Rick Spielman

Award-Winning NFL Executive

Rick Spielman is a former NFL executive for the Lions, Bears, Dolphins and Vikings. He was the winner of the NFL Executive of the Year award by Pro Football Weekly in 2017.

Spielman began his career in the NFL as a scout for the Detroit Lions in 1990. He then became Director of Pro Personnel for the Chicago Bears before being hired as Vice President of Pro Personnel for the Miami Dolphins. 

Spielman’s longest tenure came with Minnesota, where he served as VP of Player Personnel from 2006-2011, and then as the General Manager from 2012-2021. Spielman oversaw 15 drafts with the Vikings, notably selecting Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

He made a key offseason move in 2012 when he signed fullback Jerome Felton, who made the Pro-Bowl and contributed mightily to Peterson posting the second-highest single season rushing total (2,097 yards) in NFL history. 

Spielman attended Southern Illinois University from 1983-86 and played linebacker. As an undrafted free agent, he was invited to training camp with the San Diego Chargers (1987) and the Detroit Lions (1988). Spielman grew up in Massillon, Ohio, and is the older brother of former Lions and Bills linebacker Chris Spielman.

Since his time in Minnesota ended, Spielman has worked on NFL Live for ESPN, and been a frequent participant with The 33rd Team.