NFL General Manager

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An NFL General Manager's job is to oversee the team's operations and make strategic decisions that help achieve the team's goals. This job involves overseeing player selection, contract negotiations, trades, and scouting new talent. The NFL General Manager job description also includes managing the coaching staff and players, overseeing team budgets, and developing long-term strategies that guide the team to success. They must be skilled at decision-making, listening to different opinions, and communicating effectively with coaches, players, and other team personnel. An NFL General Manager must stay up-to-date on league rules, trends, and issues and work closely with other members of the team to create a cohesive and successful plan for the future. This position requires extensive knowledge of the game, strong leadership skills, and a keen eye for talent.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Determine team strategy and goals
  • Supervise scouting and player acquisition
  • Manage player contracts and salary cap
  • Negotiate trades and draft picks
  • Hire and oversee coaching staff
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other teams and agents
  • Ensure compliance with league rules and regulations
  • Coordinate team functions, such as training camp and game logistics
  • Communicate with ownership and media regarding team operations
  • Balance short-term success with long-term sustainability.

Experience and Education Requirements

If you want to be an NFL General Manager, you need a lot of education and experience. You'll need at least a Bachelor's degree in sports management, business administration or a related field. But that's just the start. You'll need to have worked your way up through the ranks, starting as an intern or scout, then moving up to assistant GM or director of player personnel. You'll need to have a solid understanding of salary caps, free agency, draft strategies and player evaluation. You'll also need to have strong leadership skills, be able to work with a team, and have great communication skills. It's a tough job, but if you love football, it's worth it.

Salary Range

If you're curious about the salary range for an NFL General Manager in the sports industry, the numbers are pretty staggering. In the United States, the average salary for a GM in the NFL is around $3-4 million per year, with some earning upwards of $10 million. Keep in mind, though, that much of this salary is often based on performance and the success of the team, so there's a bit of a sliding scale involved. 

Internationally, soccer clubs often have GMs, known as "directors of football." In England, for example, these positions can earn up to £3-4 million yearly (or around $4-5 million USD). 



Career Outlook

The career outlook for NFL General Managers in the sports industry is expected to stay the same over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of general and operations managers in the sports industry is projected to grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. However, due to the competitive nature of the industry, job openings for NFL General Manager positions may be limited. The BLS notes that candidates with a bachelor's degree in business, sports administration, or a related field, along with relevant work experience, will have the best job prospects. Overall, becoming an NFL General Manager is a challenging yet rewarding career path for those passionate about sports and leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a NFL General Manager do?

A: The NFL General Manager plans and executes all of the team's player acquisitions, like signing free agents, drafting new players, trading for established players, and negotiating player contracts. 

Q: How does a person become a NFL General Manager?

A: Typically, a person becomes a NFL General Manager after working their way up the ranks in a team's front office, like starting as a scout or personnel executive. They may also have experience in coaching or playing at the NFL level. 

Q: What skills does a NFL General Manager need?

A: A NFL General Manager should have strong decision-making skills, knowledge of the game of football, excellent communication skills to work with coaches, players, and agents, and analytical skills to evaluate talent and manage a team's finances. 

Q: Who does a NFL General Manager report to?

A: A NFL General Manager reports to the team's owner or president, and they work closely with the head coach to build a competitive team. 

Q: What challenges does a NFL General Manager face?

A: A NFL General Manager must navigate salary cap limitations, deal with the unpredictability of injury and player performance, manage team morale, and stay ahead of the constantly changing landscape of the NFL.

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