5 NFL General Managers Who Could Be Looking for Work After 2012
Several NFL general managers will be feeling the heat throughout the 2012 season.
No job is ever fully safe in an NFL front office (unless you also happen to own the team, a la Jerry Jones) and for the following five men time is of the essence.
From teams that have struggled during their tenures to questionable moves in free agency and on draft day, these GM's likely need strong showings in 2012 to secure their positions for 2013 and beyond.
5. Tom Heckert, Cleveland Browns
One of Tom Heckert's first orders of business as GM of the Cleveland Browns was to draft Colt McCoy as the face and future of the franchise at quarterback.
Now, just a few years later, he has seemingly given up on McCoy in favor of drafting a new (yet older) prospect in Brandon Weeden.
What happens if the plan backfires and Weeden proves to be worse than McCoy under center?
Will Heckert be able to justify drafting a franchise quarterback already pushing 30 years of age when McCoy is just 25 and showed promising development in 2011?
These are questions that will likely influence Heckert's job security as the 2012 season unfolds.
Luckily, he also has new draftee Trent Richardson to shoulder the Browns' offensive load and bring a spark to the offense.
4. Gene Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars
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The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't been a great football team since the naming of Gene Smith as GM in 2009.
In fact, they have been sub-par at best, failing to post a winning record since his tenure began.
It is far too early to label last year's first-round pick, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, as a bust, but he certainly appeared headed in that direction is his rookie campaign.
Couple that with the unrest that has surrounded the Jaguars organization this offseason and there is plenty of reason to believe Smith's job is far from secure.
Jacksonville has a new owner in Shahid Khan and a new coach in Mike Mularkey.
Is GM the next spot to see a makeover?
3. Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles
This situation is different from most others in the league in the sense that Howie Roseman is not a true GM.
Well, Reid's seat is hot for the umpteenth time in his tenure as head coach and that means his adviser's should be warm as well.
The Eagles greatly underperformed in 2011 as they missed the postseason after assembling the "dream team."
If Philadelphia misses the playoffs again in 2012, it may be time for the organization to go in a different direction.
2. Jeff Ireland, Miami Dolphins
Jeff Ireland failed to bring in numerous quarterback targets this offseason.
Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Alex Smith all passed on the opportunity to take their talents to South Beach.
Ireland has failed in efforts to bring in high-profile coaches, as both Jeff Fisher and Jim Harbaugh have taken jobs elsewhere.
Of course, the biggest issue of all during Ireland's tenure is that the Miami Dolphins have not been competitive in the AFC East.
Ireland is the man who gave Tony Sparano an extension only to fire him a season later.
He is also the man who asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute.
Controversy and question marks have surrounded Ireland's tenure with the Dolphins and he is running out of time to right the ship.
The spotlight will only shine brighter as Miami becomes the subject of HBO's Hard Knocks during training camp.
1. A.J. Smith, San Diego Chargers
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The San Diego Chargers are a team that consistently performs at a level below what it is capable of.
At some point that underachievement has to catch up to the GM and the head coach.
2012 should, and probably will, be the last chance for both A. J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner.
It was a questionable decision to bring in Turner after firing the successful Marty Schottenheimer and Smith has been feeling the heat for years because of it.
Few expected these two to be back this season and to expect to them to return once again in 2013 if San Diego does not at least make the playoffs would be an utter fallacy.
Unfortunately for them, the AFC West is not getting any easier for a Chargers team that has missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons.