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Taking a look at General Managers who could be taking a hike

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As the NFL-following world focuses on the coaches who inevitably will, or won’t, be fired, it makes sense to at least ponder the General Managers who will, or won’t, be relieved of their duties, too.

Last year, six General Managers were fired during or after the season, with the Jets, Jaguars, Chargers, Chiefs, Panthers, and Cardinals all breaking in new front-office bosses for 2013.  (In Buffalo, Buddy Nix retired, passing the baton to Doug Whaley.)  This year, it’s safe to assume that, somewhere, changes will be made.

So let’s take a look at the guys who could be taking a hike, in no particular order (other than my own meandering path through the eight NFL divisions).

In Miami, Jeff Ireland’s fate could be tied to making it to the playoffs.  At one point, it seemed to be a done deal that Ireland would be done with the Dolphins.  With the team improving significantly in recent weeks — and with the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito situation dying down — Ireland could be safe.

In Pittsburgh, Kevin Colbert is not believed to be in any danger, even though the Steelers haven’t done a good job of reloading the roster with young players who can step in and step up.  (If the Steelers finagle an unlikely-but-not-impossible path to the postseason, there’s no way a change at G.M. would even be considered.)

For the Titans, the speculation has centered on coach Mike Munchak.  Some think G.M. Ruston Webster could go, too.  One league insider pegged Webster’s chances of staying at 50-50.

Of all the high-level employees in Oakland, only G.M. Reggie McKenzie is believed to be safe.  But he may not be.  While coach Dennis Allen likely will be the first to go, McKenzie could be gone, too — especially if the coach whom Mark Davis hires would want to full control or his own guy picking players.

In July, Giants G.M. Jerry Reese had some ominous words, for everyone:  “All I know is that we’ve been in the playoffs one time in the last four years and that’s really not acceptable for us,” Reese said at the time.  ”That’s not our standards.  That’s not what we shoot for.  We want to put everybody on notice, myself, everybody is on notice that that’s not our standard.”

This year has been even worse.  While the dip can be blamed on injuries, it’s the General Manager’s job to ensure that depth is in place.  If Reese’s words weren’t merely rhetoric, he’s in trouble.

Bruce Allen, who was hired to set the table for Mike Shanahan, is believed to be safe in Washington even though Shanahan likely won’t be back.  Whether by virtue of his family name or his innate political skills, Allen likely has done enough to stick around to work with the next head coach.

In Detroit, Martin Mayhew could end up on the outs along with Jim Schwartz.  While Mayhew has put together a roster of talented players, they’re undisciplined.  And that’s part of the challenge when it comes to finding the right players.

Rick Spielman’s status in Minnesota depends, as one league source put it, on the standard that applies to him.  If his status will be determined based on wins and losses, Spielman could be in trouble.  If it’s based on whether he’s a good guy who has done a good but not great job of putting a team together (but a not-so-great job of finding quarterbacks), he likely sticks around.

For the Buccaneers, there’s a school of thought that Greg Schiano will do enough not only to save his job but also to get his own guy hired at G.M.  Which would mean that Mark Dominik would be out.

In Atlanta, there’s been some chatter that Thomas Dimitroff could be out.  And that’s ridiculous.  Five years, five winning seasons.  While the seat could warm up considerably if there’s a second straight losing season, it would be foolish to blow up the front office of a franchise that, before Dimitroff arrived, never had consecutive winning seasons and endured a nightmare in 2007.

Last week, we mentioned that there’s talk Les Snead could be out in St. Louis.  There was no direct, on-the-record denial, but it would still be a surprise if Snead doesn’t return.

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28 Responses to “Taking a look at General Managers who could be taking a hike”
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers says: Dec 22, 2013 2:27 PM

    Teams have been trying to emulate the Steelers for years. No one else gets it right.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 22, 2013 2:36 PM

    Well I’ll keep my comments short on just the 2 names that interest me the most to talk about otherwise I will write a page and a half on all the GMs in the league and nobody wants to see that!

    Ireland – I’d be shocked to see him go. Such a huge amount of buyout money plus Ross seems to really like him all things considered. If the Dolphins lose both games, then I still think he won’t be fired.

    Mayhew – For a long time now I have been saying this is the #1 problem with the Lions. I understand now at this point that Mayhew hasn’t exactly had all the powers I thought he has had, but that’s still not enough to lose focus of the key issue. The Lions need somebody with a clearly defined GM role and power, and they need to just get that one right person for that job so that discipline can flow down through all aspects of the organization. If they can do that, then I’ll be happy and things in Detroit can be drastically different. We can be champions any time we want, but we have to get THIS assignment filled properly. That’s ALL I care about and ALL I really want for Christmas, which is May for me.

  3. qwerty007qwerty007 says: Dec 22, 2013 2:37 PM

    How about that GM they have in Dallas? Is he on the hot seat?

  4. arlingtonsynn says: Dec 22, 2013 2:38 PM

    And in Dallas… Jerry Jones is believed to be safe.

    This is widely accepted as a positive for the other NFC East teams.

  5. jimmysee says: Dec 22, 2013 2:40 PM

    If Mark Davis makes the colossal mistake of firing Reggie McKenzie, he is welcome back home to Green Bay.

