The Carolina Panthers requested to interview Philadelphia Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry as they search for a new executive VP, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Eagles denied the Panthers' request.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns previously requested to interview Berry as they evaluate general manager candidates. Rapoport noted Philadelphia was unable to reject Cleveland's request because it was for a GM opening.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio explained in 2014 how teams can block an interview for a front-office role:
"For employees not in the final year of their contracts, the current team can block an interview for a position that doesn’t entail '(1) the authority over all personnel decisions related to the signing of free agents, the selection of players in the College Draft, trades, terminations, and related decisions, and (2) the responsibility for coordinating other football activities with the Head Coach.'
After the Seattle Seahawks denied the Green Bay Packers the opportunity to interview John Schneider in 2018, ESPN's Rob Demovsky noted the Packers could've sent a form of compensation to Seattle in order to get the interview.
Carolina may still have an avenue to pursue Berry. The Panthers filled their head coaching vacancy last week when they hired Matt Rhule from Baylor.
Berry was the Browns' vice president of player personnel from 2016 to 2018, but a move to Cleveland may not be a sure thing.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the team is also hopeful of interviewing Minnesota Vikings assistant GM George Paton. The Browns confirmed the hiring of Kevin Stefanski on Monday. Stefanski was Minnesota's offensive coordinator, with Rapoport adding Paton's name was brought up as a GM candidate when Stefanski conducted his interview.
Rhule comes with minimal experience in the NFL, serving as the New York Giants' offensive line coach in 2012. Because of that, bringing in the right GM could be critical toward his and the Panthers' overall success.
Rapoport summed up Berry's resume:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
#Eagles VP of Football Operations Andrew Berry will interview this week for the #Browns vacant GM job, source said. Berry ran day-to-day scouting — pro and college — while in Cleveland. In Philly, he had his hand in everything from scouting to operations to contracts to strategy.
Should he go to the Panthers, Berry will immediately have a difficult decision on his hands as he weighs Cam Newton's future.
Newton has one more year left on his contract, and Rapoport reported in December those around the league expect "the Panthers will attempt to trade Newton this offseason provided they can get a large deal to make it worth their while."
Were Newton to be jettisoned, Berry and Rhule would need to either commit to one of Kyle Allen or Will Grier, or head into the 2020 draft with an eye toward another quarterback. The outcome will set the tone for Rhule's tenure.
Given the general interest in Berry, it looks increasingly likely the Eagles will lose one of the top deputies to executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman.