Being an NFL GM comes with a lot of pressure. They can do all the work they want scouting and projecting how players will fit into their teams but all they can do is hand over their new acquisitions to the coaching staff and hope they are able to unlock their potential. GMs also face pressure that is unseen to the public eye. Ownership could be requiring the GM to make moves that increase fan interest for the season or increase the team’s bottom line.
The purpose of this article is to take a look at the current NFL GM’s and determine which of them might find themselves in the unemployment line this offseason. The main criteria used to determine these GM’s is the team’s current record, overall team record from the last couple of seasons, and current roster outlook.
This year is a little different than most since there are so many 1st and 2nd year GMs. Typically (unless you own the Browns) organizations keep GM’s around for at least three years before firing them and this makes sense because you can’t really evaluate a GM’s performance in the first couple of years. Without further adieu, let’s look at GM’s on the hot seat.
Pack YOUR Bags
Giants: Dave Gettleman
Year Hired: 2018
This is Gettleman’s second attempt at being a GM and it is not going near as well as his time in Carolina. When he was fired from that job, it came as a surprise as he had a record of 51-28-1 and the Panthers had postseason wins. When he gets fired from this job, nobody will be surprised.
Free Agent Results:
Gentleman has mostly struck out when it comes to big ticket FA signings. Nate Solder who he signed to a 4 years, $62 million contract was a major flop. Golden Tate (who happened to be the biggest free agent signing the next year) wasn’t much better. James Bradberry and Blake Martinez have been decent additions to the team but they are only on the second year of their contracts.
Gentleman has had six first round draft picks in his four years with the Giants and none of them have been too impressive. Based on the value of RB in the modern NFL, the Barkley pick looked bad when it was made but even worse now. Barkley has been a mediocre NFL running back with injury problems. His rookie contract is not the cost savings that most teams expect since he gets paid a good amount based on his draft position. The Daniel Jones pick is almost assuredly going to be a bust and the Deandre Baker pick is definitely a bust. None of his 1st round draft picks have been home runs and the best player he has selected in the first round (Andrew Thomas) might not even be the best tackle in the draft, despite being selected first. When looking through the other rounds of the draft, it is hard to argue that he is doing a good job. Some of the players that he has drafted have gotten playing time–but when you have been predominantly picking at the top of every round, more production should be expected.
Gentleman has done a decent job when it comes to trades. The trade that sent Olivier Vernon and Odell Beckham Jr to the Browns worked out better for the Giants and the trade for Leonard Williams also was a good trade. He also gets positive marks for being able to trade back a couple times in the 2021 NFL draft and pick up more draft capital.
Gentleman has not pulled the Giants up into a contending team and he has made some cardinal GM sins. GMs usually get a couple years once they draft a rookie QB, but the Jones’ experiment is basically over and so should Gentleman’s time be with the GIants. He has already axed one head coach in his tenure and the next head on the chopping block should be his.
Raiders: Mike “Maybe a GM” Mayock
Year Hired: 2019
It’s hard to really judge how effective of a GM he has been since it is very apparent that Jon Gruden was the one that made the final decision. This is probably more of a good thing for Mayock since many of the decisions that have been made since he has been the GM have been head scratchers. Will the Raiders keep Mayock around now that Gruden is no longer the GM? The Raiders have a winning record this year and are a competent team but I think the writing is on the wall for Mayock and he should be sending his resume out now.
Young QBs to the Rescue
These two teams have the same thing in common that usually gives a GM a get out of jail card. They both just drafted QBs in the first round this offseason and the verdict is still out on them. Ryan Pace barely held onto his jobs with the Bears this offseason. With the way things are going, it is almost certain that either he or Nagy (or both) are going to get the axe this offseason. The Jets have a reputation of not giving their GM’s much time and Joe Douglas should remember this. One thing that is in Douglases favor was that he wasn’t the GM that hired Adam Gase but one coach has already been fired since he’s been GM and his time might be approaching quickly especially if Zach Wilson doesn’t become the franchise saving QB that he has been billed as.
Old and Reliable Steads
Seahawks, Vikings, Saints
All three of these teams have had the current GM in the organization for a respectable amount of time. Each of them are facing the possibility of a losing record this season with very real problems within their teams. All three of these teams have a big question mark at their QBs. The Seahawks have a potential HOF QB on their roster but he wants out and there seems to be a real division between him and the front office. The Vikings have been sticking to the Cousins experiment for quite some time–does anyone actually think they can win a Superbowl with him? The Saints are in the worst position of all of them. They have been pushing their salary cap down the road for a decade and it is really starting to affect their roster construction. They have no real answers at QB and while they still have several really strong pieces it should be argued that they would be better off in the long run blowing it all up and restarting from scratch.
Dave Gettleman and Mike Mayock are going to be looking for a new job in the next few weeks but who else will be joining him. I predict that there will be at least two more GM’s that will also be joining them, one from each of the categories that were listed. From the first category I am almost certain that the Bears will move on from Pace this offseason. Matt Nagy probably won’t make it to the offseason at this point and I don’t think the Bears will be able to find any reason to start the next chapter of their franchise with Pace leading the charge. Douglas should find himself with one more season to prove that he is the answer for the Jets but most likely he will be joining the rest of these GM”s in the unemployment line next season.
It is much more difficult predicting which of the three GM’s listed in the second category will be handed their pink slip but I think the most likely of the three would be John Schneider of the Seahawks. He has had a great run with the Seahawks but their organization is one that is in decline without many answers to the problems that their team faces. I think this would be a great time to move on from Schneider and Carroll and start anew. Carroll is an older coach and I don’t think he has or will learn any new tricks that will bring the Seahawks back to their glory days. For the other two GM’s I think they both keep their jobs. I think the Vikings are much more likely to fire Mike Zimmer and keep Spielman but they might decide to fire both of them. The Saints salary cap is a mess and they don’t have a QB that inspires any real hope but Sean Payton is still a great coach and won’t be going anywhere. Because of this I don’t think the Saints will do anything with Loomis but even if they did I think it would be hard for the Saints to attract the top tier talent with the mess they have made.
Dave Gettleman, Giants; Mike Mayock, Raiders; Ryan Pace, Bears; John Schneider, Seahawks.
If you would like to see any more details on why I think some of these GM’s are on the hot seat or think that there is another GM that is going to get the axe let me know and maybe I’ll do a breakdown on them and see what their chances are.