The New York Giants’ general manager search got significantly more serious Monday when they conducted a second interview with Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen. The respected personnel executive was the first of nine candidates to get a second meeting with Giants ownership. Schoen is a man in demand and is also viewed as a leading candidate for the Bears’ opening.
Get to know NFL general manager candidate Joe Schoen
GM searches don’t have the same cachet as head coach searches, mostly because the candidates are largely anonymous to the casual fan. They have little media exposure, and their names rarely get brought up during game broadcasts. But Schoen, 42, is a respected talent evaluator who has had a big role in building Buffalo’s impressive roster.
A former small-school QB who knew his playing days were over after college, Schoen wanted a career in football. So he started at the bottom, quite literally, and worked his way up. A friend of a friend helped him land an internship with the Carolina Panthers two decades ago when he caught the eye of then-Panthers personnel executive Brandon Beane. After a year in the ticketing office, Carolina hired Schoen as a scouting assistant. That would be the first of several promotions in the Panthers personnel department.
In 2008, Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland brought Schoen to Miami as a national scout. A few years later, he was the team’s assistant director of college scouting. With the Dolphins, Schoen had a big hand in “preparation, assessment, and acquisition of potential professional and collegiate free agents,” per the Giants’ news release announcing his first interview. “He was heavily involved in Miami’s NFL draft preparations, including evaluation and draft board construction, while also serving as a key liaison between the coaching staff and personnel staff.”
After nearly a decade in Miami, Schoen decided to make another move, this time to Buffalo. There, he reunited with Beane — who the Bills had just hired as their general manager. Together, they transformed the franchise from a perennial doormat into one of the best in the AFC.
The Bills are two wins away from the Super Bowl, thanks largely to players drafted during Beane and Schoen’s five years together. The list includes cornerstone pieces Josh Allen, Tre’Davious White, and Dawson Knox, to name a few. The Bills have been able to build and maintain a championship-caliber roster even after making Allen the second-highest paid player in league history.
What they’re saying about Schoen
In 2019, Beane told The Athletic, “He’s going to be a GM. The thing about him is that he’s smart enough to know that he’s still learning and growing, and he’s trying to get stronger at his craft. He wants to be totally ready when he gets in there. Instead of just rushing to the seat and then trying to figure it out, Joe’s that guy that he wants to have all the answers to the test before he goes and sits down.”