Every year, the folks from Rotoworld put together their rankings of the General Managers across the National Football League, and this year’s list is now available. In what is likely going to come as a bit of a surprise to at least some portions of the fan base, Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman is still pretty highly regarded when it comes to these rankings.
Here’s what Patrick Daugherty, who does these rankings for Rotoworld each year, had to say about Spielman’s performance as GM.
If you ever end up at a poker table with Rick Spielman, you won’t have to worry about him slow playing. He only makes big bets. His latest, Kirk Cousins’ fully guaranteed $84 million deal, was a pre-flop raise that turned into a check. After a hot September, Cousins was shakier the rest of the way, leading to one of Spielman’s patented valleys after a peak. The Vikings’ general manager since 2006, Spielman’s teams have made the playoffs five times. Four times, they failed to return the following season. The bigger the bet, the greater the consequences, and Spielman’s aggression has arguably made for inconsistent results. It could also simply be bad beats for a general manager who has typically drafted well and not tended to throw money away in free agency, Matt Kalil notwithstanding. Never static, perhaps Spielman should rest on his laurels a little more often. But then he wouldn’t be Rick Spielman. One of these days, an all-in Spielman is going to hit a full house on the river, and the dealer will slide a Lombardi his way.
I think I’ve said this in this space numerous times before, but it bears repeating. . .for the few missteps he’s had, Spielman has had significantly more hits than misses, whether it’s free agency or the draft. The greater NFL community seems to realize this, at least.
This offseason has been a bit more difficult than some others in recent memory, largely due to the salary cap situation that the Cousins signing created. However, the Vikings have still managed to retain basically their entire core, and hopefully this season will bring something bigger than the disappointment we saw in 2018 as a result.