Saturday, November 24, 2012

Think Your Boss Sucks? Be Thankful You're Not Working Here

There is talk all around the league about bad front offices.  Whether it is one who talks to the media too much or one that isn't very nice to its employees, the front office of teams is the place where are the fan's anger is directed.  They are in charge of drafting, hiring and firing, player signing, etc.  They are the epitome of the best publicity is no publicity.  If you are saying anything about a team's front office, it is usually bad.  There are some teams that you just continually hear about, and it isn't to give out any awards. 

As you continue reading you will notice there are some formerly obvious teams that have been ommitted.  I took out the Raiders and the Jaguars because I want to see how the next regime will do in charge.  They cannot be as bad as what they have been, right?  You see the plethora of young talent at the quarterback position between the last two years.  Sadly the Raiders are stuck with Terrell Pryor and Blaine Gabbert.  When you think of two teams who need a redo, you think of them.  The Chiefs seem to always make the wrong decision.  They traded for Matt Cassel which worked for one year and then went down the drain fast.  They also hired Romeo Crennel as their head coach (never a smart move).  They don't get in because it wasn't as if the Chiefs were thinking with their pockets over their minds, it just seems like this is that notorious lost season. 

There are also some teams being saved by one savvy move.  The Redskins hold themselves off the list even though they have given Albert Haynesworth a 100 million dollar contract and seemed to have made a Ricky Williams type trade to move up in this year's draft.  Luckily for the incomparable Dan Snyder they got RGIII and he seems to be one of the best rookie quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.  The Bengals could show up here too with the sideshow "insert player who likes to be arrested/fined here", but their recent influx of young talent with the likes of AJ Green and Andy Dalton keep them safe, for now.

Now that we know who isn't in, lets get onto the five who are in.

Cleveland Browns
Owner: Jimmy Haslem
General Manager: Tom Heckert
3 Bad Draft Picks of Last Ten Years:  Kellen Winslow 6th Overall 2004
Braylon Edwards 3rd Overall 2005
Brady Quinn 22nd Overall 2007
3 Bad Signings: Donte Stallworth 2008 7 years $35 million
Jeff Garcia 2004 4 years $25 million
Jake Delhomme 2010 1 year $7 million
I understand that Mr Haslem literally just bought the team and I gave all the other new owners a pass, but it is impossible to have a list like this without adding Cleveland.  Since their reincarnation into the league, the Browns have been atrocious.  They traded the number 5 overall pick to the Jets for three backup players and two picks (including the move down the first round).  After seeing what the Rams pulled in to move down FOUR spots this year you really think the Browns pulled a Cleveland.  The best player in the deal was Kenyon Coleman and he had a whopping four sacks in two years with Cleveland.  Mike Holmgren was brought in to fix the ship, he has already been relieved of his duties following this season after only three years of duty.  When a known quarterback developer has trouble keeping one guy as the starter, that is when you know your front office is in trouble. 

Carolina Panthers
Owner: Jerry Richardson
General Manager: ? (Matt Hurney was fired and no interim replacement has been announced)
3 Bad Draft Picks: Jimmy Clausen 48th Overall 2010
Dwayne Jarrett 45th Overall 2007
Everette Brown 43rd Overall 2009
3 Bad Signings: DeAngelo Williams 5 Years $43 million 2011
Jonathan Stewart 6 years $37.8 million 2012
Charles Johnson 6 years $76 million 2011
The Panthers are a glorious mess right now.  They have a possible future star in Cam Newton, but they have a higher payroll than the Patriots yet have six less wins after eleven games.  They very publicly fired their longtime general manager, which seemed like a decision no one except Richardson approved.  They are very public about too many things and all of their free agent signings make people scratch their heads.  The fact that the Panthers made Charles Johnson the highest paid player in the league in 2011 when he has made as many Pro Bowls as I have is a travesty.  Their biggest goal after a two win season in 2010 was to resign the core of the team.  When you win two games all season you need to do more than resign your guys, they obviously weren't getting it done.  Too bad this front office doesn't recognize that.

