The NFL is an active league with a general manager, president and scouts in every front office. Executives in the NFL are tasked with selecting players, trading players and evaluating talent during the season. This article is a story of the five worst executive teams in NFL history. The teams that are not very good at talent management have never been good, and their lack of success shows in their record.
#1: Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have long been one of the worst evaluators of talent in the NFL, and they routinely squander draft picks that are used on players who do not perform as they should. The front office of the Falcons has lost money on the selection of Michael Vick became embroiled in a dog fighting scandal, and they once had Brett Favre on the roster before he was traded to Green Bay.
Michael Vick was a waste of money as his $100 million contract was lost when he went to prison. The team hired Bobby Petrino to see him leave for Arkansas in the middle of the season, and they once had Rankin Smith’s personal accountant serving as their general manager. The team spends more time and money on personnel today, but they miss on picks as much as they hit.
#2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa once had Steve Young on the roster only to let him go to the 49ers. The team was once quite good at selecting players under Rich McKay and Jon Gruden, but they have reverted to a poor selection style in recent years. They have Jameis Winston on the roster, but he cannot make up for years upon years after Jon Gruden of bad drafting. The departure of Rich McKay for the Falcons stripped the team of a fine executive, and the team struggles in the NFC South with a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback.
#3: Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders were once the most-talented team in the NFL with Al Davis, Tom Flores or John Madden. The team was rife with steroid use, and it was reported widely in the 80s and 90s with the death of Lyle Alzado. The Raiders have sunk to a level that is so low they cannot possibly get any worse. They allowed their team to become the place where the malcontents play, and they are only now becoming better at choosing players. Their overall record speaks for itself.
#4: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are run in totality by Jerry Jones, and he alone is the reason the team does not draft well. He owns the team, and he may do as he chooses. He chooses wrongly without the advice of a general manager, and he has created a culture with the Cowboys that values his opinion over common sense. They spent years without winning a playoff game, and Jerry has clashed with every coach he has hired. Firing Tom Landry, firing Jimmy Johnson and firing Bill Parcells does little to inspire confidence in the fan base.
#5: Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns have not carried a fine player on their roster since Bernie Kozar was their quarterback, and they have not played well as an expansion franchise. The team is searching for a quarterback, they have let go of their best player due to drug problems and they are relying on a washed up ex-first round pick. They are not in a position to improve without a better front office.
Each of the five front offices have performed so badly they cannot succeed irrespective of talent. They have no one to blame but their own executives.