Being a general manager in the NFL isn’t easy. They’re usually responsible for evaluating talent, managing free agency, the salary cap, and they catch a lot of heat when things go poorly. It’s not a job that just any person off the street can handle — or is it?
The qualifications to be a GM might not be as strict as you’d imagine. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in March that Washington was considering NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock as its next general manager. ESPN’s Louis Riddick was a candidate for the 49ers’ job before former NFL player John Lynch ultimately got the reins. In the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers recently hired Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, as theirs.
So we decided to come up with a variety of people — some real, some fictional, some not even human — who could be the newest GMs in the NFL. Here are our picks for all 32 teams:
Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald would be an aggressive GM. He hasn’t gotten his coveted Lombardi Trophy, despite coming ever so close against the Steelers in 2009. Assuming he doesn’t win a title as a player, believe Fitzgerald would do everything in his power to win a ring as a GM.
Atlanta Falcons, Quavo
Quavo played some quarterback in high school, and has even shown off his pinpoint accuracy recently. GM Quavo would be calling teams asking “what’s the price?” while telling other teams calling “Get Right Witcha.” He’d even wear a T-shirt.
Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis
We don’t know what you’d get out of Lewis as your GM. One thing we do know, is that he’s going to hit you with a fiery, passionate speech. Hey, if the team gets thin at linebacker, he might even throw the pads back on.
Buffalo Bills, Donald Trump
If Trump had bought the franchise three years ago like he wanted, it would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.
Carolina Panthers, Petey Pablo
NORTH CAROLINAAAAAAA! How else would the Panthers “Raise Up”?
Chicago Bears, Kevin McCallister
If 8-year-old Kevin McCallister could torment a couple of bungling burglars all by himself back in 1990, just imagine what 35-year-old Kevin McCallister could do to stop the Bears from the mayhem they're creating in Chicago.
Cincinnati Bengals, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson
Johnson understands the game as a player and has the personality of an entertainer. He’d be able to make good personnel decisions and keep fans coming back for more. Plus, he could probably squeeze in some FIFA matches against fans at Paul Brown Stadium.
Cleveland Browns, LeBron James
Last week, LeBron James told the Cleveland media that he has nothing left to prove. Sure, he ended a 52-year championship drought in Cleveland, but there’s one thing he hasn’t done in his storied career: bring the Lombardi Trophy home to the city. James is arguably the greatest basketball player ever and he knows how to win. He also wants the Browns to be great, which is half the battle.
Dallas Cowboys, Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington is a Cowboys fan who has visited the team on numerous occasions.
Denzel isn’t just a two-time Academy Award-winning actor. He’s also an acclaimed director who you could trust to take control of the roster from Jerry Jones. He could negotiate contracts with players in character as Alonzo from Training Day and he’d get results. As Alonzo says “You’ve got to be a wolf to catch a wolf.”
Denver Broncos, Chauncey Billups
Billups was one of the better point guards in the NBA during his career. He masterfully led the Pistons to a Larry O’Brien trophy, and played for his hometown Nuggets for a couple seasons. With his sharp and quick decision-making, the Denver native could, at the very least, figure out a solution to the Broncos’ quarterback situation.
Detroit Lions, Aretha Franklin
Finally, a way for the Lions to get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Green Bay Packers, a random person from Green Bay
They already own the team, so why not make the GM a member of the community, too? Packers fans love their team, and you’d better believe that if given the reins, they’d find a way to be successful. Of course, a lot of the decisions would also probably be crowdsourced.
Houston Texans, Bill Belichick
The Texans are basically the JV version of the Patriots. Their coaching staff is largely built on former members of the Patriots, but they can't measure up to them on the field. The best way to fix that? Put the guy behind all of the Patriots' moves in charge of the Texans' front office. Bill Belichick is someone who would probably rather die than retire, so this way, he can scale back his responsibilities while also working closely with coaching disciple Bill O’Brien. It's a solution that works for everyone (except the Patriots).
Indianapolis Colts, The orangutan
The Colts finally fired Ryan Grigson this year, and they had a productive offseason and a solid draft. It’s pretty clear letting the orangutan from the zoo make three of those picks was a stroke of brilliance. Just let him run the whole dang team. As an added bonus it will really piss off Mike Mayock.
Jacksonville Jaguars, Theo Epstein
Epstein successfully ended the two longest championship droughts in baseball with the Red Sox and Cubs. Seeing him control an NFL franchise, one that has been particularly awful like the Jags, would be fun to watch.
Kansas City Chiefs, Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd loves the Chiefs. He’d do anything for them, including dressing up as Santa to greet the team after a late-season win over the Browns. That’s why he’s the ideal choice for Kansas City’s new GM. Not only that, but during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Podcast, Rudd showed that he has the depth of knowledge to do the job well. And he never ages, so he could be in charge for a long, long time.
Los Angeles Chargers, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold’s done so much with his life. Greatest bodybuilder of all time? Check. Two-term governor of California? Double check. Starring as the Terminator in the original and three sequels? Quadruple check. Mostly, it would be wonderful to watch him end every press conference with “Go Chargers, Go!”
