The New England Patriots’ coaching staff has seen some turnover this offseason — special teams/wide receivers coach Joe Judge joined the New York Giants as their next head coach, coaching assistant Bob Fraser returned to Rutgers to coach the Scarlet Knights’ linebackers — but the front office has stayed intact so far. As first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, however, the Cleveland Browns have set their eyes on one of its members.
Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort will reportedly be interviewed by the Browns on Friday as a candidate to fill their vacant general manager position. Ossenfort is one of “three to five” executives tied to the organization’s search for a new GM, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, alongside the Philadelphia Eagles’ Andrew Berry and the Minnesota Vikings’ George Paton.
Ossenfort is a well-respected figure in the NFL and brings an impressive résumé to the table. After starting his career as an intern with the Houston Texans in 2002, he joined the Patriots as a personnel assistant the following season. The Minnesota-Morris product returned to Houston in 2004 before again moving to New England as an area scout in 2006. Over the next few years, Ossenfort climbed up the organizational ladder.
He worked three seasons as a national scout, three seasons as the assistant director of college scouting and in 2014 succeeded the departed Jon Robinson as the Patriots’ director of college scouting — a role he has held ever since. While the Texans wanted to lure him away two years ago, New England blocked an interview back then. Now, the 41-year-old will get a chance to show a team that he is ready to serve as its general manager.
Ossenfort, of course, is not the first member of the Patriots organization targeted by the Browns this year: the team also interviewed offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for its open head coaching position before ultimately deciding to hire the Vikings’ Kevin Stefanski.