The first thing you notice when ranking the best front offices in the NFL is that the general manager crop is as strong as ever. With more refined processes and analytically-based decision trees in place, front offices are efficient and forward-thinking.
General managers typically get all the glory when things go right and all the blame when things go wrong. In reality, while the GM is the face of many teams, entire front offices contribute to a club’s outcomes.
Plus, head coaches have outsized roster sway in some organizations, while owners exercise heightened authority in others. As such, we’re ranking NFL front offices and power structures, not necessarily individual general managers.
Which Team Has the Best Front Office in the NFL?
Sticking it out in Philadelphia (with various titles and responsibilities) through the Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, Doug Pederson, and now Nick Sirianni eras, the Eagles’ Howie Roseman is the NFL’s most creative general manager and the reigning Executive of the Year.
Roseman’s foresight resulted in the Eagles landing Jalen Hurts in the 2020 draft despite already having Carson Wentz on their roster. Since then, he’s augmented the club’s talent base by acquiring or signing A.J. Brown, Haason Reddick, James Bradberry, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and a host of other veterans, seemingly all of whom have worked out.
Clearly conscious of positional value, Roseman rarely invests significant cap space or draft capital in non-premium positions like running back or linebacker. And his innovative salary cap maneuvers create endless optionality as Philadelphia tweaks its roster.
Front Office Rankings 2-10
2) Kansas City Chiefs
General manager: Brett Veach
Andy Reid has as much roster control as any head coach in the NFL, so he also deserves plenty of credit for Kansas City’s transactional success. Reid and Veach identified and traded up for Patrick Mahomes in a league-altering series of events, and the All-World quarterback’s 10-year contract is as team-friendly as any deal in the NFL.
Veach and Co. have made some unforced errors, including trading for Frank Clark, signing Sammy Watkins, and drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round. But the organization showed it was capable of forging a new path by trading Tyreek Hill and resetting its wide receiver depth chart this offseason.
Kansas City has won two Super Bowls in four years, and the team’s future could hardly be any brighter after Veach nailed his 2021 and 2022 draft classes, landing immediate contributors like Creed Humphrey, Nick Bolton, Trey Smith, Trent McDuffie, and Isiah Pacheco.
3) Buffalo Bills
General manager: Brandon Beane
Alongside head coach Sean McDermott, Beane has spent the past six seasons turning the Bills into the preeminent franchise in the NFL. Although they’ve yet to capture a Super Bowl trophy, Buffalo’s decision-makers are the most astute in the league.
Beane took two years to get the Bills’ salary cap in order before attacking free agency and the draft with targeted, positional-value-centric strikes. He acquired Stefon Diggs at a discounted rate, then took a big swing in 2022 by signing Von Miller to a six-year, $120 million deal. Beane will have the next decade to add complementary pieces around Josh Allen
4) Baltimore Ravens
General manager: Eric DeCosta
Baltimore’s 2019 transition from legendary GM Ozzie Newsome to longtime assistant DeCosta has been as seamless as the club’s move from Joe Flacco to Lamar Jackson under center. The Ravens are seemingly never pressured into any one course of action — they let value come to them.
DeCosta’s 2020 heist of Calais Campbell from the Jaguars was a masterstroke, and Baltimore remains among the league’s best at gaming the compensatory pick system. Additionally, the Ravens’ analytically-inclined approach should give them an edge on the field and in transactions for years to come.
This offseason, Baltimore faces its most significant challenge yet: figuring out how to proceed with Jackson as he becomes a free agent. The franchise tag will hold Jackson in place for now, but DeCosta’s decision to either give Lamar a long-term extension or trade him for draft capital could define the GM’s legacy.
5) Los Angeles Rams
General manager: Les Snead
The Rams finished 5-12 after winning the Super Bowl in 2021, but one down season won’t move Snead down too far in our rankings. Flags fly forever — Los Angeles went all-in and won a Lombardi trophy, but now their decision-makers will have to chart a new course of action.
Among an NFL front office cohort that can fall victim to groupthink, the Rams’ stars and scrubs approach is relatively unique. They’ve been able to afford stars like Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, and Jalen Ramsey because they’ve continually hit on mid- and late-round picks.
