The Cincinnati Bengals may have multiple coaches leave this offseason to take jobs with other teams.
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson are already set to meet with the Cleveland Browns while likely having other teams interested. Losing either of those guys would be a tough blow, but not as much as losing Duke Tobin would be.
Tobin, the current Bengals director of player personnel, has worked like the team's general manager in recent years just like his dad, Bill Tobin, who was a general manager for the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts for nine seasons.
While Tobin does not hold the official title of GM, you'll be hard-pressed to find an NFL GM that does as much for his franchise as Tobin does the Bengals. That's why many NFL teams would like a chance to at least interview Tobin for their vacant GM openings, like the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans.
The good news is it doesn't look like either of them will be getting the chance to talk with Tobin, as ESPN's Coley Harvey and Adam Schefter report:
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin will remain in his role in Cincinnati despite receiving overtures from other teams this week.
Both the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans requested permission to interview Tobin for general manager openings they have, but league sources have told Schefter that Tobin and the Bengals have committed to each other for the long-term. He isn't leaving anytime soon.
Tobin has been around the Bengals for his entire NFL career. After finishing his playing career in the Arena Football League in 1995, he joined the Bengals' organization as a scout four years later. In 2002, just three years into his career as a scout, Tobin was promoted to his current position with the team.
After Jim Lippincott retired following the 2011 season to return to coaching at Moeller High School, Cincinnati distributed his duties of director of football operations, but Tobin took on a big portion of them. It's no coincidence the Bengals have hit many of their biggest draft and free agency home runs of the past decade during that time.
Though director of player personnel and football operations don't carry some the same pizazz as NFL GM, Tobin has been instrumental in the Bengals' rise that's seen them make five straight playoff trips since 2011.
That includes one of the best stretches of free-agent signing and draft picks the franchise has ever seen. Vontaze Burfict, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Kevin Zeitler, Clint Boling, Tyler Eifert, George Iloka, Marvin Jones, Giovani Bernard, and Jeremy Hill are among the team's biggest acquisitions over that span who have helped the Bengals win big while keeping a bright future intact.
"I've been very impressed with Duke from the very onset," head coach Marvin Lewis said at the NFL Combine in February 2013. "He's continued to grow. Mike has given him a great deal of responsibility and put him in charge of a lot of things."
Tobin doesn't just work on the draft, but also plays a big part in helping find the players who the Bengals bring in during the season. Whether it's Chris Crocker, Wallace Gilberry, Dhani Jones, or Eric Winston, Tobin has helped the Bengals find key players in the middle of seasons who went on to play pivotal roles for playoff teams.
"He's my liaison as far as what we do on the pro side, when we have injuries (during the season) and he's directing the scouting efforts throughout and making sure that everything's done and the cross-checks are done so we're able to do everything we have to evaluate these guys," Lewis said. "He’s done a very good job of putting the information together, the cross-checking of things, the organization of things. He’s really streamlined it, I think both personnel and coaching-wise."
This offseason, the Bengals may lose one or both of their coordinators, a host of impact players in free agency, and maybe some position coaches, too, but Tobin is someone they can't afford to lose. He's been too instrumental in helping construct the Bengals as they are today, and regardless of who they lose this offseason, Tobin will be key in rebuilding and acquiring talent again when the time comes.