6 NFL GMs Who Deserve Pink Slips After Disastrous 2012 Seasons
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
NFL general managers are under the same spotlight as coaches and players.
And if the job doesn't get done with consistent success, they too will get served the pink slip.
Gene Smith of the Jacksonville Jaguars is just one we'll check out, because the Jags have played through one horrendous 2012 campaign.
Take away Cecil Shorts' long catch-and-run touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts early this season, and Jacksonville has one more loss.
Unsurprisingly, Smith is among a select group that needs to be gone this offseason.
Tom Heckert, Cleveland Browns
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Tom Heckert of the Cleveland Browns is just the next man in line after Mike Holmgren.
Coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert are expected to either be fired or part ways with new owner Jimmy Haslam and new CEO Joe Banner by Monday, league sources told The Plain Dealer.
Despite having a solid resume with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2006 through 2009, Heckert did nothing by comparison for the Browns.
Without question, 2012 offered more promise, but the 0-5 start quickly doomed that.
Let's put it this way: You know it's bad when Cleveland manages to get a midseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and changes are still expected to occur.
A.J. Smith, San Diego Chargers
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Along the same lines as the Browns, the San Diego Chargers are expected to follow suit.
Not only will head coach Norv Turner be gone at the end of the season, but general manager A.J. Smith will be fired as well.
[Dean] Spanos, sources said, has more recently resigned himself to the fact that Smith can’t be kept in the current environment of plummeting performance and fan unrest.
It's simply time for a change in Southern California.
The Bolts had a good run with Smith and Turner, because making five playoff appearances is no easy task. Unfortunately, none of those resulted in a Super Bowl appearance, and only once did San Diego make it to the AFC title game.
Given the frustration that occurred throughout 2012, the Chargers must move on.
Gene Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Since Gene Smith became the Jacksonville Jaguars' general manager, the team has done nothing but regress.
Beginning in the position in 2009, Jacksonville has not had a winning record under Smith.
So, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com:
The Jacksonville Jaguars will fire general manager Gene Smith, but the fate of coach Mike Mularkey could turn out to be in the hands of Cardinals director of player personnel Jason Licht or 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble who are the primary candidates for the team's general manager's job, according to sources.
Interestingly enough, Jacksonville had made six playoff appearances in its brief history before having a general manager.
On the bright side, whoever comes in next will not feel the pressure of expectations after Smith.
Scott Pioli, Kansas City Chiefs
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The Kansas City Chiefs are undecided regarding Scott Pioli.
Heard from a league source last night that Scott Pioli will survive in KC, but only with significant changes (new coach, new QB). We'll see.— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) December 30, 2012
Also, per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com:
According to NFL.com's Steve Wyche, the Kansas City Chiefs are expected to retain general manager Scott Pioli despite a disastrous season, according to a source briefed on the situation.
But according to Evan Silva of NBC Sports:
ESPN's @adamschefter reported AJ Smith, Gene Smith, Tom Heckert, Rod Graves all likely "out" next week. "Leaning out" on Pioli & Tannenbaum.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) December 30, 2012
Certainly an interesting move by K.C. should Pioli remain.
Other than a 2010 AFC West championship, though, the Chiefs haven't done much under Pioli. Since, K.C. has gone 7-9, and 2012 was extensively worse.
Looking at the expected changes out of San Diego, Kansas City potentially not following suit will be costly next season.
Rod Graves, Arizona Cardinals
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It's an intriguing situation between Rod Graves and the Arizona Cardinals.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports:
The Cardinals are mulling removing long-time general Rod Graves from that position, sources said (though Graves would be expected to stay in some other capacity if that move is made).
Regardless of what occurs here, neither would be a surprise.
Graves knows the Cardinals organization well, and Arizona getting to a Super Bowl does speak volumes. At the same token, the Cardinals have declined since 2008 and play in one of the NFL's tougher divisions.
Yes, the NFC West has flipped itself after being awful during for most of the 21st century.
Arizona just continues to spiral downward, and 2012's abysmal production after a strong start is enough evidence.
Mike Tannenbaum, New York Jets
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The expected fate of Mike Tannenbaum with the New York Jets remains unchanged.
To begin, according to Lisa Zimmerman of CBS Sports earlier this week:
As first reported on Sunday, according to a league source, Tannenbaum will be relieved of his duties as team owner Woody Johnson searches for a replacement.
And then echoed by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports this Sunday:
Jets owner Woody Johnson does not intend to fire head coach Rex Ryan, according to league sources but is highly unlikely to retain Mike Tannenbaum as his general manager.
This season was just hard to watch for any Jets fan. Even when Gang Green was still alive for a postseason berth, watching the Jets was painful.
Given the circus show that basically occurred throughout 2012, change is definitely good. The offense was ugly, and the quarterback situation was sadly worse.
For the Jets to redirect toward a positive future, Tannenbaum going is required. Otherwise, more trades like the one for Tim Tebow will occur.