How long this strategy can work — and how long Sean McVay will be around to oversee Los Angeles’ on-field results — is an open question. The Rams’ moves this offseason should give us a better idea of how L.A. plans to proceed with its veteran core.
6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
General manager: Jason Licht
It wasn’t all that long ago that Licht and the Buccaneers were listed at the bottom of NFL front office rankings. Tampa Bay finished above .500 just once in his first six years in charge, and his 2016 draft class — featuring Vernon Hargreaves, Noah Spence, and a trade-up for kicker Roberto Aguayo in the top 60 — is among the worst in recent memory.
But Licht quietly rebuilt the Buccaneers’ roster, drafting key contributors such as Chris Godwin, Vita Vea, Carlton Davis, and Jamel Dean to lay the foundation for Tom Brady’s 2020 arrival.
Now, with a Super Bowl trophy in hand and Brady retired, Licht faces a similar task as Snead and the Rams: determine how to rebuild a veteran roster without ever truly bottoming out.
7) Cincinnati Bengals
General manager: Mike Brown
Director of player personnel: Duke Tobin
As the team’s owner, Brown is nominally the Bengals’ general manager, but Tobin is leading the decision-making process in Cincinnati. Tobin assisted Brown through the Marvin Lewis era and took full control of player acquisition when Zac Taylor became the club’s head coach in 2019.
The Bengals may have lucked into Joe Burrow at No. 1 in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Tobin has convinced Brown to be assertive in the free agent market to support his star quarterback. No longer reticent on Day 1 of free agency, Cincinnati has largely built their offensive line and entire defense through external signings while snagging talents like Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in the draft.
8) New England Patriots
General manager: Bill Belichick
We’ll never count out Belichick, but his 2021 spending spree didn’t necessarily yield its intended results. Matthew Judon has been dominant as a Patriot, but Nelson Agholor and Jonnu Smith’s deals turned out to be busts.
Historically, few NFL executives have understood market inefficiencies — both in free agency and the draft — better than Belichick. Recent New England draft picks and early contributors Cole Strange, Marcus Jones, and Jack Jones could help pull the Patriots out of their malaise, but whether Mac Jones develops into an above-average quarterback will likely determine how the post-Brady period of Belichick’s career is judged.
9) Green Bay Packers
General manager: Brian Gutekunst
Gutekunst has taken Green Bay in a more aggressive talent acquisition direction than his predecessor Ted Thompson. Yet, it’s his handling of Aaron Rodgers over the past several seasons that has the Packers general manager at No. 9. Rodgers can be a difficult personality, but Gutekunst has largely avoided the type of animosity that overtook Green Bay’s late-career dealings with Brett Favre.
Jordan Love hasn’t played enough to be graded, but nearly every other Gutekunst top-70 pick — including Jaire Alexander, Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage, Elgton Jenkins, Eric Stokes, and Josh Myers — looks like a hit. And while trading Davante Adams is tough, extracting first- and second-round picks for a 29-year-old WR who simply didn’t want to play for Green Bay any longer was probably the best Gutekunst could have done.
10) Seattle Seahawks
General manager: John Schneider
Schneider’s 2012 draft class — which included Russell Wilson, Bobby Waggner, and Bruce Irvin — is the stuff of legends, and the Seahawks’ general manager hit another home run a decade later.
Seattle’s first six picks in the 2022 draft — Charles Cross, Boye Mafe, Kenneth Walker III, Abraham Lucas, Coby Bryant, and Tariq Woolen — were all contributors in their rookie campaign. This is the type of class that can set up a team to contend for an extended window.
And we haven’t even mentioned Schneider’s biggest offseason coup: trading Wilson to the Broncos for a package of picks and players before turning things over to Geno Smith, who posted the best season of his career. Wilson’s career has come off the tracks in Denver, and Schneider’s decision to move on from the veteran quarterback may go down as one of the best trades in NFL history.
Top Front Offices Remaining
11) San Francisco 49ers
General manager: John Lynch
The 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship Game despite having to turn to seventh-round rookie quarterback Brock Purdy in December. San Francisco’s run with Mr. Irrevelant is a testament to Kyle Shanahan’s offensive design and play-calling abilities, but the 49ers also had an excellent roster that helped Purdy succeed.
