The best job in any NFL team arguably is team president/CEO. Apart from the compensation package, the position typically entails plenty of security.
Case in point: Each of the three teams that have fired their coaches and General Managers this season have fired none of their presidents. Indeed, it hasn’t even been discussed.
In Detroit, Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said Saturday, via Sports Business Daily, that president/CEO Rod Wood is “not going anywhere” — on the same day G.M. Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia were sent packing.
Wood actually becomes the interim General Manager, as a practical matter. He’ll also be “heavily involved” in the search for a new G.M.
But Wood, who doesn’t work in football operations, won’t be responsible for the fallout from the hiring of Quinn, who eventually fired Jim Caldwell and hired Patricia. For most team presidents, success or failure doesn’t hinge on wins and losses but dollars and cents. Given that every NFL team is printing money, nothing short of a Brewster’s Millions approach to the job will get someone fired.
Right or wrong, that’s just the way it is. Even though some team presidents will find a way to take credit when things go well on the field, they’re the first ones to remind anyone and everyone when things go sideways that the team presidents aren’t involved in football operations — and thus aren’t responsible when a team chronically loses.
While it’s not a lifetime pass (Wood got the job after the Lions fired long-time president Tom Lewand), team presidents tend to get a lot more leeway when a franchise struggles, regardless of whether they should.