Los Angeles Rams, Eric Dickerson
The man reached folk hero status when he called out the terrible effort from Jeff Fisher’s team. That’s more vision than the Rams have had in years.
Miami Dolphins, Pitbull
All Pitbull does is make hits. I mean, who better to call the shots for the Dolphins than Mr. 305 himself? Give him the keys to a franchise that hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1984 season, when Pitbull was 3 years old, and watch the Fins thrive.
Minnesota Vikings, Morris Day
If Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater can’t stay healthy in Minnesota, Day can always call 777-9311 to negotiate a trade for a new quarterback. Every time the Vikings win a game next, you can expect Day to perform The Bird. A football game and a dance routine under the same roof? Sundays in Minnesota will never be the same.
New England Patriots, Mark Wahlberg
If anyone epitomizes Patriots fandom, it’s Mark Wahlberg, one of Boston’s most famous native sons. Wahlberg also has some football experience, technically, from playing Vince Papale in the movie Invincible. Sure, it may seem like a stretch for the former frontman of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to become a general manager, but we all know Bill Belichick is going to run that team, anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
New Orleans Saints, King Cake Baby
Right now, Mickey Loomis is pulling double duty as the Saints’ GM and the head of basketball operations for the Pelicans. That’s a lot, so it’s time for the Saints to turn to the Pelicans’ seasonal Mardi Gras mascot, King Cake Baby, to take the reins. King Cake Baby is terrifying, but he has a tendency to win people over, which is a key skill for a general manager.
New York Giants, Jay Z
Jay Z practically has the keys to New York, and the Giants need him. He could create a blueprint, and make moves that would lead to another Giants Super Bowl appearance before the youngest Manning has to hang it up. He is a successful businessman, after all. He could make those final adjustments for Big Blue.
New York Jets, LaVar Ball
Believe it or not, he briefly played for the Jets at one point. Since then, he's been attempting to build a basketball empire. With his three sons Lonzo, LaMelo, and LiAngelo, he's gained national attention for Big Baller Brand. The Jets need a GM who is willing to take risks, and aim bigger than ever before. LaVar is not afraid to do that.
Oakland Raiders, Ice Cube
He had a successful career behind the mic as a rapper. He’s had a successful career acting. Clearly he’s capable at succeeding in whatever he does at a high level, so promote Reggie McKenzie and pass the sticks to Cube.
Philadelphia Eagles, Allen Iverson
He’s a city staple and a new member of the NBA Hall of Fame. Plus he’s the best interview. Even if he didn’t demand players give their all during the week, they’d at least be expected to be game-ready come Sunday. “We're talking about practice!”
Pittsburgh Steelers, James Harrison
James Harrison the GM could make any deal happen. Why? Because he could bully other teams into doing whatever he wanted, of course. He’s that strong.
San Francisco 49ers, Bob Myers
Bob Myers did one heck of a job turning the Golden State Warriors into an NBA superpower. They hit on draft picks like Steph Curry, who turned into a two-time NBA MVP. They also drafted Klay Thompson, who has turned into one of the best shooters of all time, as well as second-round steal Draymond Green. Not to mention, they signed a guy named Kevin Durant this past offseason. A similar level of success would likely be impossible for an NFL franchise. If there’s a list of guys who could pull it off, it’s Myers.
Seattle Seahawks, Air Bud
Twenty years ago, Air Bud found a home in Washington state with a young boy in need of a friend. Not only was Air Bud a trustworthy confidant with a magnificent golden mane, he was an athletic marvel who won a basketball championship — and the hearts of America. He went on to wow us with his football skills in Air Bud: Golden Receiver, and even made his way on the Seattle Seahawks’ field, where he caught a touchdown pass from Warren Moon:
The Seahawks are doing fine for themselves, but if we've learned one thing from the immortal (AIR BUD CAN NEVER DIE) dog's many sequels, it's that Air Bud can make any team, in any sport, better.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kairi Hojo
OK, so we can all agree the Bucs need an actual pirate running this ship. But rather than a cliche option like Jack Sparrow or Blackbeard, let’s go into the world of Japanese women’s wrestling and pick the Pirate Princess herself, Kairi Hojo.
Besides being wise in all the pirating ways, Hojo also has the cutthroat tactics needed to succeed at GM. All she has to do is threaten to drop the world’s sickest elbow if teams balk at her trade offers. Would someone like that draft a kicker in the second round? Didn’t think so.
Also, Hojo is expected to join NXT in Orlando soon, so it’s a short commute to the Bucs’ headquarters. Win-win, in my opinion.
Tennessee Titans, Victoria Principal
Does the one-time Pamela Ewing (ask your mother) even like football? No idea. Has she ever been to Tennessee? Beats me. But she knows how to run a business, thanks to her successful skin care line that has netted her, apparently, $200 million. Plus, the last thing she ever acted in was the short-lived nighttime soap Titans. Kismet!
Washington, Jacqueline White
Putting Kimmy Schmidt’s former boss in charge of the team is the easiest way to get them to change their nickname.