Shanahan and Lynch have worked wonders with the 49ers’ depth chart, adding veterans like Trent Williams and Charvarius Ward to a young core that includes Nick Bosa and Fred Warner. Meanwhile, contract negotiator Paraag Marathe has kept costs in line even when those aforementioned stars have received new deals.
12) Detroit Lions
General manager: Brad Holmes
Holmes has been wildly impressive since taking over as Detroit’s GM in 2021, building a talented core while acquiring a package of picks (and Jared Goff) for Matthew Stafford. Goff was outstanding last season, but the Lions could use the No. 6 overall pick they received in the Stafford trade to find a young passer in the 2023 draft.
If Detroit goes in that direction, that rookie quarterback would likely sit behind Goff before being inserted into a nearly perfect situation. Holmes has used five of his first six top-75 draft picks on offensive or defensive linemen, while the remaining selection was spent on dynamic receiver Jameson Williams.
13) Los Angeles Chargers
General manager: Tom Telesco
After bottoming out at 5-11 in Philip Rivers’ final season with the Chargers, Telesco has spent the past three offseasons rebuilding L.A.’s roster. While Justin Herbert is the crown jewel, Telesco also added left tackle Rashawn Slater and cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., giving the Chargers three potential All-Pros at essential positions.
L.A.’s front office revamped the offensive line in front of Herbert, bringing in veterans Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler in addition to another first-round pick in Zion Johnson. On defense, Telesco picked up Khalil Mack from the Bears for pennies on the dollar, but the five-year, $75 million deal for cornerback J.C. Jackson might have been a mistake, given that Jackson was benched before suffering a season-ending injury.
14) Cleveland Browns
General manager: Andrew Berry
It’s challenging to place Berry and the Browns’ front office in these rankings. There’s no doubt they’ve built an excellent roster. But Berry, owner Jimmy Haslam, and others also signed off on trading for Deshaun Watson despite him facing two-dozen accusations of sexual misconduct.
Cleveland guaranteed Watson $230 million and structured his 2022 contract to limit his financial loss in the event of a suspension. Talent always wins out in the NFL, but that doesn’t make it right.
15) Indianapolis Colts
General manager: Chris Ballard
Ballard has drafted All-Pro talent in running back Jonathan Taylor, guard Quenton Nelson, and linebacker Darius Leonard, and he managed to escape his Carson Wentz acquisition by pawning off the veteran quarterback to the Commanders.
Ballard has refused to be aggressive on the free agent market, but he’s been more assertive in trades for veterans like DeForest Buckner. Still, Indy’s front office needs to improve its talent base at premium positions. That process can begin in 2023 when the Colts will likely get off the veteran quarterback merry-go-round and draft a passer with the fourth overall pick.
16) New Orleans Saints
General manager: Mickey Loomis
The Saints flirt with fiscal doom nearly every offseason, but they always find a way to make it work. Constantly restructuring deals to fit under the salary cap is a risky strategy, but as long as the cap continues to rise, New Orleans can remain in “win-now” mode.
Loomis did well to secure first- and second-round picks in exchange for Sean Payton’s rights, but the Saints are clearly missing their former head coach, who helped to maximize the club’s roster talent. Through one season, Dennis Allen hasn’t shown that same aptitude.
17) New York Jets
General manager: Joe Douglas
Douglas’ work over the last three offseasons has represented a master class in how to build up a team to support a young quarterback. He’s overhauled New York’s offensive line while adding talent at key position groups.
With three first-round picks in 2022, Douglas drafted CB Ahmad Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson, and EDGE Jermaine Johnson II, bolstering three of the five most important positions on the field while adding the eventual Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year.
But hardly any of that work will matter if Douglas can’t secure a viable quarterback. Zach Wilson has been a disaster on the field, and his attitude has rubbed his teammates the wrong way.
Acquiring a veteran passer is on New York’s 2023 docket, and the club’s next choice under center could determine Douglas’ future with Gang Green.
