When Should an NFL Owner Step In?

Erin McLaughlinSenior Analyst IIMay 19, 2009

BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 25:  Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner listens to his manager speak during a Press Conference at Villa Park  on January 25, 2007 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Jerry Jones and Al Davis are often heavily criticized for the way they run their football teams. Both are owners that are very involved with their teams' day to day activity and personnel decisions. I don't even know anybody in their front office or if they even have one. Many feel that these guys are way too involved as owners.

Pardon me, but aren't they the ones writing the paychecks?

I often hear that if you hire somebody you should let them do the job. Okay that is fine, but does that mean the owner has no say in the matter? Let me ask if you owned a business, would you not get involved with how it was run? I sure wouldn't.

Jones often gets criticized for being on the sidelines. If he owns the team, can't he go where ever he wants. I do, however, feel for Raider fans, because many of Davis' decisions are questionable. But, he still signs the checks.

Pat Bowlen and Arthur Blanc are also very involved with their teams. They give their people authority but do step in when they see fit. Bowlen recently got involved when the Jay Cutler mess was happening. That seemed appropriate.

Look at the situation in Cleveland. You have an unproven head coach and a rookie GM. They have made some interesting decisions this offseason. Only time will tell how they work out. If I were Randy Lerner, I would be very careful about giving them total control.

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I heard a rumor two days ago about draft-day trades that were in the works for Brady Quinn. The rumor is that Lerner stepped in and squashed them. Was Lerner wrong? That trade would not have been a popular one in Cleveland. Lerner probably wants to see what he has in his investment.

Matt Millen had total control in Detroit. The Fords never got involved. Perhaps they should have.

So for all you guys who feel that owners shouldn't get involved, let me ask what would you do? What if the person you hired was about to make a decision that you felt would be a mistake. Would you sit idly by and let it happen? I sure wouldn't.

Lets use the example in Cleveland. About eighty percent of Browns fans want Quinn to be the starter. If you owned an appliance store and eighty percent of your customers preferred a certain brand of TV. Would you allow your store manager to discontinue that brand? Again, I wouldn't.

So when you hire a coach and GM to run your team, let them do they job. However, at the end of the day you're still the boss. Everybody wants total control with no interference in whatever we do. How many of us actually get it? Why should coaches and GMs be any different?

Years ago, Bill Parcells made the statement, "If you want me to cook a meal, let me shop for the groceries."

Bob Kraft should've replied, "If I am paying for the meal, you're damn right I will have a say in what the groceries are."