NFL General Manager

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An NFL General Manager is responsible for managing the player personnel of a professional football team. This means they are in charge of drafting new players, making trades with other teams, and signing free agents. They work closely with coaches to develop a team strategy that can lead to success on the field. They also monitor the team's finances to make sure they are staying within budget and making smart investments in players. In addition to player personnel, they oversee the team's scouting department and work with scouts to identify talented players in college and the NFL. They must have excellent communication skills to negotiate deals with agents and other teams. Overall, an NFL General Manager job description includes being able to lead and manage a team, make strategic decisions, and have a deep understanding of football and the sports industry.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Building a competitive team by scouting and drafting new players
  • Negotiating player contracts and managing the team's salary cap
  • Collaborating with coaches to create game strategies and player development plans
  • Overseeing the team's performance and making necessary changes to the roster
  • Maintaining relationships with agents and other teams for potential trades or free agent signings
  • Analyzing data and statistics to make informed decisions on player acquisitions
  • Participating in league meetings and adhering to NFL rules and regulations
  • Managing the team's budget and allocating resources effectively
  • Representing the team in public relations and community outreach efforts.

Experience and Education Requirements

If you want to land a job as an NFL General Manager, you need a mix of education and experience. Most NFL teams require their GM to have a Bachelor's degree, with some teams looking for a Master's degree in a relevant field like sports management or business administration. 

On top of education, you need experience too. This includes working your way up through the ranks in the NFL, having a deep knowledge of the sport, and a proven track record of success. Many successful GMs have also spent time as scouts or assistant coaches. 

Overall, becoming an NFL GM takes years of hard work, dedication, and experience in the sports industry. If you have a passion for football and a commitment to excellence, it's possible to climb the ranks and reach this coveted position.

Salary Range

An NFL General Manager is responsible for shaping the direction of a football team. This includes evaluating talent, hiring coaches, and making trades. If you're looking to become a General Manager in the United States, you can expect to earn an annual salary range of $1 million to $3 million, with some earning closer to $4 million. The specific salary depends on various factors, such as the team's size, the General Manager's experience, and team performance. In comparison, a General Manager in the Canadian Football League earns approximately $100,000 to $200,000 annually. Sources: (1) (2)

Career Outlook

The career outlook for NFL General Managers over the next 5 years looks promising. The demand for skilled and experienced GMs who can lead a team to success is expected to increase. According to a report by Forbes, the NFL continues to be the dominant force in sports, with revenue growth projected to rise significantly over the next few years. This growth is mainly because of the increased popularity of the sport in emerging markets like China, which will increase revenue streams for teams and thus create more opportunities for General Managers. Furthermore, with recent changes in the league's policies, including scouting and drafting, the role of a General Manager is more critical now than ever before. Therefore, it can be concluded that the demand for NFL General Managers is not only increasing but is expected to rise extensively in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a NFL General Manager do?

A: A NFL General Manager is responsible for building and managing a professional football team, making trades, signing contracts, drafting players, and handling the business side of the team.

Q: What qualifications are needed to become a NFL General Manager?

A: It's important to have a deep understanding of the game of football and strong leadership, communication, and decision-making skills. Many General Managers have a background in coaching or scouting, and have a bachelor's or advanced degree in sports management or a related field.

Q: How does a NFL General Manager decide which players to draft?

A: General Managers and their team of scouts and coaches study college players throughout their final seasons, evaluating their skills, physical abilities, and character. They use this information to create a draft board and determine which players will be the best fit for the team.

Q: How does a NFL General Manager manage the team's salary cap?

A: The salary cap is the limit on the amount each team can spend on player salaries. General Managers must carefully manage player contracts and negotiate with agents to stay under the cap while still building a competitive roster.

Q: What are some challenges a NFL General Manager faces?

A: NFL General Managers must balance the need to win games in the short term with the need to build a sustainable, successful team in the long term. They must also navigate player egos and personalities, handle media scrutiny, and make difficult decisions that can impact the team's future success.

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