Who are the best NFL GMs and What Makes Them Effective?

If you want to identify the best players in the NFL, just watch the games. If you want to ID the best GM talent, look at the GM‘s playoff record.

Most Cowboys fans by now are well aware that our 80 year old GM and his 58 year old sidekick son are not the best in recent front office talent. Why? Their playoff record the last three decades speaks for itself. We have won 5 wild card games in that period. The Cowboys are 1 of only 3 NFC teams to not play in a conference championship game- the lions, commanders and the ‘Boys.

So who are the current best NFL GMs in the game?

  • Brett Veach, Chiefs- aged 45. Been GM in KC since 2017. Veach’s chiefs have won 9 playoff games in 5 seasons (and may win more this year) including 2 AFC championships and one SB win. Veach aggressively traded up in 2017 draft to acquire Patrick Mahomes and has also been aggressive in trades and free agency each season.
  • Les Snead- Rams- age 51. Been GM is LA since 2012. Snead has 7 playoff wins in 10 years, including a SB win and 2 NFC championships with two different QBs. He is the most aggressive GM in the league with trades and FA.
  • Jason Licht- Bucs-age 51. Been GM in Tampa since 2014. Won 5 playoff games in 3 years. Has been good in drafts but especially good in free agent signings with Tom Brady obviously the most prominent.
  • Howie Roseman- Eagles- aged 47. Been in Filly since 2010. Has won 5 playoff games in 12 seasons including an NFC championship and SB win in 2017. Very aggressive in FA and trades.
  • John Lynch- 49ers- age 51. Been GM in SF since 2017. Won 6 playoff games including 1 NFC championship and could win another if they beat Filly today. Have won those 6 playoff games with 3 different QBs.

So what do all these effective GMs have in common and what do they do that makes them effective?

  • They are accountable to win playoff games or they’re gone. None of these guys get to keep their jobs if they don’t win playoff games. They answer to the owner and his goals.
  • They have all worked in multiple NFL organizations- Unlike JJ and SJ, the best GMs have all worked for multiple NFL teams and have learned some best practices.
  • They are relatively young men- the five best GMs avg age is 49.
  • Because they are young, they have a modern approach to the cap and free agency. While Stephen Jones drones on about keeping the cap limits in mind, the 5 best GMs are saying “Hold my beer“ and winning playoff games in gobs.
  • They cut, trade or release veteran players a year early, not when it’s obvious they’re done and are willing to make bold moves. Look at some examples of this:
    • Chiefs GM Brett Veach traded Tyreek Hill who was an All Pro WR before his big contract payday hit. He acquired multiple draft picks In return. Cut Pro Bowl S Tyron Matthieu before others saw his decline. The chiefs D is actually better this year.
    • Rams GM Les Snead traded his #1 QB Jared Goff who had already taken them to a SB in exchange for a veteran QB in Matt Stafford who helped them win a SB in 2021.
    • Niners GM John Lynch drafted QB Trey Lance in first round in 2021, despite having Jimmy Garropolo who had already taken them to a SB. THEN he drafted Brock Purdy in 7th round last year. (You should draft QBs often)

Bottom Line: The best GMs are young, accountable for winning playoff games or they’re fired, have worked in multiple NFL organizations, and are aggressive with the cap, free agency and trades.

I wish Jerry would be open to hiring a young assistant GM who could be a front office whisperer. Because if JJ keeps doing it “his way” we all know how that ends every year.

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