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From virtual interviews to in-person meetings: How the Vikings general manager process can unfold

The Vikings had yet to announce interviews with GM candidates as of early Friday night, but here’s how that process is expected to unfold.

Early discussions can take place virtually, especially with GM candidates for current playoff teams. In-person meetings are required by an update to the Rooney Rule in October, which mandates at least one in-person interview with an external minority candidate for general manager and head coach searches.

That rule remains in place amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email Friday. The Vikings must interview at least two external minority candidates for each opening.

“We have let teams know that if they are conducting interviews with postseason club employees, they may consider conducting the interview virtually,” McCarthy said. “We imagine the second interview would be in person.”

The Vikings’ first recruit will be the general manager, with that person having a say in the 10th head coach in franchise history, according to co-owner Mark Wilf. The property and an in-house research team – executive vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski, chief operating officer Andrew Miller and co-directors of player personnel Ryan Monnens and Jamaal Stephenson – are considering a diverse pool of candidates.

The Vikings have asked to speak to eight known candidates: Chiefs director of personnel Ryan Poles, Eagles vice president of football operations Catherine Raiche, Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, vice president of operations Browns football manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Eagles director of player personnel Brandon Brown, Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook, Buccaneers vice president of player personnel John Spytek and personnel consultant Eliot Wolf Patriots.

GM candidates can chat about their team’s playoff schedule. The Giants spoke virtually with six candidates, including Poles on Thursday. Kansas City hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday night in the AFC wildcard round. There are no time restrictions for applicants from non-playoff teams. Teams can’t block interview requests if the job posting offers “authority over all personnel decisions”, i.e. if it’s a genuine job GM like the one in Minnesota.

Six of the Vikings’ eight candidates are on playoff teams, including Ossenfort, who is available through the weekend because his Titans earned a first-round bye.

The rules are different for playoff coaches. They can’t interview early in the playoffs unless their team got a first-round bye like Packers coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was due to discuss head coaching jobs with the Broncos and Jaguars in Green Bay this week, according to the Milwaukee. Sentinel Journal.

Because the Chiefs are playing this weekend, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy can’t talk to other teams about head coaching openings before that first playoff game. The same goes for Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

In-person interviews during the NFL Divisional Playoff Round usually take place in the candidate’s city. Follow-up interviews can only be conducted when a candidate’s team is either in the bye week before the Super Bowl or out of the playoffs.

There are no time restrictions on interviewing NFL assistants from non-playoff teams or college coaches.

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