Here’s something Patriots fans will love to hear: Another Jets employee is joining the league office.
But Rod Graves, the NFL’s new senior V.P. of football administration and club services, only spent a year or so in New York. He previously served as G.M. of the Cardinals.
Per a league source, the NFL has hired Graves to “oversee all club and game-related initiatives concerning the Competition Committee, general managers, and head coaches,” according to the email communicating the hire to the teams. Graves also will “develop and implement new strategic programs within our Football Development group,” which includes the Scouting Combine, the Regional Combines, high school initiatives, and the Career Development Symposium.
While the memo doesn’t specifically state that Graves is replacing long-time league employee Joel Bussert, who retired earlier this year, the email mentions Bussert and explains the latest move as something that “will streamline our leadership and help us deliver clarity, credibility, and consistency to our clubs, players, fans, and colleagues.”
It doesn’t take a genius (which qualifies me immensely) to read between the lines. Graves will be expected, among other things, to prevent hiccups from becoming hash tags. Current leadership failed to do that on January 18, 2015, and the pungent fumes of #DeflateGate not only undermined the Super Bowl but will now hover over the start of a new season, and possibly all of it.