New Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort was almost an FBI agent before joining NFL

Jan 17, 2023, 5:03 PM | Updated: 5:48 pm
Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort speaks with reporters during his introductory press conference...
Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort speaks with reporters during his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Monti Ossenfort: Arizona Cardinals general manager or FBI agent?

Thankfully it’s the former for Cardinals fans, but the NFL wasn’t always on the radar for Arizona’s new GM.

After two intern stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans in 2001 and 2002, respectively, Ossenfort was a crossroads in his career.

“A little bit of a twisted path, but I didn’t know that it would be in personnel,” he said at his introductory press conference on Tuesday. “I knew there was a coaching route and there was a personnel route.

“I was fortunate enough to land an opportunity and once I got my first taste of it, I knew this is what I wanted to do. After my first job in the NFL with the Houston Texans back in 2002, there was not a job available for me in Houston and I had an opportunity to interview for a couple jobs around the league. I didn’t get them.”

After the failed attempts to land somewhere in the football world, Ossenfort found himself sitting in a bookstore in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, reading up on what it would take to become an FBI agent.

At the time, he was living in his parents’ basement with two undergraduate degrees and two graduate degrees.

But that’s when he got a phone call from Scott Pioli, the then-vice president of player personnel for the New England Patriots.

“I’m sure (my parents) were thrilled with all the money they spent on that great education. … I was sitting there, I had the book in my hand and my cell phone rang,” Ossenfort said. “It was Scott Pioli at the Patriots and he offered me a chance to come out and interview. It was a phone call that changed my life. I would’ve been a bad FBI agent.”

Ossenfort went on to be part of four Super Bowl-winning teams in his tenure in New England from 2003 and 2006-19 as he worked his from personnel assistant all the way up to director of college scouting.

Safe to say he made the right career choice.


Incoming Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia laughs during the game between the Detroit Pistons and Phoen...
Haboob Blog

Rivalry between Suns’ Ishbia, Cavs’ Gilbert reportedly carries over to NBA

A rivalry between incoming Suns owner Mat Ishbia from his mortgage work has carried over into the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2 days ago
(Twitter screenshot/@ArizonaCoyotes)...
Jake Anderson

Coyotes’ Clayton Keller, ‘Happy Gilmore’ just tap it in at NHL All-Star event

The 2023 NHL All-Star Skills Competition added a new wrinkle this year with what the league is calling "Pitch 'n Puck."
5 days ago
A fan climbs a light pole during the Super Bowl LII parade on February 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pen...
Haboob Blog

ASU student breaks down Phoenix’s light-pole situation for Eagles fans at the Super Bowl

Philadelphia fan and Cronkite student Grace Del Pizzo made sure to give Philly faithful a proper tour of Phoenix's light poles.
5 days ago
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce celebrates after the NFL AFC Championship playoff footbal...
Haboob Blog

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce trolls Cincinnati mayor after AFC Championship Game win

Chiefs star Travis Kelce on the podium with the Lamar Hunt Trophy in his hands had a message for the mayor of Cincinnati. 
10 days ago
Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals hugs Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs after th...
Jake Anderson

Cincinnati mayor calls for paternity test to see if Joe Burrow is Patrick Mahomes’ father

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval on Friday made a proclamation for Joe Burrow to take a paternity test to see if he is Patrick Mahomes' father.
12 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Chad Johnson Jr. (17) looks on before the college football g...
Haboob Blog

Kenny Dillingham lends life hack after Chad Johnson Jr. gets parking ticket

Receiver Chad Johnson Jr. tweeted on Monday that he got tagged with two boots on his car parked on Arizona State's campus.
15 days ago
New Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort was almost an FBI agent before joining NFL