Dallas Cowboys
Owner: Jerry Jones
General Manager: see owner
3 Bad Draft Picks: Felix Jones 22nd Overall 2008
Bobby Carpenter 18th 2006
Martellus Bennett 61st 2008
3 Bad Signings: Mike Vanderjagt 3 years $5.4 million 2008
Terrell Owens 4 years 37 million
Tank Johnson 2 years (1st year $255,000 adjusted for suspension)
The Cowboys are a team that I strongly considered leaving off this list.  Then I remembered that they were the team that picked up every reclamation project at once.  You can't have TO, Pacman Jones, and Tank Johnson on the team at the same time.  It is a recipe for disaster.  Then looking at the fact they almost always have the highest payroll in the NFL, but they can hardly even make the playoffs.  They are out done by division rivals New York and Philly all decade.  The media knows better than to take on Cowboy hype because they know "America's team" will find a way to lose.  They always pick the wrong head coach for the job.  They have a pompous owner who refuses to hire anyone else as GM besides himself.  If anyone had the resume of Jerry Jones as GM they would never find another job in the league.  Their players continually go to other teams and perform much better and they cannot seem to play at the level of their talent.  It is a sad time to be a Cowboys fan.

San Diego Chargers
Owner: Alex Spanos
General Manager: AJ Smith
3 Bad Draft Picks: Larry English 16th Overall 2009
Antoine Cason 27th Overall 2008
Craig Davis 30th Overall 2007
3 Bad Signings: Eric Weddle 5 years $40 million 2011
Phillip Rivers 7 years $98 million 2009
Takeo Spikes 3 years $9 million 2011
AJ Smith and Norv Turner are still in San Diego.  After years of underachieving with a great quarterback with a bad attitude, the best running back and tight end in the league and a good defensive unit it only makes sense that you would continually get chances to fail when it counts again.  Smith has made terrible draft decisions as of late.  He doesn't sign any impact free agents and overspends to keep the guys he likes in house.  He is considered way too cocky in contract negotiations.  He has let Drew Brees, Michael Turner, Mike Tolbert, and many others go because he was being cheap.  He is the worst GM in the league.  Worse than Jerry Jones , worse than anyone bad you can think of.  The worst part is he thinks he is much better than he is.  The Chargers have had too many front office blunders to let the reign of Turner and Smith continue, or they will find themselves on any version of this list for eons to come.

New York Jets
Owner: Woody Johnson
General Manager: Mike Tannenbaum
3 Bad Draft Picks: Vernon Gholston 6th Overall 2008\
Mike Nugent 47th Overall 2005
Justin Miller 57th Overall 2005
Bad Signings: Jason Smith 5 years $61.75 million 2009
Brett Favre 1 year $12 million (through trade w/ Packers)
Tim Tebow 5 years $11.2 million (trade w/ Broncos)
The Jets seem to have an inferior complex.  They play in the same stadium as the Giants and seem to have their only goal as being talked about more than them.  Well congrats, that is the case.  That is unless you count the weeks after the regular season end and the postseason begins.  Then all the talk is in regards to that "other" New York team.  The Jets seem to make rash decision based on selling tickets and jerseys.  They hired the brash Rex Ryan to be their coach (even saying that I still think it was a good decision), they traded for Brett Favre and Tim Tebow and brought the circus along with both of them.  Woody Johnson doesn't seem to want to win.  He looks at this team like a business, and I guess I can't blame him, but when you look at the team you are putting on the field and it is this bad then you have to rethink your strategy.  You have Stephen Hill starting at wide receiver.  You gave an incompetent quarterback a guarantee to be back for two years.  Your running backs couldn't be backups on division rivals.  Your defense is old and the draft picks you make are atrocious.  Sorry Jets fans, it is looking like it is going to be another long decade.

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