18) Dallas Cowboys
General manager: Jerry Jones
Vice president of player personnel: Will McClay
Jones is the face of the Cowboys, but McClay, who’s been with Dallas since 2009, should also get some praise for their roster machinations. Draft success is often fleeting, but the Cowboys have routinely proven adept at finding young contributors.
Dallas has been less triumphant in contract negotiation. Dak Prescott could have come cheaper had they signed him earlier, and the Ezekiel Elliott deal is still an albatross around their necks. Yet, because the Cowboys have shown restraint on the free agent market, those extensions haven’t hurt as much as they could have.
19) Miami Dolphins
General manager: Chris Grier
The Dolphins seemingly made all the right moves during their rebuild, trading away veterans and acquiring more future draft capital while looking ahead to tomorrow. Grier’s process was sound, but he wasn’t able to hit his draft selections.
Miami’s decision to take Tua Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert still looks like a mistake, even though Tua revitalized his career in 2022. The team also whiffed on its other two 2020 first-rounders (Austin Jackson and Noah Igbinoghene).
Thankfully, the returns on Grier’s 2021 draft class, including Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, and Jevon Holland, are incredibly strong. Trade acquisition Tyreek Hill was as dynamic as any receiver in the NFL last season, while Grier deserves credit for hiring an innovative, player-friendly head coach like Mike McDaniel.
20) Minnesota Vikings
General manager: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah
Given his analytical background, Adofo-Mensah seemed primed to take the Vikings in an entirely new direction. But while he made some +EV draft-day trades, Adofo-Mensah’s transactions haven’t appeared all that different from what the Rick Spielman/Mike Zimmer regime would have done.
Minnesota may have tried to move on from Kirk Cousins this offseason, but an unexpected 13-4 record in 2022 will likely entice the Vikings to run everything back next year.
21) New York Giants
General manager: Joe Schoen
Schoen used his two top-10 picks in the 2022 draft to bring in prospects at premium positions (edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive tackle Evan Neal), but his shrewdest move was hiring his former coworker, ex-Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, as the Giants’ head coach.
Daboll won Coach of the Year after taking a roster of misfits to the postseason, and Schoen will now be tasked with upgrading New York’s talent base. His first order of business? Determine what course to chart with free agents Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, one of whom will likely receive the franchise tag.
22) Jacksonville Jaguars
General manager: Trent Baalke
It’s difficult to give Baalke too much credit for selecting Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, and it might be too early to judge the rest of Baalke’s draft picks.
Still, the Jaguars are undoubtedly on the ascent, even if head coach Doug Pederson might be mostly responsible for the team’s 2022 uptick. Baalke has a track record as an astute talent evaluator — he just needs to avoid the interpersonal clashes that disrupted his tenure with the 49ers.
23) Pittsburgh Steelers
General manager: Omar Khan
Because Kevin Colbert didn’t retire as the Steelers’ GM until after the 2022 draft, Khan hasn’t had his chance to make his mark on Pittsburgh’s roster, so his ranking here is something of a projection.
A 20+ year veteran of the Steelers’ front office, Khan doesn’t figure to make any drastic changes to the club’s processes. How he augments Pittsburgh’s roster around quarterback Kenny Pickett will define the early portion of Khan’s tenure.
24) Carolina Panthers
General manager: Scott Fitterer
It’s impossible to assign too much credit or blame for Carolina’s recent moves, as former head coach Matt Rhule held outsized sway in the Panthers’ transactions before he was fired in October.
New head coach Frank Reich held onto Fitterer, who will now be tasked with supporting Reich’s vision for the Panthers. Carolina’s first order of business will be finding a quarterback solution, which could be achieved via the draft after Fitterer and Co. picked up four extra picks in exchange for Christian McCaffrey at the trade deadline.
25) Atlanta Falcons
General manager: Terry Fontenot
Fontenot hasn’t yet had his opportunity to put his stamp on the Falcons’ roster. Since taking over for Thomas Dimitroff in 2021, Fontenot has been forced to work through salary cap and dead money issues as he works to turn over Atlanta’s personnel.
The Falcons have won seven games in consecutive seasons, but that’s perhaps more of a testament to head coach Arthur Smith than Atlanta’s front office. With a top-10 pick and nearly $70 million in cap space, Fontenot will have the chance to remake the Falcons this offseason. But if Atlanta fails to land a franchise quarterback soon, they’ll continue to tread water.
