Eagles general manager Howie Roseman doesn’t have the best track record among the team's fan base right now. But one high-ranking former co-worker can’t find enough praise for the Birds’ top personnel man.
Browns GM Andrew Berry, who spent the 2019 season as the Eagles' VP of football operations, was a guest on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, and he was asked if he believes Roseman is the best GM in the NFL.
“I do," he said. "And I feel fortunate to have worked for Howie for a year in Philadelphia. I just think Howie’s skill set — I think anyone who has been in a general manager’s position or close to a general manager’s position has probably an appreciation for the breadth of responsibilities that are on a general manager’s plate.”
Wow. While it’s true, many of us don’t know everything that goes into being the GM of an NFL team, I’m not sure any Eagles fan would rank Roseman at the top of the list of NFL GMs.
“I think oftentimes the role is just viewed as just, ‘Hey, just go pick players in the draft,’ and really the responsibilities are a lot broader," Berry said. "With Howie ... very smart, good with people, highly strategic and he’s a guy who knows college scouting, pro scouting, contract management, research and strategy, day-to-day operations. I think it’s hard to acquire all those skills and it’s hard to find individuals who are highly competent across all those football operations domains. I think just his track record of decision-making, throughout his time in the job, does speak for itself.”
We’re not sure how good an NFL GM Berry is yet, but he can be my hype man any day. That’s quite a list of skills he put out there.
Let’s take those one at a time. I think it’s fair to say that Roseman is highly intelligent, no matter what you think of him. You don’t run across a lot of dummies who have a JD degree from Fordham Law School.
Good with people is a sticky point, but NFL GMs have to make a lot of difficult decisions about personnel that everyone won’t agree with, even those within the organization. And Berry mentioned Roseman's ability to get to know his players as one of the main things he learned from Roseman when he was introduced as Browns GM last year.
The college and pro scouting bit is one that most fans will have the most trouble believing. One Pro Bowler drafted in seven seasons (we won’t count the 2021 draft, because duh) is not a terrific track record. It’s indisputable. His batting average needs to dramatically improve in this area.
Contract management? You’ll be hard-pressed to find a GM better. Roseman crunches the numbers like John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind." Remember all the worries that the Eagles were in cap hell just a few months ago? Ancient history. He got his team cap compliant despite nearly $40 million in dead cap money. Yes, you can argue it was in some ways Roseman’s fault they were there in the first place, but the fact that he got them out so quickly, and cooks the books like a champ every year, is a marvel.
As far as research and strategy, you can comfortably say that Roseman doesn’t make any decision without thoroughly weighing things out first. Although, the jury is still out on drafting Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 draft.
I suppose we will have to take Berry’s word on Roseman’s acumen handling day-to-day operations. Because aside from the major elements of the job mentioned above, not many people are paying attention to the minutiae that NFL GMs have to deal with on any given day.
Roseman is far from the worst GM in the game, but ranking him No. 1 is a bit of a stretch, even coming from someone as bright and accomplished as Berry.
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