The Detroit Lions began interviewing external candidates for their open general manager position last week, starting with Louis Riddick.
The team announced Wednesday they have also concluded interviews with Rick Smith, Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli.
Smith was a coach at Purdue and with the Denver Broncos before joining Denver's front office as director of pro personnel from 2000-2005. He was the general manager for the Houston Texans from 2006-2017, and had the title of executive vice president of football operations added to his duties from 2012-17. He took a leave of absence in 2018 to take care of his wife, Tiffany, who was fighting breast cancer.
Dimitroff was most recently the general manager for the Atlanta Falcons before being relieved of those duties in October of this season. The Falcons reached the NFC Championship game under Dimitroff's leadership in 2012. In 2016, the team finished 11-5 and earned a trip to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the New England Patriots. He spent six seasons in the Patriots scouting office before accepting the Falcons GM job in 2008.
Pioli has a long history of NFL front office experience dating back to 1992, when he started as a pro personnel assistant with the Cleveland Browns. He's worked in the front offices in Baltimore, New York (Jets), New England, Kansas City and Atlanta. He was the Chiefs general manger from 2009-2012 and was the assistant general manager in Atlanta from 2014-2019.
The Lions can continue interviewing external candidates not currently employed by another team in the coming weeks.
Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp, team president Rod Wood and special assistant Chris Spielman can't interview front office candidates currently employed by one of the league's 31 other teams until after the regular season is over.