By Hunter Jones
So, before getting into the rankings, here is what determines the ranks. The first thing is off-season acquisitions. General Managers (GM’s) must bring in or retain people, obviously. One can’t really be a GM and not be able to do those things. Another factor is league presence. Yes, while it isn’t necessary to constantly be involved with the league to be a quality general manager, I believe it’s important to make yourself known to the league, whether it be joining some form of team and contributing to league content or just being a presence in the chat. GM’s are constantly representing their team, you wouldn’t want a guy to be your GM and he make your team look bad because he doesn’t represent the organization well. So, with that little bit of criteria out of the way, let’s get into the rankings. Here’s my Top 5.
#1 – Crash Combs, Dallas Lobos
Let’s be honest, this should be expected. Crash Combs was one of the first GM’s in the SFL and was one vote away from ownership after S10. He’s a constant presence in the chat and has assisted the league in a variety of ways. He’s no slouch on the recruiting trail either. This off-season alone, he managed to steal tight end Tristan Carr from London, signed quarterback Jacques Luyindula to pair up with Carr and drafted running back Zack Sandlin, who has been lighting it up for the Lobos this season.
Editor’s Note: Since this article was originally written, Crash Combs has been promoted to co-owner of the Dallas Lobos and Tristan Carr has been promoted to General Manager. This further reiterates how well Crash has performed his duties.
#2 – Ryan Davidson, Alaska Storm
While some may argue that anyone could be a GM for Alaska and look great at it because of Max Paul, you can’t deny the work Ryan Davidson has done in his time with Alaska. He handled the S10 draft, getting fullback Jason Williams. This past off-season, he acquired former Tallahassee Pride defensive end Kevin Bane and retaining the rest of the Storm roster fresh off an undefeated season.
#3 – Christian Christiansen, Tallahassee Pride
Speaking of GM’s that made moves in the off-season, none made more arguably than the Tallahassee Pride’s Christian Christiansen. Over the off-season, Christiansen retained nine of the Pride’s S11 roster, losing free safety Tanner Hendrix and Bane to free agency and running back Jaye Eniola to retirement. That’s a tough three to lose however Christiansen made a couple of big splashes when he signed the former Carolina front office duo of free safety Sir Chappell and running back AJ Francis.
#4 – Xander Gold, New Orleans Pharaohs
In his first off-season at GM, Gold made some golden moves to re-tool a Pharaohs team that went 7-5 and narrowly missed out on the playoffs in their first season. Gold signed wide receiver Deezer Powell from Oklahoma City and the two have been the deadliest quarterback-wide receiver duo this season, with Powell leading the league in receiving touchdowns, yards and leading wide receivers in yards per catch. On top of that, Gold also stole then-linebacker Ray West from Dallas and converted him to defensive tackle, where he’s racked up 9.5 sacks so far this season, seventh most in the league.
#5 – AJ Levye, Sioux Falls Sparrows
While the Sioux Falls Sparrows as a whole aren’t the loudest team in the bunch, it’s easy to see that they have a culture that many buy into. AJ Levye is a big part of that culture, he and owner Jaycen Tyree have been a model of consistency. In the S10 draft the Sparrows were constantly adding more picks and most of them have been a huge splash, most notably running back Colin Hart. This past off-season the Sparrows retained their entire roster and look to continue their consistent excellence.