM of the Panthers from 2002 to 2012, when the team brought in Dave Gettleman. Rivera was hired as Panthers head coach in 2011, so in some ways, Hurney hired Rivera for his first coaching job. Hurney also oversaw the drafts that landed Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.
Of his time with Hurney, Rivera said "we had a nice run" and that the former GM " put a lot of pieces in place."
Washington currently does not have a general manager. Kyle Smith is the VP of Player Personnel while Rob Rogers serves as Senior VP of Football Administration.
Some thought around the league is Smith could be in line for a promotion to GM, but that idea seems not to be gaining steam as reports show other possible GM candidates emerging. A report from CBS Sports suggested Washington will interview former Texans executive Rick Smith for their GM opening.
Rivera remains firmly in charge of the Washington football organization, and he will likely be the deciding vote on the new GM. The team will also be expected to comply with expanded Rooney Rules that mandate interviews for minority executive candidates.