The 2014 movie Draft Day gave a glimpse into the work of an NFL general manager.
Forget about the drama regarding Kevin Costner not honoring his father’s death, but it’s as close to the real thing as it can be.
The film showed bickering with the head coach, front office personnel trying to influence the pick, and the continuous evaluation of talent.
The trade at the end, which gave back the Cleveland Browns’ first-round picks for three years, maybe overkill.
However, the entire motion picture showed how stressful the role could be.
As much as I love college football, the NFL Draft, and Kevin Costner… I'd like to remind everyone Draft Day is one of the single worst sports movies ever.
This concludes my Ted Talk. pic.twitter.com/3InvKMwu7j
— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) April 29, 2021
Aside from assessing the right players to draft, general managers must also negotiate with agents to retain key players or acquire them from other teams.
Likewise, they must crunch all the numbers to ensure that the team goes under the hard salary cap.
The rewards are Super Bowl titles and All-Pro players if they do their job well.
Unfortunately, this high-paying role also comes with risks.
The franchise’s future rests in your decisions, and one mistake can further drive the team into the cellar.
A series of mistakes can lead to their firing by Black Monday.
It's black Monday in the NFL. In Cleveland, there's no autopsy to perform. No obituary to write. No list of GMs or coaches to cultivate. No quarterbacks to wish for. No dreaming of a top-5 draft pick to someday turn things around. The #Browns have a playoff game to prepare for.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) January 4, 2021
It’s the head coaches who often get the boot, but general managers are not safe from the purge, especially if they’ve done an egregious job.
Sadly, it’s justifiable for these three general managers to lose their job in a week or two.
The misery that their choices inflicted is too much to bear, and they need to go.
This list will not consider rookie general managers for now to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Instead, these people have been in the game for so long and did not bail themselves out.
It would be a miracle if these executives would get another front-office role.
3. Ryan Pace
The Chicago Bears made the playoffs twice during Pace’s tenure as general manager.
However, they were fringe postseason teams that did not make it past the Wild Card round.
Last season, the Bears’ hot streak to clinch the final NFC playoff spot fizzled a bit of heat off his seat.
Dream offseason for the #Bears:
• Fire Matt Nagy & Ryan Pace
• Teven Jenkins recovers and becomes a legit OT
• Draft a cornerback to start alongside Jaylon Johnson
• Find a new center
• Extend Allen Robinson & Roquan Smith
• Hire literally anyone at HC it can’t get worse
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) September 26, 2021
Justin Fields can also be his saving grace if he pans out to be a reliable starter.
Their current offensive line problems are unsurprising, considering that the Bears drafted three linemen during Pace’s reign.
2. Dave Gettleman
The New York Giants have yet to reach the playoffs with Gettleman at the helm.
He initially hit the jackpot when second overall pick Saquon Barkley became Offensive Rookie of the Year, a Pro Bowler, and a First-Team All-Pro in the same season.
But that was a distant memory, especially after the former Penn State standout missed all but two games last year.
The #Giants are 0-3 despite having more draft capital than any team BY FAR over the last four years AND an owner who let his GM dip deep into future cap and spend more than all but 3 teams this year.
I hope this finally ends the defending Dave Gettleman BS from this fanbase.
— Dan Schneier (@DanSchneierNFL) September 26, 2021
He is healthy once again but is in limited participation during practices and actual games.
Instead, he selected Daniel Jones, and the Giants are still winless after three games this season.
1. Joe Douglas
Football in New York is terrible as of late, but the Jets are worse than the Giants.
Douglas has a hand in prolonging their playoff drought that dates back to 2011.
However, one of his picks panned out but for another team.
Sam Darnold has a solid start to the 2021 season with 888 passing yards and three touchdowns in three games.
I just want to watch a competent offense.
I want the illusion that a big play can happen.
I want an offense that looks competitive.
This shouldn’t be too much to ask for in Year 3 of the Joe Douglas era.
— The Jet Press (@TheJetPress) September 26, 2021
Mekhi Becton is also a nice pick-up in the 2020 draft, but they are still devoid of talent in the skill positions.
Douglas also traded away Jamal Adams for three picks in two seasons.
The Jets eventually traded one of those picks, the 2021 first-rounder, to the Minnesota Vikings for the 14th pick.
Douglas used the slot to select Alijah Vera-Tucker while Minnesota got Christian Darrisaw.