The offseason might be the most quiet period on the NFL calendar but it is also the time for plenty of analysis, projections, and rankings. Rotoworld's Patrick Daugherty, for example, releases his list of the best to worst general managers once each offseason – and this year's edition was published late last week. As has been the case every year since 2014, a familiar face sits on top of the rankings: the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick.
Belichick, who serves in personal union as New England's head coach and general manager since 2000, is widely regarded as not only the best head coach in all of football but also the best team builder. Daugherty's reasoning for ranking him number one mentions this as well: “There is no separating 'Bill Belichick, head coach' from 'Bill Belichick, general manager,'“ he writes before continuing that despite some failures, his success speaks for itself.
“Along with lieutenants like Nick Caserio, Belichick picks his own players and they have gone 214-74 since 2000,” the author points out to illustrate the unparalleled success Belichick and company have enjoyed over the last two decades. “Great coaching has been paramount, but no amount of scheming or motivating can turn the wrong group of 53 into five-time Lombardi hoisters.”
In order to win the Super Bowl again this season, the Patriots and Belichick will have to overcome some big offseason losses: From the starting left tackle to the top two wide receivers from last season to starters at running back and cornerback, the team will look drastically different in 2018. However, if history is any indication, New England will keep rolling along without hitting any roadblock.
“The reason Belichick wins is the rosters he supplies himself,” writes Daugherty before continuing that he does it by not focusing on one method of supply but rather explores every available one: “Draft pick accumulation, trades, tactical strikes in free agency, mining restricted free agency and even claiming injured players. No general manager is as creative as Bill Belichick. [...] No general manager is as successful as Bill Belichick.”
Chances are that 2018 will be more of the same – even though Nate Solder, Malcolm Butler, and others will play elsewhere this season.