  6. vikesfan320 says: Dec 22, 2013 2:41 PM

    I think it’s unfair to blame the lack of Lion’s discipline on the GM when most players come disciplined until Schwartz gets ahold of them… He’s the reason they’re all undisciplined

  7. Joemontanaflacco says: Dec 22, 2013 2:41 PM

    “Teams have been trying to emulate the Steelers for years. No one else gets it right.”

    For many teams, emulating the Steelers would mean losing at least half your games. Not exactly a popular strategy, but if if works for Steelers’ fan, go for it!

  8. smcgaels1997 says: Dec 22, 2013 2:43 PM

    Yeah..Pittsburgh is a force this year

  9. ampats says: Dec 22, 2013 2:44 PM

    Everyone knows the GM that should have been fired a long time ago if he didn’t own the team.

  10. chc4 says: Dec 22, 2013 2:44 PM

    I live in Atlanta and haven’t heard a single peep about Dimitroff being anything other than 100% safe. This “chatter” you speak of must be a function of too much egg nog.

  11. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 22, 2013 2:46 PM

    Please fire Mayhew

  12. warnocker says: Dec 22, 2013 2:50 PM

    I’m not a Dolphins fan but I’ve been dying to read Miami fires Jeff Ireland

  13. medialovesthecowboys says: Dec 22, 2013 2:51 PM

    Of course the general manager of the Cowboys will be safe…

  14. titansbro says: Dec 22, 2013 2:52 PM

    Ruston Webster has actually done a sneaky good job drafting & signing FAs. The Titans just really need a new HC.

  15. jerrykill4pres says: Dec 22, 2013 2:55 PM

    Spielman could be had by any of you!

    I’d even offer up some money if some team would try to hire him away. I don’t think I would shed a tear if he left, was fired, retired, or hired away from here.

  16. jackm79 says: Dec 22, 2013 2:57 PM

    As for Jerry Reese, how could any owner walk into the general managers office and say, I know you’ve won 2 Super Bowls in your 7 years on the job, but you’re fired.

    That’s not going to happen, nor should it.

  17. Nofoolnodrool says: Dec 22, 2013 3:05 PM

    “Teams have been trying to emulate the Steelers for years. No one else gets it right.”

    For many teams, emulating the Steelers would mean losing at least half your games. Not exactly a popular strategy, but if if works for Steelers’ fan, go for it!

    For someone posting on every thread of the steelers the steelers must be doing something right to capture the imagination of such a genius.
    In other interesting news the steelers may need to think about putting Colbert on notice if he isn’t already.

  18. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 22, 2013 3:07 PM

    Can we please stop with the jokes about the Cowboys firing their GM? We all get it. The GM is the owner. Ha ha ha. It just isn’t funny anymore. It never really was. I can’t stand Dallas but I swear I’ve heard some variation of that “joke” a thousand times here. It’s very unoriginal at this point.

  19. Nofoolnodrool says: Dec 22, 2013 3:17 PM

    For many teams, emulating the Steelers would mean losing at least half your games. Not exactly a popular strategy, but if if works for Steelers’ fan, go for it!

    The ravens appear to like that strategy this year, but heck they want to be the steelers all the time just like you want to be a steeler fan.

  20. promickey says: Dec 22, 2013 3:27 PM

    If the owner does not fire Ireland he should at the very least take away some of his final decision making powers on player personnel.

  21. moneymike23 says: Dec 22, 2013 3:41 PM

    Spielmen took Ponder in the 1st round and signed Freeman….enough said.

  22. savojah says: Dec 22, 2013 3:43 PM

    McKenzie needs to go. He’s made too many personnel errors. And we still have no foundation that justified firing Hue Jackson and cutting all the players he did. The Raiders were going in the right direction with Jackson.

  23. realfootballfan says: Dec 22, 2013 3:57 PM

    In Tampas situation, if they did hand Schiano more power when he still has the same underlying problems of conservative offensive philosophy, it’s no wonder why that franchise has been horrible for most of its existance.

  24. labucs says: Dec 22, 2013 4:15 PM

    If Mark Dominic is not fired that means that the Glazer’s are ordering him to make lame decisions like the Revis trade.

  25. badmoonrison says: Dec 22, 2013 4:17 PM

    Give Dennis Allen at least 1 more year. Be patient. The franchise was a mess after Al died.

  26. evilglazers666 says: Dec 22, 2013 5:20 PM

    Fire Schiano and sell the Bucs to a decent owner. That is all.

  27. pologroundsvet says: Dec 23, 2013 8:34 AM

    The time may be right for the Giants to do a Jim Irsay and start all over while there is still a reasonable base of talent to work with.

  28. lagg1 says: Dec 26, 2013 5:47 PM

    Teams should try to emulate the Baltimore Ravens-assuming the Ravens do not make the playoffs-that makes 9 playoffs in 14 years-3 AFC title games-two SB wins. Why because Ozzie and his staff have a system which they adhere to all the time in evaluations and it works-see Darnell Ellerbe, Bart Scott, Marlon Brown, Jameel McClain and Justin Tucker- all undrafted free agents.

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