26) Chicago Bears
General manager: Ryan Poles
This isn’t fair to Poles. That really should be former Bears GM Ryan Pace’s name up there. It was Pace who left Poles arguably the worst roster in the NFL. Poles wisely traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers last offseason, and he didn’t bother adding veterans that won’t be part of Chicago’s next contending roster.
Owners of the No. 1 overall pick, the Bears could target a quarterback and move Justin Fields, but it sounds as though they’ll stick with Fields and attempt to trade down for a package of selections. With more cap space than any other club, Poles’ Bears should be at the forefront of the 2023 offseason.
27) Denver Broncos
General manager: George Paton
Paton was a well-respected assistant in the Vikings’ front office before joining the Broncos as general manager in 2021. He took a methodical approach in his first season in charge, eschewing a quarterback in the draft in favor of Patrick Surtain II and giving then-head coach Vic Fangio an opportunity to prove himself.
But things went off the rails in 2022 when Paton replaced Fangio with former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and acquired Wilson from the Seahawks. Both moves now look like gargantuan mistakes, and Hackett couldn’t even complete his debut season before being fired.
The Broncos have since hired Sean Payton after trading a first-round pick to acquire his rights from the Saints. Payton’s arrival naturally means Paton will lose some decision-making authority as the former New Orleans coach takes charge.
28) Houston Texans
General manager: Nick Caserio
After spending years practicing deliberate, focused strategies with the Patriots, Caserio’s first two seasons with the Texans were anything but orderly. Houston cycled through two head coaches in two years and has generally looked as directionless as any franchise in the NFL.
Caserio has hopefully found his long-term head coach in former 49ers defensive coordinator (and ex-Texan) DeMeco Ryans. The Texans should be able to land a young quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick, adding that passer to an intriguing group of existing talent that includes Derek Stingley Jr., Jalen Pitre, and Dameon Pierce.
29) Las Vegas Raiders
General manager: Dave Ziegler
Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels began their Raiders tenure by shipping first- and second-round picks to the Packers in exchange for Davante Adams. That looked like a win-now decision, but just one year later, Las Vegas has parted ways with Derek Carr and is now searching for an answer under center.
The Raiders have a top-10 pick and plenty of cap space, which should allow them to target a franchise signal-caller and improve their offensive line and defense. Still, it’s fair to wonder if Ziegler and Co. will eventually look back at their acquisition of Adams — and the pass catcher’s hefty extension — as a misstep.
30) Washington Commanders
General manager: Martin Mayhew
It’s unclear who makes the final decisions in Washington. Mayhew is the club’s general manager, but Marty Hurney is also around as a key Commanders executive. Both Mayhew and Hurney report directly to head coach Ron Rivera.
Whoever is in charge, Washington needs a new approach. The Commanders gave up significant draft capital to acquire Carson Wentz, only to release him a year later. Now, they’ll enter the 2023 offseason with Sam Howell as their QB1 and significant holes along their offensive line and in their secondary.
Washington may very well win at least seven games for a fourth consecutive season, but that floor won’t help them compete in a division where the Eagles’ ceiling is already stratospheric.
First-Year General Managers
Two new NFL general managers have taken over teams this offseason. With little to judge them on, we’ll list them separately.
Ran Carthon, Tennessee Titans
Ran Carthon has a tall task ahead of him. Former Titans general manager Jon Robinson built workable rosters during his tenure, but he also traded A.J. Brown and made free agent mistakes like pass rusher Bud Dupree. Carthon needs to find a successor to Ryan Tannehill, but nearly every spot on Tennessee’s depth chart could be upgraded.
Monti Ossenfort, Arizona Cardinals
Unlike Carthon’s Titans, Monti Ossenfort’s Cardinals already have a franchise quarterback in place. But Kyler Murray, who is expected to miss the early portion of the 2023 season after tearing his ACL in December, needs help. Ossenfort, a longtime Bill Belichick disciple, is staring at a multi-year rebuild as he seeks to turn over an aging Arizona roster.